Overhaul Of Carrigaline Town Centre And New Active Travel Link
A major overhaul of Carrigaline’s Main Street as well as a new Active Travel link at Bridgemount, has moved closer towards reality as Cork County Council have commenced Part 8 Planning as part of the first phase of operations to Carrigaline TPREP (Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan).
Both Councillors and the Council have been keen to ensure that the first phase of the TPREP proposal be implemented in close conjunction with the opening of the Inner Western Relief Road. The plans to improve pedestrian permeability, provide better cycling infrastructure and create a vibrant town centre have been on the table for some time.
Last year, Cork County Council together with consultants Arup, went to the public to hear their thoughts on the type of initiatives that should take place in the village, providing a detailed design of what could potentially be envisaged.
Details of the plan include; the creation of a bus lane moving southbound from the Heron Roundabout all the way down Main Street, wider footpaths in the town centre to provide shared spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, the installation of public benches throughout the village, a new bus shelter for ‘The Bridge’ and a new junction in place of the existing Heron Roundabout. The Active Travel link seeks to extend the Greenway, linking Crosshaven with Passage West, while also aiming to promote methods of sustainable travel, particularly for young people moving to and from school.
From a traffic and transport management perspective, it is thought that with the opening of the Inner Western Relief Road, there was scope to remove the amount of cars travelling through Main Street, with the aim of reducing the level of congestion considerably. While there will only be a dedicated cycle path coming southbound, cyclists will be encouraged to use the bus lane when moving in the other direction.
Additional progress for the town centre is expected to be made in the near future, as the ‘Public Realm’ part of TPREP takes shape. The plan for Carrigaline is well known, as it is the aim of Cork County Council to reclaim the front half of the Owenabue carpark and turn it into a public plaza. This has however been delayed considerably, with local councillors unhappy about the delay. Nevertheless it is anticipated that drawings and design will soon be made available to the public, before another round of public consultation can take place.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed this next step in the Carrigaline TPREP saying that the development “marks an exciting day in the evolution of Carrigaline, with the beginning of significant, positive and transformational changes on the horizon for the people and businesses of the town. The proposed public realm enhancements and transportation changes to Main Street will be a catalyst for change across Carrigaline and will give Main Street back to the residents as a place to meet, to socialise and do business.”
Closer to home, local councillors have also welcomed the latest update from the Council. Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF) commented saying, “As we know, Carrigaline has developed extensively over the years, but the required infrastructural requirements were not brought forward in parallel with the development. The TPREP represents a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the area by external Consultants and sets out big proposed changes. Feedback is not only welcome, it is essential and all opinions need to be submitted. No plan is perfect and these consultation periods should be meaningful and the input from the community should be taken on board.”
Cllr Jack White (FG) also showed support, saying, “A transformative plan for Carrigaline, the TPREP project now going into the planning process is the culmination of years of public consultation, input from residents, businesses, public representatives, consultants and Council staff. This project is designed to breathe new life into the core of the town (now the largest town in Cork County). It aims to deliver a high quality, reliable, sustainable travel network throughout Carrigaline, while providing connectivity with surrounding destinations. I encourage anyone with views in favour, against or who think anything should be amended, to make their submission and it will be considered by the Council.”
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