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(File image) The Taoiseach said the system is a "priority" for those in Cork. Alamy Stock Photo

Dart-type system for Cork 'achievable' within ten years says Varadkar

There were hopes for a high-capacity, high-frequency public transport in the county.

A DART-TYPE TRANSPORT system for Cork is achievable in the next five to 10 years, the Taoiseach has said.

A €1 billion light rail system was proposed for Ireland’s second city in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy.

There were hopes for a high-capacity, high-frequency public transport link from the eastern to the western suburbs of Cork.

A number of significant destinations such as the Cork Institute of Technology, Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, Cork City Centre and Kent Station could also be included.

file-photo-dated-24112023-of-leo-varadkar-who-has-insisted-that-dublin-is-a-safe-city-when-compared-with-others-in-the-western-world-the-taoiseach-said-while-it-is-important-to-acknowledge-and-list Varadkar said the system has worked "extremely well" in Dublin and would welcome the idea in Cork. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

At his end-of-year media briefing, Leo Varadkar was asked whether it was something he would consider if it was brought to Cabinet in 2024.

The Taoiseach said while the light rail LUAS system has “worked extremely well in Dublin”, and he would like to see more of it, he felt that a Dart-type model would work better in Cork.

“The priority certainly in Cork is the Cork metropolitan rail. So you’ll know that we’re double-tracking around Midleton and there’s proposals for a whole new set of stations around Cork,” he said.

“So I would say the priority in terms of public transport in Cork is, I suppose, BusConnects. It’s also the Cork metropolitan rail, which is upgrading the existing train service on the existing lines and putting in new stations, sort of a Cork Dart if you like. And I think that’s probably something more achievable in the medium term.”

He added: “We have the railway order already for the double tracking to Midleton, so having a heavy rail, Dart-type system for Cork is genuinely achievable in the next five to 10 years and I think that’s what we should be aiming to do.”

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