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Dangerous new footpaths are ‘wide enough to land a 747’

May 9th, 2023 5:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Dangerous new footpaths are ‘wide enough to land a 747’ Image
The newly installed footpaths on the R572 to Castletownbere outside Glengarriff vilage.

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A WEST Cork woman out walking with her child outside Glengarriff was almost struck by a truck after it mounted a new footpath due to the narrowness of the road, a meeting heard last week.

This latest incident was highlighted by county mayor Cllr Danny Collins at a local authority meeting while councillors were discussing the width of some footpaths being laid down in West Cork towns and villages. Cllr Collins (Ind) said the new footpath outside Glengarriff on the R572 Castletownbere Road is too wide, making the road narrower, which almost led to a fatal collision.

Cllr Collins said there are footpaths being installed, where one ‘could nearly land a 747’, and he said he was going to go back there and measure the width of the road. ‘At the Castletownbere side of Glengarriff there are huge issues with the new wide footpath. I was told a truck landed on top of it last week because the road is too narrow,’ said Cllr Collins.

‘I also got another text from a lady who was out walking with her child when a truck landed on the footpath before she knew it – they can’t take the turn.’

Cllr Collins, who is to raise the matter at a divisional meeting, said he was in a Castletownbere pub recently and he couldn’t get a moment’s peace there, as people were constantly coming up to him about the footpaths. ‘Everybody is talking about it and something has to be done as there will be a serious accident.’

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) called for some ‘common sense’ from TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) as he said a lot of the towns and villages are old and cannot support 2m-wide footpaths.

‘We have a ridiculous situation in Dunmanway where we have two footpaths going up the town and you are not sure should you drive on the footpath – it’s wider than the actual road,’ said Cllr Carroll. ‘I’m in support of footpaths, but I’m not in support of putting 2m footpaths in towns that can’t accommodate them. A lot of these rural towns also have farm machinery, which can’t get through.

‘You don’t plonk a footpath where there is no room for it,’ he said.

Assistant chief executive Clodagh Henehan said that the Council works with TII wherever possible to improve pedestrian facilities, which includes footpaths. Councillors agreed that the matter would be referred to a strategic policy committee.

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