5 February 2023
By Tom Collins
The Green Party in Cork has pointed to a significant difference in the number of active travel projects being funded in the North West compared to other parts of the city.
This week, Cork City Council received confirmation of €35m in funding for walking and cycling projects, including 74 site-specific projects in the city.
However, the North West ward, which includes areas like Blarney, Shanakiel, Gurranabraher and Fairhill, has a significantly smaller number of active travel projects in the pipeline. Just seven projects were listed among the pipeline of active projects for the ward.
In contrast, the North East ward received the largest amount of funding in the city, with 35% of all project funding going towards 18 projects in the ward.
Commenting on the difference, Green Party representative in the North West ward, Louise Jordan, said: “The North West ward contains some of the areas with the highest car dependency in the city and side-by-side with that some of the areas with the lowest car ownership. The fact is that good quality footpaths and cycle lanes, along with a dependable bus service, are a requirement for people to commute.
“We have no cycle lanes leading into Blackpool from the Mallow Road and Dublin Hill, no link between Blackpool and the city. Right now, I really feel like people are being funnelled into Blackpool by car and the high traffic levels make it unpleasant to live or work there. The BusConnects plan will hopefully divert through-traffic onto the ring road and create a better village environment but more needs to be done.
“Links are missing connecting Blarney, Sunday’s Well and Kerry Pike to the city and many more places. The result is preventing people commuting by bike between the northside and other areas. It appears that the lack of a green councillor in the North West ward has led to lack of political representation for the provision of active travel projects in the ward.”
Green Party councillor for Cork City North East, Oliver Moran, said:
“The situation on the northside isn’t as clear-cut as the typical north-south division in the city. In the North East, there are significant walking and cycling projects being funded in Ballyvolane, Mayfield, the Glen, Glanmire and nearer to the city centre. Projects are being funded in more rural-feeling areas too like Kilcully and Upper Glanmire. These will make a real difference to residents in those area.
“That’s something that local residents have made clear they want and I’ve made sure that’s heard at council meetings. The northside is coming from behind on walking and cycling investment. There’s a dedicated group in the Cork Cycling Campaign on northside issues, but the terrain isn’t any different for cycling between the north east and north west. It’s a matter of priorities and it’s about making sure BusConnects and quality walking and cycle infrastructure is delivered in Blackpool and other places all across the northside.”