To: Cork County Council
Restore the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway as a greenway
We ask Cork County Council to restore the old Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railroad as a greenway.
Why is this important?
The Covid crisis has shown that recreational space in rural Cork is scarce and this is especially true for the Cork-Bandon-Skibbereen area. But with quiet roads, more people were out cycling and walking than ever before, showing how eager we are to take up active travel. Let us build the infrastructure to support it.
In Ireland, we are already seeing the effects of the next crisis we have to face: The climate crisis needs bold and quick action. This is a unique opportunity to support a shift in transport modes for Cork commuters while also creating recreation space close to the home of thousands of people.
With electric bikes becoming more easily available, cycling is quickly gaining attraction as an affordable, accessible and healthy alternative to the commute by car. By providing an infrastructure separate from the N71 we would not only provide a safe route for cyclists. Motorists would profit from this change, too: By reducing the number of cars on the road we would improve traffic flow and move cyclists - often seen as obstacles by motorists - off the road.
The more extensive the greenway, the more likely it will also have a positive impact on tourism, with knock-on effects for local businesses. We know how many people use the Waterford greenway and the positive effects it has on the region. By contributing to Irelands cycle network we could even attract international active tourism.
As a historic railway, the touristic value of the greenway would be priceless. With many of the structures still intact the former railway would itself be an attraction.
We do understand that there have been prior attempts at this undertaking that have been dismissed or delayed due to the costs involved. However we would like Cork County Council to address this with the same urgency, the dedication and the budget they would use for a motor-traffic-centered infrastructure project. This is one of the bold actions required to prepare Cork County for the future. There has also never been more funding made available for active travel than ever before. The investment would benefit a very broad set of people, including motorists.
We would like Cork County Council do address this project as a matter of priority.