Cork cycle plan details orbital route of city

An orbital cycling route around the city that will be suitable for both leisure and commuter bicycle trips; additional cycle lanes in the city centre; and an inter-urban network linking county town’s cycle paths have all been proposed in a wide-ranging study of Cork’s cycling infrastructure.

An extensive draft Cork Cycle Network Plan has been published by the city and county councils, more than 18 months after it originally sought submissions from the public towards the project.

New cycle infrastructure projects proposed for Cork city centre include two-way lanes along St Patrick’s Quay, linking Bridge St to Brian Boru Bridge; an east-bound cycle lane along North Mall; a contra-flow lane along South Mall to link Parnell Place to Parliament St; and an eastbound cycle lane along Copley St to link George’s Quay and Anglesea St.

The plan’s authors noted that developing cycling infrastructure on the city’s northside is difficult due to “the challenging topography which results in a number of very steep routes to and from this part of the city”.

However, the plan outlines a proposed route linking the city centre to Blackpool along the N20 from Pope’s Quay to Assumption Rd and Commons Rd and the Lower Killeens Road.

“The directness of this road providing a connection directly to Cork City Centre from the north is an advantage which should be exploited for the benefit of cyclists,” states the plan.

“It will be a functional, direct route which will improve journey times for cyclists, increase safety for all road users by reducing vehicular speeds, improve the overall environment of an area currently dominated by traffic, and also reduce vehicular emissions and noise by reducing speeds.”

The plan also proposes “a considerable network of greenway routes” for the south-west suburbs of the city and warns that the routes to south-wast suburbs such as Douglas are served by cycle lanes with “narrow lane markings and poor surface conditions” that cause confusion.

The plan advises that Co Cork “has a large number of abandoned rail lines” that could “make a highly valuable contribution to the recreation and tourism infrastructure of the county if developed as multi-user recreational trails”.

While the majority of these rail lines are in rural areas, the authors highlight potential suburban benefits, such as the possibility of linking Passage West to Carrigaline.

New inter-urban network routes proposed as part of the plan would link Sunday’s Well to Ballincollig; Midleton to the Dunkettle Roundabout and Lower Glanmire Rd; the Passage West Ferry Terminal to Fota Island Resort via Cobh; and a segregated cycling track along the N20 corridor to link the north of the city to Blarney.

The public will have two opportunities to attend exhibition days to promote the draft plan, where they will be able to comment on the plan and make submissions.

The first takes place on Wednesday, September 21, at County Hall from 10am to 4pm, and again the next day at City Hall during the same hours.

Written submissions can be made to Micheál Mulconry, Cork County Council, Traffic & Transportation, Floor 10, County Hall, Carrigrohane Rd, Cork, or micheal.mulconry@corkcoco.ie by the deadline of Friday, October 14.

The plans can be seen here

COMPLAINTS

Up to 70 people attended open days at Cork City and County Halls, and 90 online submissions were made from members of the public regarding their issues with cycling in Cork.

Among the complaints raised were:

  • Cycle infrastructure in Cork has been introduced in a “piecemeal way with little or no coherent network in place”.
  • Some greenway amenities aside, facilities do not generally link up or interconnect.
  • There is a lack of surface maintenance on many routes leading to potential safety concerns and comfort issues.
  • “Many segregated facilities transition back on roads quite abruptly, reducing coherence and leaving the cyclist unsure of where to go next.”
  • Cyclists raised issues with parking and other inappropriate use of cycle lanes. Some greenways/links close at night, which limits the connectivity of the network at various times of the day. New routes have not been introduced where demand exists, for example in places such as Douglas.
  • There is almost no sheltered bike parking in the city centre and contributors noted a lack of bike parking overall.
  • Some facilities are very narrow and generally of a poor standard.

TARGET OF 10

A national strategy has set a target of 10% for all trips to be by bike by 2020. The share for cycling within the Cork Metropolitan Area currently is 1.7% compared to a national figure of 2.3%.

Also, 52% (or 50,425) of all car commuting trips in the Cork area are less than 5km.



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