Passage West and Monkstown are set to see their hourly bus frequency increase from one to three, following an announcement on Monday afternoon that the 216 service is set to extend down to the harbour areas. For some time now local councillors and residents alike have lobbied for an increase to the bus frequency of the 223 route.
The National Transport Authority on Monday, in a letter to public representatives, announced the plans of the improved public transport delivery to the people of Passage West and Monkstown, along with some other updates on new routes which have been in the pipeline for some time.
The extended service of the 216 route will prove to be hugely advantageous for users, as it travels to Cork University Hospital, while also stopping off at University College Cork. There are many students from the Passage – Monkstown area who attend UCC and previously they would have to get off at South Mall following the termination of the 223 and walk from there to the college. However, for those living beyond Monkstown, i.e. Ringaskiddy and Shanbally, it seems that they will continue to be served by the hourly 223 service.
The NTA also gave revised details of the new routes which are to be established in the area. Firstly, the proposed link between Passage West and Carrigaline, which is to be established primarily to give those living in Passage access to the Carrigaline Primary Care Centre, will not be coming into effect until sometime in 2020, but has been allocated a route number – 224.
There is however much better news for the bus link which will connect Ringaskiddy with Cork Airport, via Carrigaline and Ballygarvan. The creation of such a route was mooted in February 2018 by Bus Éireann Regional Manager, Martin Walsh, following his appearance in the then Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District Meeting. According to the NTA, they plan to have the new 225 route up and running by some time in August.
Councillor Marcia D’Alton (Ind) reacted to the news by claiming it was the “joy of joys”, while later going on to explain her calls for Cork to take sustainable transport seriously. Cllr D’Alton said, “this past week has been all about the buses and sustainable transport. My motion to full Council last Monday asked the NTA to establish an office in Cork so that development of our bus, cycle and pedestrian network can get the focus it deserves. It received cross-party support.”
Councillor Séamus McGrath (FF)had a mixed response to the NTA update, saying, “some positive news for the bus service for Passage West and Monkstown. However, disappointing that we do not have more detail on the proposed connection between Passage West and Carrigaline. Also, disappointing that the proposed Ballygarvan service seems to be pushed out again with an expected start date in August now.”