Are we deluding ourselves?

Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby rofbp » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:15 pm

From the front page of tonights echo:

"A TRAM line could run from Mahon to Ballincollig and from Ballyvolane to Cork Airport by 2015. Cork City Council has identified the two routes as possible lines for a LUAS-type service as part of its new City Development Plan which acts as a blueprint for the future development of Cork up until 2015, and which has just come into effect...

...Plans for the tram system in Cork were first mooted over a year ago in a draft form of the Development Plan. The major issue for any such service in Cork will be cost.
Light rail or tram systems have the benefit of providing high frequency services but the cost is significant. A high frequency bus service is faster and more economical to introduce but to be efficient it must also have dedicated space on the roads.

It is understood the council feels that the Mahon to Ballincollig route, with links to UCC, the CUH and the CIT, has good potential for a rapid transit system, while a high quality bus service would be more feasible on the north — south corridor"

the country is convulsing in the grip of a recession. the government won't sign off on the new bridge at tivoli. yet, we still have headlines talking about a tram system.

yes, it would be great to have, and would be a kickstart to the docklands, and a shot in the arm to older suburbs in the west of the city, but is it realistic or viable?
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby PVC King » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:00 pm

rofbp wrote:From the front page of tonights echo:

new City Development Plan which acts as a blueprint for the future development of Cork up until 2015, but is it realistic or viable?


It is a credible aspiration for a development plan which is afterall an aspirational document. It is clear that times are tough at present but the cycle will turn ;)
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:22 pm

Yes, people are deluding themselves. In a country where the capital city only got trams five years ago, that is ridiculously optimistic. Besides, even if there was a tram, a route to Cork Airport would hardly be a priority.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby PVC King » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:03 pm

I dopn't know Cork intimately enough to discuss the specifics of what would be a better route, I can however say from my experieince of Luas that both the Square and in particular Dundrum Town Centre delivered a huge quantum of off peak passengers. No doubt the challenge is to remove traffic and as such giving people a choice of trams versus cars for the weekly visit to the shopping centre to hang out has proven highly effective both at Dundrum and at Westfield London (albeit Tube versus tram)

I further wouldn't say that just because Dublin made a mess of delivering Luas that it is highly likely that Cork would learn the lessons and deliver on time and on budget. The real questions are

1. Do you have enough commuters to give morning and evening peak sufficient benefit through not losing too much money and through eliminating enough traffic to make CC traffic move again.

2. Does the route have enough suitable development land to densify the route over a ten year period. If the route is exlcusively 2 storey semis forget it!
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:37 am

I accept your point that it may be a long shot, but someone has to think big and aspire to something other than mediocrity.

What should we put in a development plan? "By 2015 we'll grand.... just about with our head above the water. We'll have less buses, no jobs, and the docklands will be a no-go area due to hoards of zombies".

We have to look beyond the present gloom to something more aspirational.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby MrX » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:45 am

Well, there's absolutely no reason why tramways shouldn't be planned, the land reserved etc. One of the biggest problems in Dublin is that there are no clear routes in and out of the city for tramlines as nothing was ever reserved and former railway lines were built over at various points.

Land needs to be reserved for these kinds of things, so it's absolutely essential that a city should plan them in aspirationally.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby Pug » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:05 am

well something like that should have been put in place years ago

still waiting on any decent transport from the likes of the bigger size suburbs like ballincollig etc. And there are 15,000 people in carrigaline still waiting for a decent bus service and a revamp of the N28

The oribital road routes around Cork arent too bad and the north ring road will allow traffic that doesnt need to pass through Cork to go around it

We really need a proper transport dept, even maybe a transport authority in Cork, for integrated thinking, bit of planning, so that projects like revamp of Kent station and turning it to face the quays might actually happen

I spoke to councillors before the local elections about the shocking transport and they said all they can do is write letters, they have no power, so it seems Bus Eireann and Irish Rail are answerable to no one, which is a big problem

Still and all, its no harm to be ambitious, plans and goals are vital, its the actual follow up and completion that never seems to happen
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby MrX » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:10 am

I absolutely agree, Cork needs a Cork Transit Authority. It should plan out, set up and then franchise the routes to operators. If Bus Eireann or Irish Rail wants to bid for them, good luck to them!

As it stands, there is absolutely no forward thinking coming from the CIE companies, particularly with regard to the development of bus services in Cork.

The majority of Cork's transport problems could be solved in the medium term by just moving towards a state-of-the-art bus system.

i.e. more routes, more busses, sensible ticketing, better facilities.

Trams cost a fortune, and should be planned-in, but in the short to medium term we need to get the city's public transport system moving.

Also, Bus Eireann tends to justify killing routes through a self-fulfilling prophecy approach i.e. they provide such bad, infrequent service that nobody uses it then they claim there's no demand.

One of the most ridiculous examples of Bus Eireann planning is the division between City and Country buses.

E.g. during non-peak times, lots of busses from Carriagaline, Crosshaven, Ringaskiddy etc pass through Douglas along the routes run by the Nos 7 and 16, yet they do not pick up passengers and drive right past bus stops.

At non-peak times these buses are far from full and it would make sense for them to pick up business en route. It would almost triple the frequency of busses along the route etc

But, the enlightened CIE management prefers to keep these seperate as they would not want urban and rural folk mixing. It's basically some kind of weird bus apparthide.

Bus Eireann management also seems to be almost entirely centralised in Bus Aras in Dublin. It's absolutely insane that a city the size of Cork does not have an autonomous bus service with strong local management.

