The Government has sanctioned €1m to help fund an extension of the Cork Harbour Greenway which could be in place within a year.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, made the announcement as part of an €11.4m nationwide allocation to 219 projects under the outdoor recreation infrastructure scheme.
Mountain bike trails in counties Offaly and Sligo, and two marked ways in Cork and Mayo are among those to benefit.
However, one of the largest single allocations was the €1m allocation to fund an extension of the Cork Harbour Greenway which once complete will provide a link from Páirc Uí Chaoimh to Crosshaven.
About 16km is already in place: 11km from the city to Passage West, including a spur to Blackrock, and 5km from Carrigaline to Crosshaven. County councillors approved plans in May for a 4.6km extension from Passage West, Glenbrook to Monkstown.
Yesterday’s announcement will help fund just under 2km of this extension, which will be developed by June 2018 in tandem with Irish Water’s planned upgrades in the lower harbour.
It is one of 12 projects in Cork, including walking or cycling routes in Glanmire, Blarney, Youghal, Whitegate, Bandon, Macroom, Mallow, Carrignavar, Carrigtwohill, and Avondhu, which received up to €10,000 each.
The mayor of County Cork, Declan Hurley, said the money would boost local amenities and the tourism potential of the county.
The Green Party in Cork, which made a submission to the Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport calling for investments in greenways around Cork Harbour, including a ‘cycle superhighway’ from Mahon to Cork city centre, welcomed the funding.
Gordon Reid, the Green Party representative in Bandon-Kinsale, said: “Our proposal for a greenway from Raffeen to Carrigaline links to the extension to the Cork Harbour Greenway that’s just been announced. It would give us a complete traffic-free link from Cork to Crosshaven using the former railway line.
“At Raffeen the Greenway would pass close to the wetland habitat of the disused Raffeen Quarry — a unique habitat in the south of Ireland and home to a number of endangered and protected species.”
The party has also called for investment in a West Cork Greenway, including a route across the Viaduct, and to connect to the Waterford Greenway through a disused railway line linking Midleton and Youghal. A route from Cork city centre to Ballincollig, through the Lee Fields, was also part of the party’s proposals.
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