Letter to the Editor: Cycling corridor advocates lacked drive

Your editorial (Irish Examiner, 12/08/19) about cycling in the city quotes a Cork Cycling Campaign spokesman’s opinion that they were unhappy about how the Wilton Road corridor project was publicised and that “councillors may have been convinced by the sheer number of objectors.”

Letter to the Editor: Cycling corridor advocates lacked drive

Your editorial (Irish Examiner, 12/08/19) about cycling in the city quotes a Cork Cycling Campaign spokesman’s opinion that they were unhappy about how the Wilton Road corridor project was publicised and that “councillors may have been convinced by the sheer number of objectors.”

That opinion, without the salient facts, is an insult to the elected councillors, from across the political spectrum, who listened to the arguments from both sides, over a protracted period, before voting to comprehensively reject the proposal.

Councillors, in the main, voted because Cork City Council and the NTA approached the project in a piecemeal, incoherent manner, contravening norms of commercial, financial, engineering, design, and project management criteria.

No risk assessment or cost-benefit analysis was carried out for the wider scheme. Without full scoping and financial evaluation and assessment for the entire corridor, it contravened common sense and flew in the face of the Public Spending Code.

Councillors quickly recognised a flaw in the scheme: the entire route, from the city centre to the western suburbs, is replete with unresolved pinch points or blockages, starting immediately to the north and south of Wilton Road.

So, the proposed scheme would have had no benefit for cyclists, public transport, or to residents, but, regrettably, has been an enormous, unnecessary cost to the hapless taxpayer.

One can sympathise with the campaign’s reluctance to write to the council, as 600 submissions, highlighting alternatives and suggestions to the Wilton proposal, were rejected. Also, despite seven hours of meetings with Cork City officials, not a single counter proposal was adopted.

John Leahy

Wilton Road

Cork

- This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 15 August 2019.

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