Green Party back new Cork greenway along the River Lee

A proposal to develop one of the longest greenways in Ireland, along the River Lee to the Cork coast has received the backing of the Green Party.

The idea for the Lee to the Sea Greenway, which would run from the Inniscarra Dam to Crosshaven, was put forward this week by the chairman of the Cork Cycling Campaign chair, Dean Venables, in Campus Cycle Week in UCC.

The proposal would see the development of a new riverside greenway from Ballincollig to the Mardyke and a cycle lane through St Patrick’s St, which would join up with existing cycle lanes.

The greenway would take in Ballincollig Regional Park, the Mardyke Walk, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Black Bridge over the Douglas River, Cork Harbour, and the wetland habitat at the disused Raffeen Quarry.

Supporters say the route would measure 45km, meaning it would be second only to the 46km Waterford Greenway in length.

“This is completely achievable, sections along the Ballincollig Regional Park, Lee Fields, Mahon, Passage West, and Carrigaline are already in place, are very well used and are a large part of the recreation infrastructure of Cork,” Dr Venables said.

“I believe that if we create a single, unified, cycle path through the city, it would be a massive boon to everybody.”

The greenway would yield tourism benefits if marketed effectively, he said.

“If we are careful in how we do it it would also benefit commuters in the city.”

Cycling campaigner Justin Fleming, Green Party representative in the city’s South Central ward, said people use stretches of Cork’s cycle infrastructure in isolation.

“This Cork route would capture the unique experience of Cork that we see in the Love the Lee campaign of reconnecting the city with the river and harbour,” said Mr Fleming.


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