14 March 2018
By Elaine Murphy
The Green Party in Cork has called on Cork City Council to replace trees removed as part of works along the Ballyhooly Road.
About 30 trees along one side of the formerly tree-lined road between Dillon’s Cross and Ballyvolane Cross have been removed by the city council as part of the Ballyvolane to City Centre Cycle Route.
Replying to questions from the party, Cork City Council said the removal of the hedgerow and trees was needed to widen the road to make way for a dedicated bus lane and an inbound cycle lane. The council said there are no plans to replace the trees. Instead, a low wall and railing will provide a view of the Glen Park.
However, Oliver Moran, the party’s representative in Cork North Central, said the removal of the trees is a high cost to pay:
“Unfortunately, an essential character of the road has been taken away. There’s surprising evidence of a link between trees and well-being in urban areas. The most obvious way they do this is by improving air quality by pulling pollutants from the air into their leaves. So there’s an irony here that in making way for one way to reduce air pollution by encouraging public transport and cycling, the cost has been to remove another.”
Mr Moran said the city council should adopt a policy of replacing trees removed as part of works and by planting more trees somewhere else in the vicinity:
“The city is already down 500 trees owing to Hurricane Ophelia, with dozens more damaged. And now 30 or so more have been removed by the city council themselves without plans for restoring them. Dublin City Council has a policy of replacing trees removed as part of works. Replacement trees don’t have to be in the exact same location. They can be in a nearby location that may be more practical or more appropriate. But removing trees without replacing them takes away an important resource from the city and local communities.”
The expected completion date for the current phase of works on Ballyhooly Road is late August.