CORK City Council is to write to central government to request funding for footpath repairs, with footpaths in certain areas of the city “not fit for purpose”.
It follows a motion tabled by Fine Gael councillor Joe Kavanagh, who called on the council to undertake a city-wide audit of the footpaths and to produce a “planned and focussed” footpath-renewal programme.
“Our footpaths, in many places across the city, are currently in appalling condition and are in urgent need of refurbishment.
“This is as a result of general neglect in terms of ongoing maintenance, various utility companies digging them up to undertake various works and, in many cases, not reinstating them to the original standard and, of course, general wear and tear,” Mr Kavanagh said.
A report from David Joyce, the director of services in the council’s roads-and-environment operations directorate, said public footpaths are “constantly upgraded and renewed”.
“Cork City Council also has a record of footpath defects gathered from numerous sources, including the public through the CRM [customer relationship management], our own engineering assessments, public liability claims and councillors requests for service,” he said.
All funding for footpath maintenance and repairs, he said, comes from the city council’s own resources.
“There is no funding available from the Department of Transport for footpath maintenance and any repairs must therefore be funded from very limited council own resources,” he said.
Mr Joyce said that a city-wide audit would be a “mammoth task”, requiring substantial resources.
Speaking at a council meeting on Monday evening, Mr Kavanagh thanked the director for the “extensive response”, but said that certain footpaths in the city are “not fit for purpose”.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Martin proposed that the council write to central government to seek funding for footpath repairs and maintenance.
Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill suggested that the council write to the transport minister to see if footpath repairs and maintenance could be funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA) under active travel works.
Mr Joyce said the council has the capacity to deliver more footpath maintenance works, but does not have the funding to do so.
“If you can convince the ministers or the NTA to provide funding, we’ll happily spend it,” he added.