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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Locals 'disappointed' as city bike scheme will not be extended into Cork suburbs

Stock photo
Stock photo

Rachel Farrell

Local councillors have expressed their disappointment after it was announced that the city bike scheme will not be extended into Cork suburbs.

The National Transport Authority has ruled out the extension of the public city bike scheme due to “very significant increases” in the cost of the scheme.

Speaking on Newstalk this morning, Peter Horgan, the local area representative for Labour in the South East Ward, expressed his dissatisfaction with the NTA’s decision.

“I’m definitely not happy, in 2019 we are about to see the largest expansion of the city in years. We have over 73pc of people commuting from Cork to the city.

“It’s shown in Dublin that the bike scheme is highly popular. There were over 280,000 users of the bike scheme in Cork city last year.”

There are 31 bike stations in Cork city with 330 bikes available. Locals are calling for the scheme to be extended to areas such as Blackrock, Mahon, Blackpool and Douglas.

Deputy chief executive of the NTA Hugh Creegan described the expansion as “challenging from an operational cost perspective” in response to a parliamentary question earlier this month.

“As bike stations move further out from a central area, the flow of bike users generally becomes more unbalanced at each station, requiring a lot of bike redistribution by truck. This means an increasing level of operational cost associated with this redistribution,” he said.

Mr Horgan argued that extending the bike scheme would be beneficial for the county, as “not everyone can afford a bike” on a cycle to work scheme.

“I think it would reduce congestion big time, increase tourists and make it easier for students to get to CIT.”

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