We pay huge rates and deserve far better infrastructure — that’s the demand from an organisation that represents businesses in one of the country’s busiest industrial estates.
The Little Island Business Association (LIBA) has welcomed the news that Cork County Council will finally carry out a transportation study in the area, but said the study must lead to speedy and comprehensive results.
LIBA chief executive Michael Mulcahy said his organisation wanted Cork County Council to spell out exactly how much it received in rates from the area in the past two years.
“Answers to these questions are important, as we assess the financial commitment required for Little Island into the future,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“While Cork County Council is only one of the organisations that has a responsibility to Little Island, others, such as TII [Transport Infrastructure Ireland], will also have to step up to the mark and commit more resources, as we expect the area to grow substantially over the next 10 years.
“It is important to remember that investment in infrastructure in Little Island, over the past 30 years, has been less than adequate and, frankly, unacceptable.
“For such a progressive area to have no public bus service, no bus lanes, no cycle lanes, an inadequate road-access network, and inadequate signalling systems, it is time for real change.
“We require more of our rates income to be spent in the area to keep pace with developments in the area, and to keep pace with our growing rates contribution to Cork County Council.”
He said it was good to finally see a long-overdue transportation study, the first stage of which involves a broad data-gathering exercise. Key to this is traffic-data collection.
It is intended that the study would consider the period up to 2040 and is likely to take up to 12 months to complete.
Cork County Council has confirmed it intends to go through a public-consultation process, beginning later this month.
Local councillor Padraig O’Sullivan, who has campaigned to have gridlock removed from the area, said a third entrance/exit needs to be highlighted in any recommendation “for this report to be in any way, shape or form worthy of compilation”.
“Any report that doesn’t specify this requirement will be deficient and turning our backs to what is a well-acknowledged traffic black spot,” he said.
“Thousands of employees, and people engaged in business, descend on Little Island every morning at peak times, and again depart in the afternoon rush hour.”
Mr O’Sullivan said that any developments on infrastructure should consider the needs of 1,000 local residents who are often trapped in traffic.
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