If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.
The Port of Cork intends applying to An Bord Pleanala, yet again, for a 400,000-capacity container terminal at Ringaskiddy.
Same figures, same illogical move to Ringaskiddy, logistically the wrong side of the River Lee, same projected traffic congestion.
The application failed in 2007/08, and cost the taxpayer €2.5m.
Their new application has a planning budget of €3.7m.
Ringaskiddy is located within the amenity and residential area of Cork lower harbour, which is unsuitable for a modern cargo port operating on a 24-hour basis, and redolent with noise and light pollution.
In 2008, An Bord Pleanala’s report showed that a 400,000 annual container capacity would put 1,703 heavy goods vehicles on the N28, over a 10-hour period, each working day.
This means that in the working day, 85 HGVs would be grinding up the 30-minute journey to the Bloomfield Interchange at any one time.
Add to that the Arkady HGVs delivering animal food, at the recently recorded rate of one HGV every 1.5 minutes.
Thus, we would expect to find 105 HGVs on the 30-minute journey to the interchange, with many travelling onward via the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
In 2008, it was noted the current traffic assessment indicated that the Shanbally Roundabout and the Shannonpark Roundabout were already operating at over capacity.
The tunnel is already at capacity.
Because a significant number of port customers are located at, and beyond, the north, west and east of the city, the 2008 application was refused for two related reasons. Both of these reasons are printed in the Port of Cork’s In Depth publication, issue one, of 2010, as follows: “that it would result in much of the port-related traffic traversing the city road network, which would adversely impact on the carrying capacity of the strategic road network” and “it would be unable to make use of rail-freight carrying facilities in the future and would, therefore, represent a retrograde step in terms of sustainable transport planning”.
Quite simply, Ringaskiddy is the wrong place to put a container terminal and lo-lo facility.
The correct location for a container terminal is on the north side of the River Lee, with easy access to the extensive road network and immediate proximity to the rail freight system.
It is, therefore, preferable that ships would be on/off loaded close to the M8, N25 and the Cork City N40 North Ring, as these are the routes used by the bulk of the HGV delivery traffic.
Ringaskiddy was the wrong location in 2008 and it remains the wrong location in 2014.
Cork Harbour Environmental Protection Association
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved