Plans for a new urban greenway along part of an old railway line that will ultimately link Cork’s western suburbs to a large city park are ready to be opened up to the public. Cork City Council engineers have briefed councillors on the draft plans for the 3.8km long 4m-wide pedestrian and cycle path, running from the Chetwynd reservoir off Sarsfield Road to the Kinsale Road roundabout, along the route of the old Bandon railway line. It is estimated that the development of the project could cost up to €5m.
The greenway will eventually tie into Tramore Valley Park via a new pedestrian bridge over the South Link Rd, which is to be developed later. At its western end, it will link with a proposed 36km greenway, incorporating the landmark Chetwynd Viaduct, running to Kinsale and Bandon. A major study on this project is already underway.
Detailed designs for the Chetwynd to Kinsale Road roundabout greenway are well advanced and the project will be published for public consultation as part of the Part 8 planning process next month, with feedback from the public welcomed. The project will require the compulsory purchase of lands in some areas, and the clearing of spoil from under railway bridges on Spur Hill and at Lehanaghmore Road/Mathew Hill.
As well as serving as a transport route, a 50-space car park is also proposed for a site at Forge Hill to encourage people to use the greenway as an amenity. Once the public feedback is analysed, a report will be prepared for councillors, who will decide on whether to grant planning or not. Pending the outcome of the entire public consultation and planning process, construction could start on the scheme by the middle of next year, and take up to 12 months to complete.
The idea for the urban greenway was first proposed by members of Togher Tidy Towns. Councillors Mick Finn and Thomas Moloney were urged by city officials to examine the proposal, which would use several existing pathways, green corridors and amenity routes along the old Bandon railway corridor that they help keep clean and tidy for public use. Mr Finn paid tribute to Liam Hayes of the tidy town’s group, who walked the routes with him and pointed out the potential of upgrading and connecting them all into one connected recreational and transport route.
“The Togher greenway link would be of immense benefit to Cork as a ‘healthy city’ and a connected city,” Mr Finn said. “This would be on the same level as the brilliant Blackrock-Passage cycling facility and would be used for both recreational and transport purposes — the beauty of the plan is that a lot of the greenway is already in place, it just needs to be added to, improved and connected.”
Engineers have been working for several months on the construction of ramps, steps and bridge supports on either side of the N40 South Ring Road to facilitate the installation of an active travel bridge to link Tramore Valley park to the Frankfield and Grange areas of the city. The bridge, which is being built at Thompsons of Carlow, is due to be installed before the end of April. A pedestrian entrance to the park was opened off Half Moon Lane in late 2021.
The prospect of a new urban greenway, along an old railway line, connecting Cork’s western suburbs to a large city park is set to go out for public consultation. Cork City Council engineers have presented their draft plans for the 3.8km long and 4m-wide pedestrian and cycle path, running from the Chetwynd reservoir off Sarsfield Road to the Kinsale Road roundabout, along the route of the old Bandon railway line.
The estimated cost of the project is €5m, with the greenway eventually tying into Tramore Valley Park via a new pedestrian bridge over the South Link Rd, which is to be developed later. It is also planned to link with a proposed 36km greenway, incorporating the landmark Chetwynd Viaduct, running to Kinsale and Bandon. A major study on the project is already underway.