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Footpaths for public safety shouldn’t be ‘afterthought’

January 2nd, 2021 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Homeowners at Underhill in Dunmanway have no footpath access.

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‘FIND the means’ was the request Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) made regarding the design and funding of a footpath in Dunmanway.

At a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, the councillor complained about the lack of a safe and secure footpath at Underhill to serve the needs of residents at Prospect Grove and Shanagarry Heights, as well as other residents on that road.

‘There are 30 houses that don’t have access to a public footpath,’ he said. ‘It’s a narrow and very busy road. It’s also part of a popular walking route in the town, and a footpath is essential for the safety of residents and pedestrians.’

Senior roads engineer, John Ahern, said the difficulty is that the road at Underhill is not of adequate width to install a footpath even at a minimum standard width. In order to maintain a two-way traffic system, he said, the existing boundaries would need to be set back. If there were agreement to increase the width of the road, he said the Council could design a footpath and apply for funding.

Cllr Hurley insisted that infrastructure – like public footpaths – should be provided as part of a housing development in a built-up area and ‘not as an afterthought.’

‘I am confident,’ he added, ‘that the means to install a footpath can be achieved to provide a safe thoroughfare for local residents and walkers.’

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