Writes Ciaran Dineen
It has been a very busy few weeks for the residents of Ringaskiddy and the positive news keeps on coming for the harbour village. Last week, design proposals were released showcasing the new Public Realm enhancement that the area is due to benefit from over the coming year.
It comes following the official opening of Haulbowline Park, which was recently celebrated and welcomed by the Taoiseach, County Mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan, local councillors and TDs, as well as residents and stakeholders in the village.
At the last meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), local councillors were happy to be informed that the public consultation, otherwise known as the Part 8 process, for the new public realm works, is now open for public observations and commentary until the beginning of September.
What is being Proposed?
The aim of the enhancement scheme is to improve the overall public realm of Ringaskiddy. An emphasis will be placed on the centre of the village, so as to provide a more defined focal point for the area. The extent of works along the street is approximately 380 linear metres and will be funded from the development contribution supplied by the Port of Cork.
In the village centre, the existing carriageway will be reduced and realigned, resulting in the overall width of the road decreasing from its current status of 9 metres to 6 metres, providing a single lane carriageway. The existing right-turn lane, ghost islands and centre island markings will all be removed. With the extra space, the existing footpath on the north side of the road (adjacent to the Playground) will increase to 4 metres and be turned into a Shared Used Path, for both pedestrians and cyclists. Cork County Council recently constructed a shared path in Glounthane, which begins at Fitzpatrick’s store and continues to the Elm Tree. It has been an extremely positive addition for the area, providing additional priority and thus security for pedestrians and cyclists, and will likely be a fantastic asset for the village.
The reduced carriageway, along with slight alterations to the angles of corners, i.e. corner radii, will help to create traffic calming, which will lower the speed of vehicles entering and existing the village centre. A 4 metre raised crossing will also be constructed and will add to further traffic calming measures.
Additional changes to the public realm will see the incorporation of public seating and paths, the provision of bicycle parking, green urbanisation with the addition of trees and a new bus stop and shelter. Details also indicate that the one-way system on Main Street to the east of Old Post Office Road will continue but the road will now be 4 metres in width, with a raised pedestrian crossing at the entrance to Main Street and the retention of parking bays. Finally, on the west side of Old Post Office Road, the two-way system will remain in place with a 5 metre two-way road.
Councillors Welcome ‘Fantastically Positive’ Proposal
Councillors in the Carrigaline Municipal District warmly welcomed the proposal, delivered by Vincent Flourish of Cork County Council. From the early stages of the process, public consultation has been at the heart of proposals, with the Ringaskiddy Residents’ Association being consulted throughout. This was acknowledged by new Municipal District Officer, Carol Conway and by Councillor Marcia D’Alton (Ind).
The proposal was welcomed by all councillors and having been proposed and seconded, the next course of action is for the Part 8 process to take place and then for more detailed designs to be revealed in a report that local representatives will have a chance to support at the next MD meeting in September.
Given her association with the village through her support for the campaign against the infamous Incinerator proposal, Cllr D’Alton was in particular delighted to see the plans finally coming together, saying that the proposal is a “fantastically positive scheme and there’s going to be huge relief to see it being advanced and delivered. It has space for everyone, for the community, for the market and for the crossing, which is beyond exciting. It is creating space for the village centre, creating space for cycling, walking and sitting. So if you are looking for an endorsement you certainly have it from us”.
Speaking to The Carrigdhoun Newspaper, Cllr D’Alton added that from her point of view, “one of the best things for me is the control of speed of traffic and the narrowing of the carriageway is very positive. The enhancement of green space will give Ringakiddy the village centre and village feel that it needs. It will lead to the enhancement of Ringaskiddy as a destination and that for me is the standout. Even yesterday evening, someone phoned me to say that they had ‘rediscovered’ Ringaskiddy, who now regards it as their daily destination and the proposal will turn the area into that real village centre, which is just wonderful.”
Further information about the proposals can be found on the Cork County Council website, where all related drawings and documents are available to view.