Consultants have made a number of preliminary suggestions which could ease traffic gridlock in one of the country’s industrial powerhouses.
Major tailbacks are experienced daily at peak periods in Little Island in Co Cork as thousands of workers commute to and from the area.
While it is widely acknowledged that the road infrastructure needs to be improved, the current lack of government funding prompted Little Island Business Association (LIBA) to employ transport consultants to come up with interim solutions to ease the gridlock.
Consultants AECOM have just published their preliminary findings. They found most employees start work between the hours of 8am and 9am and leave between 4.45pm and 5.45pm, which creates pressure on the inadequate local road network. AECOM suggests employers look at introducing flexitime within the business park.
Although there is a railway station at Little Island, the consultants said take-up of the train service was extremely low and connectivity to the bus network was poor. They believe more should be done to get commuters to abandon cars in favour of public transport.
AECOM suggestions include carpooling, the creation of a bike-share scheme, and promotion of a cycle-to-work scheme.
In terms of the road network, the consultants said limited access points “creates pinch points of high demand” such as the An Crompán roundabout at the entrance to Little Island.
They noted sections of the road network are unable to cope with the high levels of queuing experienced at the Island Cross junction.
AECOM said there are safety issues on the N25 (Cork-Waterford road) with some motorists jumping the queue system on the eastbound slip lane, and suggested a safety statement be issued to employees about this.
The consultants also suggested a comprehensive travel survey should be undertaken of all employees in Little Island, to include their attitudes and awareness in relation to sustainable commuting.
They maintain a new slip road should be created off the N25 to the west of Little Island and a ‘master plan’ be developed for future transport and land-use development, advising that it should be carried out in conjunction with Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
LIBA chief executive Michael Mulcahy said his organisation will seek feedback from its members on the initial consultants’ report.
He said LIBA would then seek a meeting with Cork County Council officials to see what progress could be made on easing traffic problems.
“Identifying the issues that cause traffic congestion and finding sustainable solutions for the area is what this process is about and it is clear that with correct planning and implementation of a number of suggestions that we can assist in making life easier for our commuters in Little Island,” Mr Mulcahy said.
“The area is continuing to grow, and for us to be aware of that and taking actions that will assist that, will ensure that our actions keep pace with our growth.”
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