Budget Needed To Maintain Greenways Says Councillor
Writes Leo McMahon
A policy to maintain greenways was urged by Cllr Michael Paul Murtagh (FG) at the monthly meeting of the county council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).
‘I’ve raised this a dozen times at least”, he stated. ‘With the council driving a policy of active travel around increased use of greenway routes, it is essential that a written maintenance schedule is in place to control overgrowth of verges, rubbish and dog fouling’.
Cllr Murtagh said he had attended meetings with residents’ groups in Carrigaline about the transportation and public realm scheme and each time they said the council couldn’t look after what it had regarding the railway walk which was embarrassing because it wasn’t maintained adequately.
The eyeline of Crosshaven with its boats attracted many people walking towards what was a beautiful tourist village, but they also saw overgrowth, briars and even saplings affecting the greenway wall and blocking signs as well as users along the way.
It wouldn’t take much, said Cllr Murtagh, to target specific areas of greenways such as from Lime Kiln Corner to Whispering Pines and on other paths in the MD.
Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) spoke in support but acknowledged the efforts of the area office. It was an issue of resources and the council was creating an own goal for itself if there wasn’t sufficient maintenance. The council did a great job on the road and paths serving Ballinrea Education Campus, Carrigaline but in a short space of time there was overgrowth on the path, extra funding was needed for maintenance.
Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) agreed and welcoming the proposal for a larger council building for the Carrigaline area, added that she would be fighting for additional ground staff to be recruited. They also needed more people from the community to come out and help.
Chairperson Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) agreed, saying she raised it at budget meetings. In order to get more for maintenance, there was need to for the council to decide exactly what a greenway is, namely a commuter route, a tourist route, a road or what. If there was a transportation instead of a roads budget, they could look at maintenance of greenways in a different way. Cllr Jack White (FG) also supported the motion and stressed the need for better communications about what greenways are apart from their importance from a bio-diversity point of view.
MD officer Carol Conway said MD did its best with the resources it had. Senior executive engineer Alan Cogan said these were finite. Cllr McGrath suggested Cllr Murtagh’s motion go to the head of finance in County Hall with a copy to the chief executive highlighting the lack of resources to meet the demand for maintenance of greenways and other important walking routes.
Senior executive officer Nicola Radley said it could be highlighted to management but pointed out it was in the gift of councillors to decide the 2023 budget.
Thanking members, Cllr Murtagh said there was need to highlight nationally that greenways were commuter routes as well as amenities and there should be a national policy and specific budget. Key locations in the MD should be identified.
On a positive note, he said people were very complimentary about the landscaping on the greenway near the Glen, Crosshaven which showed that a little could go a long way.
In a report, the MD officer said bike parking stations and rest areas to promote outdoor recreation and connectivity to Fountainstown, Rocky Bay, Myrtleville and Roberts Cove works under the Outdoor Recreation grant scheme were nearly complete with materials for street furniture awaited.
Ms Conway added that the National Transport Authority had approved funding for cycle parking schemes at Camden, Crosshaven village, Carrigaline skate park and Passage West and orders would be placed shortly.