Passage Railway Greenway gets the go-ahead; route needs to be protected for walkers and cyclist warns councillor

Passage Railway Greenway gets the go-ahead; route needs to be protected for walkers and cyclist warns councillor
A view of the proposed greenway upgrade including the reinstated railway bridge and access ramp.

PLANS for a greenway linking the Marina to Mahon have been rubberstamped by City Hall.

The local authority received 268 submissions on the project which will see a revamp of the Passage Railway Greenway route from Páirc Uí Chaoimh all the way to Mahon and onto Passage including the widening of the existing surfaced area from three metres to five metres over the entire length of the existing greenway.

New public lighting will be installed along the full extent of the route along with CCTV, while landscaping and new street furniture will also be included.

The route is hugely popular with walkers and runners and also forms part of the Cork City Marathon where the race meets the greenway at Blackrock castle.

A new access point from Rockfields Avenue has been removed from the scheme but an access point to Eden will be created by constructing a new access ramp and refurbishing the existing stone arch overbridge and upgrading both access ramps from the Skehard Road.

Councillor Des Cahill (FG) said city council officials took local concerns into account as part of the public consultation process.

“It has been very heartening that the views and concerns of locals and from the councillors were brought back to the officials and it is a [planning document] that reflects the views of locals. It’s a more substantial improvement than the council would have originally planned two years ago. Hopefully, we can progress it as soon as possible,” he added.

However, while Terry Shannon (FF) welcomed the planning, he noted that there are still issues related to access to residential areas that need to be resolved.

“I welcome that access to Rockfield has been eliminated from the proposal, that was quite contentious but access to Eden is still included. Unfortunately, we do have to acknowledge that where there are access walkways to residential areas, it can lead to anti-social behaviour, that’s a fact of life and we have to be cognisant of that in the public realm.

A similiar access point to Blackrock hurling club is also planned but Mr Shannon said he believes this is “not compatible” and is hoping it will be removed under material contravention.

Mr Shannon also called on the council to protect the greenway as a walking and cycling route into the future.

“There was a proposal for a transport hub along the railway line for a bus corridor. It is very important to make it very clear it is an amenity walk and just that. We should get it out of our heads that sometime in the future we will have buses unless you are going to widen it by a huge margin because it is incompatible with an amenity walk,” he added.

Mary Rose Desmond (FF) said the provision of drinking fountains on the route is a hugely positive step, while Henry Cremin (SF) is hopeful the greenway will be linked to the west of the city in time.

“It is the envy of other suburbs in the city,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be connected up with the west of the city via the Tramore Valley Park in the near future.

“I welcome the public lighting along the whole stretch of the walkway and there is CCTV in certain sections as well.

“On dark winter nights, people want to be out exercising," he added.

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