Cork City Council refuses to budge on opening of pedestrian entrance to Tramore Valley Park

Cork City Council refuses to budge on opening of pedestrian entrance to Tramore Valley Park
Tramore Valley ParkCredit: Damian Coleman.

The pedestrian entrance to Tramore Valley Park from Half Moon Lane will not be opened temporarily despite repeated calls from locals.

Calls had been made long before the Covid-19 pandemic to open the entrance to pedestrians, however it was deemed unsafe by Cork City Council to do so.

Given the reduction in traffic in the area with the closure of Christ the King School, renewed calls were made to open the entrance, even temporarily.

However, a meeting of Cork City South Central councillors was told this would not be happening in the near future.

Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle said the decision was a “huge disappointment” and showed a “lack of imagination".

“I was hopeful that long stated obstacles had been overcome, and that re-opening of the entrance would be imminent, but it wasn’t to be. Another delay seems to be on the cards,” Mr Boyle said.

“What is being proposed now is to move immediately to a Part 8 planning process. This will be to work on the junction of Half Moon Lane and South Douglas. The earliest this can be moved is June. There then would follow a two month public consultation. Then a decision has to be made to provide resources.

“I find this highly unsatisfactory. There is no certainty when or if this work will happen,” he added.

In March, a council spokesperson told The Echo that Half Moon Lane is not considered to be a safe pedestrian route to Tramore Valley Park at present, given there is no segregation between vehicles and pedestrians.

They added that a car-parking issue in the area could also arise, while any draft improvement proposals following a traffic survey at the location would require Part 8 planning approval.

However, Mr Boyle believes there are temporary solutions to the issue.

“Temporary traffic lights should be placed directly at the junction. For traffic exiting Half Moon Lane, a restriction on turning left would remove a risk to pedestrians at that corner. Using bollards, a temporary walkway can be marked on Half Moon Lane, and until a permanent solution is available bikes can share the road space,” he said.

“We’re in unprecedented times, and opening this entrance to the park now would allow so many more people to enjoy the park. For a lot of these people, Tramore Valley is the only comparable green space nearby.

“Who knows? If it proved to be the success that we and others have said it would be for a while now, this would represent a trial for what could be done whenever we get back to whatever normality is after Covid. But no, it’s business as usual in an unusual time,” Mr Boyle concluded.

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