Cork North Central TD, Billy Kelleher has said that a change in mind-set and in planning by local authorities is needed in order to support the public in making the move from the car to public transport.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting after a new analysis of the 2016 CSO census results showed that towns on the outskirts of Cork City such as Tower and Blarney have some of the highest car usage levels in the country.

“With over 80% of journeys in Tower and 78% in Blarney taking place by car, it’s clear that local residents do not feel that public transport is a viable option for them.

“Additionally, with just 2.6% of all journeys in Tower being taken by foot, it’s clear that the local infrastructure isn’t suitable for residents to walk to work or school.

“When roads are being planned and built, designated cycle ways must be included to make cycling in our towns safer and more attractive.

“Cork County Council must take the lead in driving the move to public transport. It will require investment from the Department of Transport and a co-ordinated approach with the National Transport Authority and the public transport bodies to provide options to workers, families and students alike.

“As satellite towns of Cork City, many residents either work or study in Cork City, and if there aren’t public transport options, they will end up taking the car to go to work or to college.

“We cannot continue thinking that driving our cars everywhere and for every reason is viable and sustainable. Our planet cannot take it, and I’d argue, our pockets can’t either,” concluded Kelleher.