Cork City is set to get a second 24-hour bus service and seven high-frequency routes

Cork is to get a second 24-hour bus service and seven high-frequency routes as part of a major overhaul of its bus network which will be unveiled today.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) will announce details of Cork’s new metropolitan bus network this morning, but the Irish Examiner can reveal that it includes:

  • An overall 53% increase in bus services across the city;
  • Two 24-hour bus services, one east-west, linking Ovens/Ballincollig to Mahon, the other north-south, linking Carrigaline to Hollyhill;
  • Seven high-frequency, all-day bus routes, where services will run every 15 minutes or better, with more buses during peak periods;
  • New bus services to previously unserved areas such as Upper Glanmire, Waterfall and Kerry Pike.

It follows an extensive ‘clean slate’ review of the network which began last year in conjunction with Cork City Council and Bus Éireann and overseen by public transport design experts Jarrett Walker and Associates.

They published a draft plan last November which contained proposals to increase bus services by at least a third, with shorter waiting times, and then invited public comment, which helped shape the final plan.

Detailed plans

The new proposals include changing what was Ireland’s first 24-hour bus service linking Ovens/Ballincollig via the city center to Carrigaline.

Introduced in early 2019, the enhanced service has seen a 60% growth in passenger numbers. This has now been changed to run east-west along the indicative route of Cork’s proposed light rail system, with a second 24-hour service running north-south, linking Hollyhill and Carrigaline.

Several changes were also made in the southeast of the city, where more than half of all submissions on the draft plan criticized the proposals.

Proposed Routes 6 and 8 have now been combined into a single Route 6, and consideration will be given to locating bus stops near Christ King and Chríost Rí schools. The frequency on the section of Route 14 from CUH to Mahon Point will change from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes.

The proposed Route 9 has been merged with Route 4 to provide a 15 minute frequency between Jacob’s Island and Lehenaghmore via the town centre, and there will be an improved frequency on Route 42X, between Carrigaline and Kent Station, of all 60 minutes to every 20 minutes peak.

The new network is a key part of the €600m BusConnects Cork plan, which also includes separate proposals to build 75km of new bus lanes, with 12 strategic bus lanes and 54km of cycle lanes across the city. , which the NTA said will provide an almost 50% reduction in bus travel times.

Melvin Z. Madore