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The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in Cork has called for the upcoming Public Capital Programme to address some significant infrastructural bottlenecks in the Cork region. Conor O’Connell, regional Director of CIF in Cork stated that:“The Dunkettle Interchange, the N28 to Ringaskiddy and the Macroom Bypass are critically important transportation projects for the Region and simply must proceed if the Region is to advance to the next stage of our economic development. The N28 and the Dunkettle Interchange facilitate further Industrial development in Ringaskiddy, stage 3 of the Port of Cork development in Ringaskiddy and the relocation of Port activities to Ringaskiddy which in turn frees up lands in the Docklands and other areas for development. They are vital projects for everyone in the Region and simply must proceed.”
The Dunkettle Interchange is a significant bottleneck in Cork’s transport infrastructure with serious traffic congestion and delays experienced by commuters on a regular basis. It is the transport gateway to Cork, the project has cleared all the necessary planning, and is awaiting funding before it can proceed.
The N22 Macroom Bypass is another well advance project and once constructed will ensure commuters no longer experience the regular traffic congestion through Macroom. The Macroom Bypass is also expected to further boost the tourism industry in West Cork and Kerry and add to passenger numbers using Cork Airport.
The population of Cork City and County has grown by over 100,000 since 1996, most of that occurring in the suburbs of the city and surrounding commuter towns placing significant pressure on existing infrastructure. There are now over 500,000 people living in Cork and there is a significant range of infrastructural projects needed for a region with such a significant growth in population. Schools, Water treatment, Commuter rail, Residential are vital infrastructure for any centre of population but these 3 road projects are particularly important in the context of the upcoming Public Capital Programme.
“It is vital for Cork’s development that all three projects are in the Public Capital Programme so that planning can proceed by industry to expand and create new employment opportunities in the Region”.
The Public Capital Programme is a 5 year plan setting out the Government’s spending intentions for various infrastructural projects and the Regional Director of the CIF believes it is vital that these projects in particular are in the Plan.
“Cork has been one of the key drivers of Irelands economic recovery over the last number of years. Nearly 30% of Irelands Energy requirement is produced in the Region, the GVA per person (a measure of economic value) in the region is significantly above the national average, our export led recovery has been heavily reliant on the pharmaceutical and bio technology sectors in particular, the agri food sector, the marine sector and in more recent times the ICT sector have all expanded rapidly in the region and we need the Government to invest in the infrastructure which will provide the greatest economic benefit.”
The economic case or the cost benefit analysis for these infrastructural projects in Cork has been acknowledged as the most significant nationally by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
“We need as a country to invest, to create the next stage of our economic growth and there are no better examples of projects that can provide this further economic growth than the Dunkettle Interchange, the N28 to Ringaskiddy and the N22 Macroom Bypass.” concluded Conor O’Connell.