THE emerging preferred route for phase two of the Passage Railway Greenway has been criticised by some city councillors, who said the coastal routes were the preferred option among the public.
A number of possible routes were identified to enhance the section of greenway along the Rochestown Road, including coastal routes, with a major upgrade of the existing route identified as the emerging preferred route.
The project team identified the possible impact on the adjoining special protection area, as well as security and privacy concerns, as reasons why the coastal routes were not brought forward.
Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Rose Desmond welcomed the route and said that, from her engagement with residents and beyond, “this was the preferred option for everybody there”.
She noted the ecological issues and privacy concerns with the coastal routes.
“I think both from an ecology side of things and also, to be fair, there is the security element from a residents’ perspective, I think it is a preferred option to bring it [the route] out to the front.”
However, the route has received some criticism.
When contacted by The Echo, a spokesperson for Cadogan’s Strand Ltd, which had been planning a café at the old Rochestown Railway Station, said they are “reflecting on the information shared” with them by Cork City Council and “reflecting on the viability of [the] project” as a result.
It is understood that 75% of respondents to a public consultation process stated a preference for a coastal route.
Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said he was “absolutely perplexed” that the council “choose to ignore this”, adding that the preferred route is “inferior in design and safety to a coastal route”.
Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill also stated that the majority of submissions had shown a preference for the coastal routes.
He said: “There are pluses and minuses, but... this is only going to be done once and I think more thought should have been put into why it can and cannot go on the water.”
Pat O’ Riordan from Cinnamon Cottage said that parking had been “an ongoing issue” in the area and that he was under the impression that parking would be part of the plans for the greenway.
“Parking would be our main issue in the area in general but, with the greenway, you would assume there is going to be a lot more traffic here — as in human traffic — which means there’s going to be more traffic on the roads, so it is only going to get worse.
“I just think it’s an opportunity missed in the area,” he added.
A spokesperson for the council’s infrastructure directorate said that “very few” submissions received during the public consultation showed any support for additional car parking in the area.
They said that the project would provide for safety measures and a small amount of additional car parking at the Hop Island car park and “parking management measures at the Harty’s Quay car park.”