The National Transport Authority (NTA) has bowed to public pressure and dramatically reduced the amount of tree felling, land seizures, and on-street parking required for a key part of its €600m BusConnects Cork project.
Revised designs will reveal significant changes to each of the 12 sustainable transport corridors (STCs) that were published for public consultation last June.
While there was a broad welcome for the initial plan, several communities expressed outrage over the potential loss of hundreds of on-street parking spaces, the felling of hundreds of trees, and the compulsory acquisition of private property, including many gardens.
Thehas learned that on the Mahon to city corridor, around 80 potential compulsory purchase orders for land along Boreenmanna Rd alone have been dropped, and that most of its trees will be retained following a high-profile community campaign.
A spokesperson for the residents described it as “a win for the community”.
NTA chief executive Anne Graham, its deputy chief executive, Hugh Cregan, and Cork City Council chief executive, Ann Doherty, will attend the publication of the revised designs in Cork today, which are expected to show that:
- The NTA has dropped plans for inbound and outbound bus lanes on Boreenmanna Rd in favour of a single city-bound bus lane, with a staggered design along sections of the road;
- On-street parking will be retained along Ballyhooly Rd and Summerhill, with bus priority being achieved through the use of bus gates operating at morning and evening rush hour, in combination with turning restrictions and traffic signals;
- The width of footpaths on Summerhill North will be retained after residents raised safety fears;
- The transport corridor from Sunday’s Well to Hollyhill has been scrapped, in favour of some sections being incorporated into other areas.
It has already been reported that a controversial flyover through the Mangala in Douglas has been dropped, and that a number of bike routes have been scrapped in favour of alternatives.
It has also been reported that Pearse Rd is no longer part of the Togher to city Sustainable Transport Corridor.
The revised designs follow NTA meetings with 35 resident, special interest, and business groups, and with 130 individual landowners since the publication last June of the draft plans for the construction of 93kms of bus lane or bus priority lane ,and 56kms of cycle lanes through the network of Sustainable Transport Corridors.
The revised proposals will be published today for a second round of public consultation, giving people eight weeks to give their feedback.
It is understood that the NTA has not yet made any decisions on whether there will be a third round of public consultation on the plans.
It does however plan to continue engaging with impacted landowners, to hold more community forum meetings, and run a media campaign highlighting the latest phase of the BusConnects Cork project.