ACCESS to popular tourist destination Spike Island from areas in the lower harbour other than Cobh will not be opened up until visitor numbers to the island are doubled, Cork County Council confirmed.
Councillor Seamus McGrath (FF) said boat owners in Crosshaven and Passage are frustrated they cannot take visitors to the island despite the local authority saying it needs to increase annual tourist numbers from 45,000 to 100,000.
“We have to seriously look at the access and considering widening access from other areas of the harbour such as Crosshaven and Passage West," said Mr McGrath.
However, County Council senior executive John Forde said Spike Island needs to become a “self-sustaining” enterprise and the Council is seeking to increase capacity on the current ferry from Kennedy Pier in Cobh from 70 to 120 per sailing.
“Acess to Spike from across the entire harbour is something we would be looking to achieve but it’s important to remember that at this stage that while Spike has been a very successful enterprise, we are still a long long way from being a self-sustainable enterprise,” said Mr Forde.
“The council only gets income from Spike through tickets,” he added.