PLANS to develop a walking and cycling greenway from Midleton to Youghal have been criticised as “short-sighted.”
The Green Party said developing the greenway along the disused railway line connecting the two towns will end any chance of reopening the line for commuters and cut off a “key infrastructural link” forever.
Cork County Council has announced plans to develop a 23km cycle and pedestrian route linking the two east Cork towns, also passing through the villages of Mogeely and Killeagh.
However, East Cork Green Party representative Liam Quaide believes the greenway can be developed without making it impossible to reopen the train line in the future.
“If we tarmac over the railway tracks, we will be cutting off Youghal from a key infrastructural link with Cork city indefinitely.
“We would stand no realistic chance of ever re-opening the line.
“Commuting times on the N25 are getting longer and longer all the time. Traffic congestion is a serious quality of life issue for thousands of people in east Cork. This is only going to get worse as our population grows. A train service from Youghal should link up with a light rail system in Cork city as part of an integrated transport network.”
However, Cork East TD David Stanton said the greenway proposal can become a major success for the east Cork region.
“Judging by the great success of the Waterford Greenway, the Great Western Greenway and many other projects, the Midleton to Youghal Greenway, if approved, has huge tourism potential for the east Cork area. It should give a real boost to the local economy with towns and villages along the route benefitting particularly.”
Further information on the greenway is available at County Hall and at the East Cork Municipal District Offices in Youghal and Midleton. The closing date for submissions is October 30.