The city council has confirmed that the proposed 1.4km Maglin greenway in Ballincollig will not proceed as planned, with potential amendments including an alternative route now up for discussion over the coming months.
Green Party councillor Colette Finn said she was very disappointed that a compromise could not be found to keep the scheme on track.
“The rerouting option was a non-starter and the councillors that encouraged people to believe that this was a viable solution can answer for themselves,” she said.
“I consider it a huge loss to the area. I hope that people will come to understand that designing a town that encourages people to make every journey by car is a road to nowhere.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher, who wants an alternative route considered, insisted that the project has not been scrapped but is being reassessed to take account of public feedback.
“It will go ahead. I am all in favour of it but it has to be done in a fair and balanced manner to accommodate residents, landowners, all citizens – not just cyclists,” he said.
“If it can rerouted through nearby fields and that only upsets a few cows, rather than residents, then we have to look at that. We need more cycle lanes but it has to be done in a fair and balanced way.”
Plans for the greenway, along the route of the former Cork to Macroom rail line, were unveiled earlier this year and included the creation of ‘quietways’ along roads in the Carriginarra housing estate and access points to two other housing estates.
It was the first phase of the almost 10km proposed greenway route outlined in the Cork Cycle Network Plan (2017) to link Kilumney to the proposed Curraheen science park.
But some residents living along the route objected, raising concerns about the loss of some green areas and increased footfall in what have been quiet housing estates, prompting a reassessment of the plan.
It is the third time in recent months that plans for bike-related infrastructure in Ballincollig have been delayed or watered-down.
Ms Finn said: “Of course, people have concerns when something new is proposed. Unfortunately, the do-nothing advocates have managed to delay the scheme.
“The population of Ballincollig is set to grow, with large land banks identified for housing and apartments. Unless we develop a multi-modal transport system, the town will become gridlocked.”
Meanwhile, the city will host its first official car-free day this Saturday, with people invited to visit the city centre using sustainable transport options.
Streets including St Patrick’s Street, North Main Street, Cornmarket Street, Castle Street and Adelaide Street will be closed to general traffic from 12 noon to 6.30pm.
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