Healthcare workers in Cork have delivered a petition to City Hall urging authorities to develop a protected cycleway in the city.
Irish Doctors for the Environment launched a petition last month urging Cork City Council, its councillors, and executives of Cork city hospitals to develop a protected cycleway between the city’s hospitals, not just for healthcare workers, but the community.
It is envisaged that the cycleway could connect Cork University Hospital and Cork University Maternity Hospital to the Grand Parade and on to the South Infirmary Hospital, taking in Bon Secours hospital, University College Cork and the Mercy University Hospital en route.
The petition noted that while healthcare workers have always cycled to work and between the hospital campuses, that during the Covid-19 pandemic they were “given a glimpse of what it might be like to cycle safely on the then quieter streets.”
As traffic returned, it urged the City Council to “boldly implement measures that will protect us, and all citizens of Cork, who make these journeys.”
Dr Vincent Wall, a spokesperson for Irish Doctors for the Environment, said their vision was to see a cycleway established that would be safe for even a child to cycle on.
He pointed out such a cycleway would take in five major hospitals and potentially two third-level institutions and would be beneficial not just for those who work at these facilities, but for patients, visitors, students and those who work in areas including the Wilton Shopping Centre.
“This is something for everyone to use,” he said, “there are so many people within the catchment areas.”
In four weeks, the petition gained support from more than 3,100 people and today, the Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh met with healthcare workers as they delivered the petition to City Hall.
Meanwhile, Labour Local Area Representative for Cork City Peter Horgan said that the petition to establish a cycle route between Cork hospitals must be followed up with speedy action.
“Presenting a petition to the powers that be is an important moment for any campaign, even more so when the head of that Local Authority accepts it,” said Mr Horgan.
“I commend the Trojan efforts of Irish Doctors for the Environment in succeeding with this result of over 3,000 signatures. The photo ops are done and now we need to see action. A protected Cork cycleway between our hospitals could be the catalyst to protect cycleways right around the city. It’s the bare minimum to do.”