County council defends the development of cycleway scheme criticised by well-known Cork business 

Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore said the development of cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces
County council defends the development of cycleway scheme criticised by well-known Cork business 

Kerri O'Neill, manager, Fitzpatrick's Foodstore, Glounthaune, outside the store where roadworks are taking place. Picture Denis Minihane

CORK County Council has defended the development of a strategic cycleway scheme - the layout of which has come under fire by a business in Glounthaune - but has apologised for any inconvenience caused during the construction stage.

Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore said the development of cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces outside the business, with the remaining car park area described as “not practical or workable”.

They claim that Cork County Council ignored “repeated requests” to review the layout for the works which are part of the strategic cycleway scheme from Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill.

They had sought some changes to the scheme, including the reduction of the cycleway from 4m to 3m between the entry and the exit to the car park area outside the shop.

The scheme, which includes the provision of approximately 7.7km of new pedestrian and cycle path, forms part of the council’s sustainable transport plan between East Cork, Little Island and Cork city.

Owners of the store, the O’Neill family, say they are “fully in support” of the scheme but that it cannot be to the detriment of the business.

The family does not own the lands the car park is on but said that the business has been trading for 80 years and noted that it is the main shop of an area “that has huge development housing-wise in the pipeline”.

In a statement to The Echo, Cork County Council said the objective of the scheme is to connect people to places such as residential zones, employment centres, schools, shops and other amenities “through a high quality and safe pedestrian and cycle network”.

This connectivity, the council said, “will be both within population centres and between population centres along the route”.

In addition, the local authority said the overall scheme will have “a huge amenity value and be a flagship tourism project for the eastern corridor of Cork county”.

“It is worth noting that the section between Bury’s Bridge and Fitzpatrick’s shop is currently under construction and as such is essentially an elongated construction site.

“The construction phase can bring with it temporary upheaval and inconvenience to road users, pedestrians, residents and businesses along the route due to occasional stop/go systems, localised carriageway narrowing through cones and barriers, etc.

“These measures are accompanied by temporary signage in an endeavour to assist motorists.

“Once works are complete all these measures will be removed.

“In their place, the public realm interventions, permanent signage, road markings, landscaping etc. will be completed,” the statement said.

It added that planning permission for the Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill scheme was obtained by Cork County Council in March 2020 and that, as part of the planning process, the council engaged with stakeholders along the route, including Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, “to advise of the proposals contained in the planning application”.

The council said this engagement is continuing and apologised for any inconvenience caused while works are ongoing.

“Engagement has continued throughout the detailed design and construction stages and is ongoing.

“Cork County Council regrets and apologises for any inconvenience caused by these construction works but is confident that when completed, this much-welcomed cycleway will be of significant value from an economic, social and environmental perspective.”

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