YELLOW ribbons have been tied to trees along the Boreenmanna Rd by residents, in protest at a proposal by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to widen the road, necessitating the removal of trees.
As part of the NTA’s plans to develop 12 new sustainable transport corridors (STCs) for Cork city, bus and cycle lanes are proposed in both directions along Skehard Rd, Churchyard Lane, and the Boreenmanna Rd.
The NTA has stated that “some road widening and removal of on-street parking spaces would be required to achieve this” in addition to acquisition of some sections of land from private properties along some of the route.
In documentation for the Mahon to City STC it also says approximately 191 roadside trees may also be removed.
Der O’Riordan, a Boreenmanna Rd resident, told The Echo that people are “raging” and fearful over the potential acquisition of sections of their land, tree removal, and loss of on-street parking.
Mr O’Riordan said a residents’ meeting held at Cork Constitution this week was “very well attended” and that he expects “hundreds” of submissions will be made by those in the area before the first-round public consultation deadline on Monday.
He said the Boreenmanna Rd, which in the past was already increased in size, is an “extremely wide road” and it would not be necessary to widen it further to put in cycle facilities. He believes there is also no need for a dedicated bus lane on the road as “the chances of getting involved in a traffic jam are so slim”.
Mr O’Riordan said that residents tied yellow ribbons to trees along the route this week to raise awareness of the impact the NTA’s proposals would have.
“What we don’t want to happen, and it was said quite clearly at the meeting in Cork Con, is that one day we all wake up and there are chainsaws out on the road and we’ll say we never gave it our best shot,” he said.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said: “The tree line on Boreenmanna Rd in particular is incredible. It’s quite beautiful at autumn time and it would be an environmental travesty if those trees were actually cut down.”
The NTA has said it will implement a “comprehensive replanting programme” but Mr McCarthy said “it would take time for the mature trees to catch on”. He said plans to create a more efficient public transport system should not be scrapped but the proposals need to be amended.
An NTA spokesperson encouraged people to share their views on the proposals and said the level of engagement has been “very positive”. “We will look at all the feedback we receive and take it into account when drawing up revised plans in the months ahead,” they said.