AMBITIOUS plans for a dedicated cycleway from Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill have been unveiled.
It is expected that within three to five years people will be able to cycle freely the whole way to Youghal and potentially onto to Dungarvan along a new cycle network in East Cork.
An eight-week period of public consultation is expected to open in the next few weeks for the Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill cycleway and meetings are to take place with local stakeholders, businesses and organisations to discuss any concerns that might arise.
Local councillor Padraig O’Sullivan said: “Essentially, the cycle lane is due to go down the old Cork/Midleton main road on the left-hand side travelling eastward.”
Plans have also been discussed to connect the cycleway up the Midleton to Youghal greenway which has already been approved by Cork County Council, to eventually create a seamless route from the city to Youghal.
The cycleway from Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill will be detached from the road, on a specifically marked out area.
Mr O’Sullivan said the project could be a massive tourist attraction for the area and a number of shops and coffee stops along the route would benefit from the development.
The project, which is expected to begin on a strip between Dunkettle to Little Island, could be shovel ready in the next 12 months as funding is already available for it.
Mr O’Sullivan said that a lot of the cycleway beyond Carrigtwohill would depend on other developments in the area.
Secretary of the Cork Cycling Campaign Conn Donovan said that the project sounded promising, but cautioned that the “devil was in the detail”.
“It all depends on the quality of the infrastructure. We will have to wait and see what is being proposed. As soon as the project comes to part 8 planning, we will be making a formal submission.”
The cycleway will not meet official criteria to be classed as a greenway.