16 March 2018

Cyclists call for a “Lee-to-Sea” Greenway

Cork cyclists called for a continuous, high quality greenway that stretched along the Lee from Inniscarra Dam, through Cork City, and around the harbour to Crosshaven. The vision for the greenway was presented on Wednesday night by members of the Cork Cycling Campaign in a discussion at UCC on the future of cycling in Cork.

The group stated that a top grade pathway along this route would be a boon for recreational walkers and cyclists, for runners, and for commuting cyclists. Besides the scenic value of the Lee valley and harbour, the route also passes many historic landmarks. These include ruined abbeys, gunpowder mills, Carrigrohane castle, and the old waterworks in the west, the city hall and English Market in the city, and the naval fortifications at Camden Fort Meagher at the eastern end. As such, the greenway would also be a major tourist offering for the city, enticing people to visit and stay longer in Cork.

The Campaign stressed that the route must traverse the city centre in a continuous, segregated cycleway to realise its tourism and commuting potential. A route along the Docklands quays would make that area more attractive for residents and tenants.  The Campaign suggested that the city cycleway should be safe enough for a national school child to cycle independently.

The Cork Cycling Campaign’s Dr Dean Venables said “This high quality pathway would be the jewel in the crown of Cork’s recreational and commuting facilities. It unites the area’s iconic natural features of the River Lee and Cork harbour. It is also within easy access of a hundred thousand people”.

Parts of the route are already in place and are popular with the public. Other sections have been identified in the region’s cycle network plan.  Much more NTA funding for urban cycling and walking and greenways is expected from 2019. The group propose that the city and county seek funding for a single, unified project to ensure that the pathway is realised. If the massive success of the Westport and Waterford greenways is anything to go by, a Lee-to-Sea greenway would quickly become a cherished amenity for residents and a major attraction for tourists.

Cork Cycling Campaign works with local councils, community groups, and other institutions to improve cycling infrastructure and to encourage people to start cycling. The Campaign’s focus is primarily on everyday cycling – that is, cycling as a form of transport. We also support the development of recreational cycling facilities.  The Campaign strives to improve safety for all cyclists and to encourage mutual consideration, understanding, and respect between cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.