Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport
Revised National Development Plan: Discussion
I welcome the witnesses and thank them for being here. This is our third engagement this week with the NTA, which is most welcome. It is refreshing that we are being engaged with even if the orders are a bit reversed for Senator Horkan. Nonetheless, I welcome the engagement. The important point is that there is ambition on the part of TII, the NTA, ourselves and local authorities regarding the €200 million BusConnects plan for Cork, which we all welcome.
I am not trying to be in any way discordant, but Deputy O'Connor made reference to Cork County Council. I draw the witnesses attention to the work done by the all-island research observatory in Maynooth which revealed that Cork County Council in particular is not in receipt of its fair share of Government funding from various Departments. I want to stress that Cork County Council is responsible for the biggest part of the national road network. I ask that the officials would review, with the Department and Cork County Council, the funding mechanism in this regard. It is not because I am from Cork that I am saying this; it is because Cork is the biggest county and it has within it the largest part of the road network. If you take the west Cork municipal area alone, it is home to the fifth largest network of roads in the country. Cork County Council therefore requires a significant level of funding. I thank our guests for listening to me on that. I hope they can come back to me with a response.
In the context of Mr. Walsh's statement, I ask for an update on the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy road project. I understand the difficulties that were there. I was partnered with the residents in that. I would say that if there was proper engagement from the beginning, we would never have been where we ended up. However, the horse and the car have gone from that bridge now and, as the cliché goes, we are where we are. I ask them for an update on the M28.