On 25 November, the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme in Cork, Ireland, was officially opened by Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Kieran McCarthy.

This phase of the Cork City Centre Movement Strategy (CCMS) marks a significant milestone in the sustainable urban transformation of Cork city.

With a focus on sustainable transport and enhanced connectivity, this National Transport Authority-funded scheme introduces significant improvements to public transport and active travel infrastructure in the MacCurtain Street area.

This includes the implementation of 24-hour bus lanes, the installation of 12 new bus stops, creation of one kilometre of secure cycle lanes and upgrades to footpaths and public spaces. The restoration of two-way traffic on MacCurtain Street fosters improved, more accessible and reliable public transport and enhances the street as a walkable and liveable area.

Beyond transportation upgrades, the scheme also delivers significant enhancements to the public realm, including new public lighting, green spaces, as well as seating and street furniture. These upgrades are designed to boost local business through increased foot traffic and transform the MacCurtain Street area from a thoroughfare into a vibrant, attractive city quarter.

Working with Cork City Council and project collaborators, BJS Consultants and McGinty & O’Shea Ltd., Arup delivered transport engineering, landscape architecture and urban design, drainage and public lighting services, providing expertise from planning through to construction. In the initial planning phase, Arup also contributed environmental and planning services, ensuring sustainable development was central to the design from the outset of the project.

This is the latest piece in the CCMS, following the completion of the St. Patrick’s Street Scheme, a time-regulated bus corridor, and Mary Elmes Bridge, an elegant mixed-use pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting the city centre and Victorian Quarter area.

The MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme builds on Arup’s previous contribution to the St. Patrick’s Street Scheme, a pivotal earlier phase of the Cork City Centre Movement Strategy. The scheme revamps the area, putting sustainable transport, including walking and cycling, front and centre and integrates placemaking principles to make MacCurtain Street a more accessible and healthier urban space for all.

Brian Burke

Associate Director