IT’S only a ‘matter of time’ before someone is injured on the Lee Fields walkway, a councillor has warned.
Henry Cremin (SF) said he uses the route at least twice a week and has experienced cyclists veering onto the pathway despite the provision of cycle lanes on nearby roads.
The route is extremely popular with walkers and dog walkers and is not a designated cycle path.
On the adjacent Carrigrohane Road, cyclists can use a shared footpath/cycle path inward bound to the city and also an unsegregated cycle lane outward bound toward the west and Ballincollig.
Mr Cremin said: “We have cycleways and walkways all over the city and it is only a matter of time before someone is injured by a bicycle coming up behind somebody and blowing them off the footpath or a pedestrian walkway.
“This is an issue in a specific area where I walk myself at least twice a week down the walkway on the Lee Fields behind the Kingsley Hotel where the pedestrian bridge is, all the way up to the top of the Lee Fields. It’s a lovely walkway but it’s not for cyclists.
“Don’t get me wrong. I love cycling and I am a cyclist myself but I do know for a fact that this section of walkway is too narrow. The Carrigrohane Road which runs parallel with that particular pathway has a cycle lane on both sides of the road. There is one heading west and there is one heading to the city. I don’t see any reason why cyclists should be inside where pedestrians are walking,” he added.
There are plans to create a pedestrian and cycle greenway from Ballincollig to the city centre as part of extension of Ballincollig Regional Park.
However, the Ballincollig Bike Campaign has been very vocal on the need for improvements to the westbound section of cycle lanes on the Carrigrohane Road.
Conor O’Donovan of the campaign said cyclists don’t feel safe on stretches of the road.
“Mr Cremin is correct in saying the Lee Fields walkway is not a designated cycle path. However, the inbound cycle lane on the Carrigrohane Road is a bus lane and some people don’t feel safe in it. It’s an 80km zone but some people travel that road above these speeds.
“The westbound lane is unsegregated in an 80km zone which actually goes against National Transport Authority regulations which say anything above a 50km speed limit should be a segregated cycle lane.
“Cyclists leave themselves open to fixed penalty charges for dangerous cycling if they use the Lee Fields walkway but the surface is so poor that I don’t see anybody travelling on a bike at speed there,” he added.