A ‘quiet way’ corridor has been approved as part of a major scheme to improve cycling infrastructure on the northside of Cork city.
In Glanmire, a bike and pedestrian route linking Riverstown village to Glanmire Community School via Hazelwood Road, with a section along the Aldi link road avoiding controversial proposals through Dooley’s Lane, has also been approved.
And an €80,000 grant has been secured to progress preliminary design work for the first section of a greenway along the old Cork to Bandon rail line, between the city and the Viaduct.
It follows Monday’s Cork City Council meeting, at which the two bike and pedestrian schemes, which were advanced under the Section 38 process, were approved by city councillors.
The scheme in Glanmire is designed to improve walking and bike links to Glanmire Community College, St Joseph’s NS and Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, with improved footpaths to Coláiste an Phiarsaigh.
Work on the route is due to start early next year. It will ultimately connect with the cycleway, which is under construction by Cork County Council, to link Glanmire to Glounthaune and Little Island.
Green Party councillor for Cork City North East Oliver Moran said it was a relief to finally agree the route.
There was opposition to routing it through Dooley’s Lane and through the Old Avenue estate but following a review of local concerns, these elements have been omitted.
“This was a difficult section to reach agreement on,” Mr Moran said.
“Three different routes have been examined in detail with residents over the last two years. Failure to agree a route would have risked a €20m investment in walking and cycling in Glanmire.
"The wider benefits for Glanmire will be a more accessible community by foot and by bike. An upside of this new route is that it will bring even more of Glanmire into the pedestrian and cycleway network than originally planned."
Councillors also approved a raft of cycling and walking improvements as part of the Knapp’s Square and Lower John’s St scheme in Cork city centre.
The scheme is designed to better facilitate cycling and walking from Camden Quay at the southern end to Upper John St and Cathedral Walk at the northern end.
The scheme also includes public realm upgrades around Saint John's Villas and Curry’s Rock.
The main elements of the scheme include a southbound contraflow cycle lane from Cathedral Walk along Upper John St, a new 'quiet way' on Lower John Street and Knapp's Square, and cycle steps to improve connectivity to Shandon, as well as a 30kph speed limit.
New public lighting will be provided along the extent of the works area.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor Shane O’Callaghan has welcomed progress on the design of the city to the Viaduct section of the proposed greenway route.
He was told design team procurement documents will issue later this month, and that the part 8 planning process is scheduled for the third quarter of next year, with the hope the project will be delivered within five years.
Progressing the rest of the route, from the Viaduct to Kinsale, is the responsibility of the county council.