Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork County Council have indicated that they will seek to identify a suitable source of funding and a location in the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) to deliver a ‘Learn to Cycle’ track for the area.
Dungarvan currently has the best example of an outdoor ‘Learn to Cycle’ amenity, which allows young children to learn to cycle on a ‘real life’ road structure with lines, signs and a pedestrian crossing without traffic. Cycling Ireland had been a part of the design of the initiative for the Waterford-based project and it is believed that the Greenway from Carrigaline-Crosshaven presents the area with a unique opportunity to follow in their footsteps.
Councillor Michael Paul Murtagh (FG) made the request at the latest meeting of the Carrigaline MD, asking the Council to look into the viability of delivering a similar ‘Learn to Cycle’ track on the Railway walk green at Hoddersfield, the Glen Crosshaven.
Initially, Cllr Murtagh’s motion appeared to hit some stumbling blocks, noting the response from Executive Engineer, Vincent Flourish. Mr. Flourish stated that the location proposed by the councillor would probably not be suitable in his opinion.
He added that “the green area next to the Greenway car park in Crosshaven is planted with numerous trees, so the creation of a learn to cycle park at this location could impact on the tree roots.”
He suggested that the only other Green area that the local authority own is located at Drakes Pool, but they would not advise paving over this area as it is a very popular, idyllic amenity space.
He went on to say that “the local authority invested a lot of grant funding circa 2016 in landscaping this area with planting, trees & shrubs to enhance the peaceful setting. Creation of a project like Dungarvan learn to cycle would be advised against at this location. There is no land identifiable for this project on the Greenway side of the R612. Should land be identified to the south of the R612 for this project it would require the local authority to purchase as I can’t see any current parcels under our control in this area. This would result in a disjointed project away from the greenway & would require separate car parking. This project would require a potential CPO of lands & would require Planning permission.”
Cllr Murtagh received a lot of support for his motion despite the clear response from the Council, with Cllr Jack White (FG) and Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF) making contributions. Senior Executive, Nicola Radley, expressed to Cllr Murtagh that not all hope was lost considering the final line of the response from the Council which stated that they would seek to identify a suitable location in the area. She added that there was “huge merit” behind the proposal and that the Council in matters of sustainability and ‘Active Travel, will always look to be supportive.