I don't think you would find this situation replicated anywhere else in Europe.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby B.JOS » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:59 pm

A tram system in Cork would be a real boost to the citizens , and the cities image at home and abroad . A tram line running along western road , washington street and south mall could be developed in tandem with a radical reworking of the existing streetscapes . Washington street , should be a showpiece street , it maddens me when I walk up and down it on a daily basis , the filthy footpaths are a disgrace and dont get me started on the treatment of the georgian architecture . The area outside the courthouse could be developed into some sort of square allowing only buses and trams traverse it , there would obviously be issues with private transport however . Similarly south mall needs a rethink . Nice is a prime example of how the streetscape can be radically improved by a tram system . By the way , does anybody know if washington st / south mall are areas of conservation ? , if not , its blindingly obvious that they should be .
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby rofbp » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:29 pm

MrX wrote:Well, there's absolutely no reason why tramways shouldn't be planned, the land reserved etc.

Land needs to be reserved for these kinds of things, so it's absolutely essential that a city should plan them in aspirationally.


Radioactiveman wrote:I accept your point that it may be a long shot, but someone has to think big and aspire to something other than mediocrity.
...What should we put in a development plan?
...We have to look beyond the present gloom to something more aspirational.


i agree with both the above points, but to different degrees:

Reading the development plan, it clearly has aspirational aspects, and that is a good thing to have, but it is largely a practical guideline to what the city council would like to see happen in the city up to 2015.

Aspirations have to be informed by reality, and at the moment that includes budgets.
Practical plans have to be informed by vision and aspirations so that they fuel the imagination of the local population, architects, developers, planners and government to come up with buildings, parks and public transport and spaces that rise abouve "mediocrity"

My basic point is that a tramline is a realistic aspiration for a development plan up to perhaps 2020; Reserving the land for a tramline is a realistic plan for a development plan up to 2015.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby PVC King » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:37 pm

But you can only reserve the land by preventing development if it would constitute a material variatioon to the development plan. I'd admire your fiscal conscience but feel it is worth pointing out that there is a big difference between spending a few hours discussing a development plan objective at council level and making a planning application for something that there is no money to build. By preserving the route now if the money is there in 5 years time so will the route.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby Cliff Barnes » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:47 am

Cork actually had an extensive tram and light rail system and all over 100 years ago


And we think we are so modern with a country / city / county run by backward polititians "Going forward"
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby Steady » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:56 pm

Can anyone point out a study, carried out by neutral experts, which states that light rail/trams are a viable sensible system for Cork City. What type of passengers (commuters, students, workers, shoppers etc), origin/destinations, traffic impacts on the city streets, cost, who would run it (the equivelent of Bus Eireann?), pricing of tickets, service times, passenger number projections,etc etc.

I would be very interested in reading a sound solid study on this issue, with real projections.

In the absence of this, I think the attraction of this proposal, and the reason that people are "in favour of it", is just that it has a feelgood factor, aren't we all happy now in our trams and rail cars, quite sophisticated really, gosh aren't we very European....but no back-up information. It's a bit like being in favour of World Peace (which we all are), but how viable is it?

Verdict: deluded.
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby Pug » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:07 am

Steady wrote:Can anyone point out a study, carried out by neutral experts, which states that light rail/trams are a viable sensible system for Cork City. What type of passengers (commuters, students, workers, shoppers etc), origin/destinations, traffic impacts on the city streets, cost, who would run it (the equivelent of Bus Eireann?), pricing of tickets, service times, passenger number projections,etc etc.

I would be very interested in reading a sound solid study on this issue, with real projections.



Verdict: deluded.


Wouldnt we all love to have that study? and who will pay for it? Whats wrong with wanting a transport system that should already be in existence given that we all pay tax. If the government spent their money on useful things not like say, their expenses, pensions, PPARS, voting machines and made organisations accountable like Bus Eireann, Iarnrod Eireann (or better yet privatise them) then thats an easy fix without spending a load of cash. Bus Eireann is answerable to nobody therefore they can do what they like and the government are too terrified to shake up the unions. All that doesnt mean we arent entitled to a state of the art transport system, Douglas has 2 buses but the routes could be better, need smaller and more frequent buses, carrigaline / crosshaven population exploded and are crying out for proper bus service for what, 10 years now?

Verdict: Not deluded, just entitled
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby starchaser » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Steady wrote:Can anyone point out a study, carried out by neutral experts, which states that light rail/trams are a viable sensible system for Cork City. What type of passengers (commuters, students, workers, shoppers etc), origin/destinations, traffic impacts on the city streets, cost, who would run it (the equivelent of Bus Eireann?), pricing of tickets, service times, passenger number projections,etc etc.

I would be very interested in reading a sound solid study on this issue, with real projections.

In the absence of this, I think the attraction of this proposal, and the reason that people are "in favour of it", is just that it has a feelgood factor, aren't we all happy now in our trams and rail cars, quite sophisticated really, gosh aren't we very European....but no back-up information. It's a bit like being in favour of World Peace (which we all are), but how viable is it?

Verdict: deluded.


A study carried out by neutral experts :D WHAT?

Is common sense not enough for you? If you know the Cork area, routes proposed and developments planned, you wouldn't have posted.

Trams v's world peace :confused: Sorry, Can't make the connection
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Re: Are we deluding ourselves?

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:23 pm

Well I think it would be nice to have trams instead of buses on every route through Cork and Limerick and Galway for that matter. It would be good for the environment, and would certainly make people feel better about their city which would contribute to the well-being of everybody, in much the same way that the millions spent on regeneration works do. It would also encourage more people into cities as there's a definite psychological association of trams with greater ease of access. I think it would be a worthwhile project. However, I think the delusion stems not from the unsustainability of trams in Cork, but from the assumption that a country incapable of completing ANY essential large-scale projects on time, on budget, or even competently, could give its second city a tram system anywhere this side 2050.
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