Commuter survey to assess rail and transport links

A MAJOR survey is underway which it’s hoped will provide optimum information on travel patterns to make it easier for commuters to use the Cork-Midleton rail link when it becomes operational in 2008.

Some 28,000 households in east Cork have been sent questionnaires, while a further 15,000 have been distributed in libraries and post offices in the region.

Alex Grassick, manager of the Cork County Energy Agency, which is responsible for the survey, said the information received will enable the authorities to plan cars parks, pedestrian and cycle facilities, and better bus connections which will include improved links from Kent Station.

People commuting to the city and suburbs from the east Cork region are being urged to fill in a week-long travel diary, starting on October 16.

“It is aimed at reducing demand for private, motorised transport. We want to get people out of their cars and into the train. In Ireland just 5% of people use public transport whereas the EU average is 8%,” Mr Grassick said.

The results of the survey will be analysed by a steering group. It includes representatives from Bus Éireann, Irish Rail, CIT, UCC, the Department of Transport, the gardaí, East Cork Area Development Ltd, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the town councils in Cobh and Midleton.

It is hoped the survey will determine optimum departure times for trains and where new or extended bus connections should be introduced.

Called the Midas project, it is one of six transport surveys in Europe being financed by the EU.

People living in the east Cork region can also submit a travel diary at www.corkcoco.ie.

To encourage commuters to take part in the survey a prize is being offered.

Everybody who takes part will be entered into a draw for a weekend for two at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin, with return rail travel via City Gold and €500 in spending money.

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