End of the line for commuter rail stations

Plans for new commuter railway stations in Cork have reached “the end of the line” due to a lack of funding and the rejection of the county council’s plan to build a new town at Monard, near Blarney.

An Iarnród Éireann spokesman said there is currently no funding available to build proposed stations at Dunkettle and Kilbarry.

Developers were supposed to build a station at Blarney to serve the planned 5,000-house town at Monard.

But since Bord Pleanála recently rejected the county council’s plans for that town, it is unlikely a station will ever be built there.

The Iarnród Éireann spokesman said design drawings for a station at Dunkettle had been made, but they were shelved because the land earmarked for the station was needed for the NRA’s proposed €100 million upgrade of the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle interchange.

“There has been no design development works on the revised station location due to an absence of funding,” the spokesman added.

Iarnród Éireann and Cork County Council had sought planning permission for a park and ride station there a couple of years ago. At the last minute the NRA objected to Bord Pleanála on the grounds that it needed the land on which the station was earmarked for an upgrade of the junction. Bord Pleanála upheld the objection.

Senator John Gilroy (Lab), who lives in nearby Glanmire, said he would be contacting Transport Minister Leo Varadkar urging him to drive on with the park-and-ride station at Dunkettle. “Of all the new stations proposed this is an absolute priority. Anybody who sees the queues of traffic heading southbound towards the Jack Lynch Tunnel every morning during rush-hour knows that a park and ride commuter railway station is badly needed at Dunkettle.”

“There are 20,000 people living in the immediate area and many thousands more commuting into the city from the likes of Watergrasshill, Rathcomac, Fermoy and Mitchelstown who would use this facility. It would be the busiest park and ride on the Cork-Midleton line, without a shadow of a doubt.”

“This project was held up because different organisations weren’t talking to each other. They should have sat down with each other well in advance of any design work on the station and the junction upgrade and sorted it all out. As a result of this debacle no design work has been done on a new station and no funding is available,” the senator said.

Planning permission has been granted for a station on the northside of the city at Kilbarry, near Blackpool.

“However, there is currently no funding for progressing this project,” the Iarnród Éireann spokesman said


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