Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has ruled out funding for the light rail system because “sufficient funding” will not be available until 2017 at the earliest.
Minister Varadkar confirmed the project had been effectively shelved in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson and Cork TD Michael McGrath.
The cost of the proposed light rail system linking Cork city centre to Mahon in the east and Ballincollig in the west has been estimated at more than €1 billion.
Following a feasibility study in 2009 it was also proposed that a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system be put in place on the same routes which could later be upgraded to light rail.
At an estimated cost of €300 million this proposal has now also been ruled out.
In his response to Deputy McGrath, Minister Varadkar said, “Given the constraints in available funding, sufficient funding will not be available to permit the development of the proposed BRT system in Cork during the period of the new national development plan 2012-2016 which is currently being prepared.”
Instead, Minister Varadkar said that available resources would be concentrated on developing high-quality bus transport routes.