Significant increase in walking and cycling across Cork during lockdown

Significant increase in walking and cycling across Cork during lockdown
Máire Sweeney out for a walk locally at the Lee Fields, Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.

There has been an increase in footfall on a number of pedestrian amenities during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Cork City Council’s Parks Department have a number of pedestrian counters installed at locations across the city, which monitor the number of pedestrians and cyclists on particular routes.

They show significant increases in numbers in April in comparison to the same period last year.

The most notable increase is on the Ballybrack path in Douglas in April 2020.

There was a 153% increase in the number of people recorded on the pathway in April this year in comparison with April 2019. The figure increased from 12,500 to 31,600.

Ballincollig GAA entrance was another location which saw a marked increase in footfall, increasing by 117%. In April 2019 13,800 people were recorded passing by, while in the same period in 2020 that figure reached 30,000.

A spokesperson for the City Council’s Parks Department said: “The increase at the Ballincollig GAA entrance is partially due to the Phase 3 walkway extension to Fionn Laoi.” Elsewhere in Ballincollig, there was a 29% increase at the pedestrian counter at Ballincollig Allotments, however there was a decrease of 27% at Ballincollig Inniscarra Road.

“A portion of the decrease at Ballincollig Inniscarra Road car park is possibly due to the temporary playground closure, closure of mobile cafe units and traffic restrictions,” a City Hall spokesperson said.

Counters at Harty’s Quay, Lee Fields, and Lions Land all saw increases in April in comparison to the same period last year.

In April 2019, Lions Land saw 12,300 pedestrians and cyclists while in 2020 that figure jumped by almost 100% to 24,200. Lee Fields increased 56% from 13,300 to 20,800, while Harty’s Quay went from 19,300 to 26,200 - an increase of 36%.

The figures are calculated by Cork City Council and they say the figures provided are “the max of either in or out at each location”. They say that the total number of people passing each counter in both directions is approximately twice the numbers provided.

It comes as the local authority’s Parks Department installed two pedestrian counters on the Marina recently to record accurate footfall levels at the amenity following its temporary pedestrianisation.

The counters at Lee Fields and Lions Land were moved to The Marina two weeks ago.

One has been installed at the Blackrock end of the Marina, with the other near Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Atlantic Pond.

Stephen Scully of Cork City Council’s Parks Department said: “The counters will record information daily and reports will be submitted weekly to us showing hourly numbers of pedestrian usage.”

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