Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly released €8.5m yesterday for a range of sustainable transport projects in the city which he said would remove pinch-points, improve public transport, cycling and pedestrian links.
But the bulk of the funding, administered by the National Transport Authority, some €3m, will go towards implementing new access arrangements to the station, and improving its bus and cycle connections with the city centre.
Mr Kelly has provided €1.8m towards the first phase, reorientating the station to provide a new entrance fronting onto Horgan’s Quay, which is due to start this summer.
A further €1.1m will help fund work on new bus, cycle and access arrangements to improve the station’s connections to the city centre.
He said the major construction project will be advanced in phases over two years, but he said other station improvements including to platforms and the forecourt, will be examined.
“When you arrive in to this station, you should be facing the city. It will reinvigorate this whole station,” Mr Kelly said.
“Currently less than 7% of Cork city commuters use the bus or the bike to get to work. That has to improve.
“Since 2011 and following this investment, the numbers using bus services have grown by more than 8%, so we are beginning to see a real impact in the city but obviously we want to see it grow more and more.”
He also announced €1.7m for the redesign of Parnell Place which was fast-tracked after two fatalities near the main bus station.
The re-design of the traffic lanes aims to improve the street environment and provide a circulatory route for buses to access the station.
There are also plans to spend €1.6m this year to complete the cycle route between UCC and Cork city centre.
€The minister has allocated €850,000 to complete the final phase of the Carrigaline green route, and €400,000 to implement an improved city centre movement strategy.
Meanwhile, Cork Airport said it has completed a €3m investment programme to improve the passenger experience at the airport.
The baggage security screening system has been upgraded with new screening technology for liquids and gels and the customer information desk has been upgraded.
The airport’s airside vehicle access point was relocated and reinforced with new gates and higher security fencing. The staff screening point was also relocated to this area to promote efficiency.