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Passage West in new Greenways plan but Kinsale is shelved for now

April 11th, 2017 5:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Passage West may get a greenway. (Photo: Google Maps)

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By Kieran O’Mahony

PLANS are in place by Cork County Council to progress a Greenway route between Passage West and Carrigaline that will facilitate walkers and cyclists on a harbour-long route.  

Following a feasibility report a few years ago, this route, and another one between Cork and Kinsale, were examined and based on the assessment of the various routes and issues of practical feasibility, the focus is now on progressing the Passage West to Carrigaline route first.

‘The aim is to connect the existing shared-use facilities between Carrigaline and Crosshaven to the shared path between Passage West and the Marina/ Blackrock, which would result in a harbour-long greenway,’ said a Council spokesperson.

However, at a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District councillors  expressed disappointment that plans for the proposed Kinsale Greenway had hit a ‘stone wall.’ 

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) raised a motion calling for a progress report and timeline update on the proposed Kinsale Greenway, but was told that plans for it are shelved at the moment.

Council official Mac Dara Ó h-Icí said that following a feasibility assessment report they found that most of the land is owned by numerous landowners, while in other places around the country, the land was owned by Iarnród Éireann.

‘You would need to get everyone on board for such a project to progress,’ said Mr Ó h-Icí.

Cllr Gillian Coughlan said it is ‘very short sighted’ not to progress with it.

‘Where there’s a will there’s a way, and maybe other landowners may be agreeable to accommodating this. It’s a huge blight that we don’t have safe cycle paths and its short-sighted of this Municipal District to desist this motion. Even on a phased basis, it would work,’ said Cllr Coughlan.

Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said it was disappointing that so much work went into looking at it through a feasibility study and said that they should look at small sections, like an amenity walk.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said if the proposal was resurrected it would be great but pointed out that there would be objections from landowners.

‘A lot of this is on private land and for the moment it’s shelved as it’s very awkward,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr Coughlan added that if the Kinsale Greenway is being shelved then the Council should look at establishing a Greenway between Cork and Bandon and suggested that the best way is to achieve this is liaise with local groups on some stretches.

Meanwhile, Cllr John O’Sullivan said he believed that the key to implementing successful greenways in West Cork is to get local development committees involved. 

The newly co-opted Fine Gael member was speaking following calls for plans for similar ones to be accelerated in West Cork.

‘These committees know the areas where greenways are being proposed for and they know the people and there’s a trust there that a big organisation wouldn’t have.

‘A lot of preparatory and investigative work has already been carried out by Cork County Council, and there is a willingness for these greenways to be developed along old railway lines in the region. Obviously, the next step is to approach landowners to get agreement when the land is in private ownership.’

Several potential greenways have already been identified, including the railway tracks that take in Courtmacsherry and Ballinascarthy. There has also been an objective passed by the Council to develop a greenway between Clonakilty and the Technology Park and from SuperValu roundabout to Ring.

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