The MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme in cork – which brings about a significant redrawing of traffic management priorities in the city centre – was officially opened on Saturday by Tánaiste Micheál Martin T.D. and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy.
The project is aimed at improving the reliability and journey times of bus services in the city and providing improved walking and cycling infrastructure along the city quays and at key streets and junctions. The scheme, which began in January 2022, will make public transport, walking and cycling more attractive for people living in, working in and visiting the city centre – thereby supporting healthy living and economic activity.
Funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA), the works included major public realm investment, with over 12,530 square metres of public realm and upgraded pathways, new public lighting, seating, street furniture as well as a substantial programme of tree and shrub planting. There has been 1 kilometre of new cycle lanes installed, providing connectivity to the wider cycle network from Shandon Street to the Marina via dedicated cycling facilities, as well as upgrades to 17 signalised traffic junctions and pedestrian crossings, 12 new bus stops, 5 of these with shelters, and over 30,360 metres of resurfaced roadway across the scheme.
The project area encompassed several of the streets and quays in the area surrounding MacCurtain Street, delivering cycling and pedestrian connectivity improvements, road resurfacing and signalised junction upgrades which have facilitated traffic management changes along Anderson’s Quay, Camden Quay, Penrose Quay, Merchant’s Quay, St. Patrick’s Quay including Christy Ring Bridge, Lavitt’s Quay, Mulgrave Road, Devonshire Street and Cathedral Walk, culminating with the restoration of two way traffic on MacCurtain Street, with transformative public realm works there and in the adjoining Bridge Street and Coburg Street areas.
BRINGING THE CITY TO LIFE
Speaking at the opening, Tánaiste Micheál Martin T.D. said: “Cities are for our people, our streets are places where people can meet to connect and enjoy the unique atmosphere that areas like MacCurtain Street have to offer. The improvements in the public spaces delivered under the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme will benefit this city and the people of Cork for generations to come. An inviting, attractive public space inevitably fosters a sense of community, economic development, health and wellbeing, bringing the city to life.”
CHANGES TO BUS ROUTES
A key component of the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme is improved bus infrastructure and changes to several Cork City bus routes.
From 26 November 2023, new 24 hour bus lanes will be in operation on MacCurtain Street, Coburg Street, Bridge Street and Cathedral Walk. This will improve bus journey times and allow for two-way bus movements on these streets, making it easier to access local schools and businesses by bus.