Frustration as Skehard Road cycle lanes yet to be finished: ‘More craters than the moon’

Frustration as Skehard Road cycle lanes yet to be finished: ‘More craters than the moon’
A pole in the middle of a cycle laneway along Skehard Road. Picture: Howard Crowdy

THE Cork Cycling Campaign has expressed its frustration at the state of the cycle lanes along the Skehard Road which they say is forcing them to cycle on the road.

The cycle lanes are part of one of the biggest roadworks projects ongoing in the city centre which included the widening of the road and the introduction of bus and cycle facilities.

Speaking at a City Council meeting in December last year, Gerry O’Beirne, director of roads at City Hall, said that phase two was “substantially complete” but added that “the contractor has a number of snag items to address”.

A damaged section of the cycleway along Skehard Road.
A damaged section of the cycleway along Skehard Road.

These snags included some “surfacing” as well as repairs to footpaths.

City Hall was to engage a contractor for phase three of the project after these issues were addressed.

However, photos of the cycle lanes taken over the weekend show the surfacing works have not been undertaken on the cycle lanes which still have unsurfaced sections and unlevel surfaces.

City Hall told The Echo that the contractor for the Skehard Road project expects to complete the coloured surfacing of the cycle lanes by September and that final payment to the contractor will be withheld until this is completed.

Conn Donovan of the Cork Cycling Campaign told The Echo that the lanes are a danger in their current state and need to be addressed urgently.

“The cycle track is only inbound and it has more craters in it than the surface of the moon,” he said.

“To add insult to injury, there are several poles to literally in the middle of the cycle track.

“A lot of people just end up cycling on the road but then get verbal abuse from some motorists who are annoyed that the cycle track isn’t being utilised,” he added.

“One would imagine that a project with the aim of getting people out of cars would have provided continuous and usable cycle tracks along Skehard Road before adding in extra turning lanes at both the CSO and Church Road junctions for motor vehicles.

“But clearly we’re not at that place yet in Cork.” 

A pole placed right in the middle of a cycle laneway along Skehard Road. Picture: Howard Crowdy
A pole placed right in the middle of a cycle laneway along Skehard Road. Picture: Howard Crowdy

The Cork Cycling Campaign will be formally liaising with the National Transport Authority (NTA) to express their frustration with the way this project was scheduled and delivered.

“We receive emails every month from people who cycle in the area asking when are the existing cycle paths going to be resurfaced and when are they going to be connected,” said Mr Donovan.

“We’re told constantly by the Council that funding from Dublin is limited but here we can see that €3.6 million euro has been spent and there are still poles in the middle of cycle tracks.” 

A damaged section of the cycleway along Skehard Road.
A damaged section of the cycleway along Skehard Road.

Phase three of the project, which will focus on the section of road from Church Road to the CSO Junction, is due to start in the third quarter of 2019.

The overall project is scheduled to be finished by the middle of 2020.

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