AN extensive Lee to Sea greenway has been hailed as a potential gamechanger for sustainable travel and tourism in Cork.
It could see a walking, running, and cycling route through Cork city and around its harbour, incorporating some of the walkways already present in different areas along the way.
The proposed route begins around Inniscarra, and travels the entire way down the River Lee and along the coast to Crosshaven.
One of those behind the proposal, Dr Dean Venables, who is part of the Cork Cycling Campaign, said the route is mentioned in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) document.
His group was due to present the proposals to the Roads and Transportation committee of Cork City Council, however, that presentation had to be postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.
“What strikes me about Lee to Sea is I can’t think of any other place in Ireland where you can combine this tourism function, with a leisure function, with a commuting function.
“You have up to 200,000 people who are living or working within easy reach of the Lee to Sea, so the number of people who could actually take advantage of it is enormous,” Dr Venables said.
“Cork city and other cities around the world are starting the process of rethinking mobility.
“What the Lee to Sea does is it starts allowing people to visualise how we can create a way to getting around parts of the city in an attractive way that’s different to our normal way of travelling,” Dr Venables added.
Many sections of the proposed greenway already exist, including the Blackrock Castle and Lough Mahon path, from Mahon to Passage West, from Carrigaline to Crosshaven, the Gunpowder Mills, and Ballincollig Regional Park.
Dr Venables said that as Ireland moves past the global pandemic, the Government is looking for economically viable projects to get the country and economy back on its feet — and believes this greenway with its many functions would be ideal.
“For a project like this when you’re having tourism, leisure, and commuting simultaneously, there are so many beneficiaries to the project.
“If economic stimulus is what the Government believes is necessary, then this is the sort of package that really needs to be put in place in a way that enhances people’s lives.”