CYCLISTS in Cork have called for the development of a continuous 'Lee to Sea' greenway, including almost 50km of city and county road and scenery.
The dedicated cycling route would run from the Iniscarra Dam to Crosshaven, via Ballincollig, Cork city and the Docklands, before continuing to Passage West, Monkstown, Carrigaline and culminating at Crosshaven.
It would include some of the most picturesque parts of the city and suburbs, as well as areas of high population and high employment, mixing a leisure and economic use.
The vision for the greenway was presented by members of the Cork Cycling Campaign at a discussion in UCC on the future of cycling.
The group stated that a top grade pathway along this route would be a boon for recreational walkers and cyclists and runners, as well as commuting cyclists. It includes the scenic Lee Valley and the harbour, as well as a number of historic landmarks such as ruined abbeys, gunpowder mills, Carrigrohane castle, the old waterworks, City Hall, the English Market and Camden Fort Meagher.
These could form a crucial network of tourism attractions, the group added.
The greenway would need to traverse the city in a continuous, segregated cycleway to realise its full potential, the campaign added.
The proposed route incorporates almost 50km of Cork city and county.
Dr Dean Venables of the Cork Cycling Campaign said, "This high-quality pathway would be the jewel in the crowd of Cork's recreational and commuting facilities. It unites the area's iconic natural features of the River Lee and Cork Harbour. It is also within easy access of 100,000 people."
The group is confident that the greenway is possible as many elements of the network are already in place and others have been identified in the region's cycle network plan. More funding for the development of urban cycling and walking routes is expected in 2019, too.
Cork Cycling Campaign is urging Cork City and County Councils to seek funding for a single, unified project to ensure that the project is realised, pointing to the success of routes in Westport and Waterford.