Ferry taxi would take us back to the future

I WELCOME your report headlined ‘€30m ferry taxi moves a step closer’ (September 1).

This proposal I have pursued over many years at Midleton Town Council and Cork County Council, without success. I am pleased east Cork has received recognition with Aghada and Cobh listed in the proposed development. This ferry service will help greatly to relieve the traffic congestion on our roads.

While Bus Éireann has promised a better service to Whitegate/Aghada when more buses become available, the present service — four a day each way Cork/Whitegate — is totally inadequate in a rapidly expanding area.

Here, the ferry service would be a godsend.

To facilitate it, major investment is needed on harbours and piers. Aghada pier and the adjoining carpark are both in need of reconstruction.

The Aghada Community Pier Development Group has prepared a draft proposal which was submitted to Cork County Council and the Department of Marine. The old pier at Lower Aghada — which, hopefully will accommodate the ferry service — was built after the Great Famine. It was completed around 1849 for €135, which came from publicsubscription.

From 1850 on, Lower Aghada became the east Cork hub of a remarkable transport system using a steamboat which plied between Cork, Passage West, Crosshaven and Aghada.

The Greenboats, as they were known, continued to convey passengers and goods from Cloyne, Ballycotton and beyond via the pier up to the 1930s.

With the proposed ferry taxi service, it can be said truly that old friends are best because now the wheel has turned full circle and we are going back to a mode of transport that served us so well in times past.

Cllr Noel Collins

St Jude’s

Midleton

Co Cork

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