On 18th.Dec.2018 Cork County Council welcomed the allocation of €500,000 from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2018 for the Youghal Eco Boardwalk.
On 14th. Jan.2019 Cork County Councillors unanimously rubberstamped planning permission for a Midleton to Youghal walking and cycling greenway that has been hailed as a game-changer for east Cork tourism.
Having carefully studied the above two announcements, I would appeal to Cork County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development to reflect again on what they propose to do in and for Youghal. I would invite representatives from both authorities to come to Youghal and just see how inappropriate these two developments are in their proposed formats.
Did Cork County council put any thought into the effect on climate change and the increase in the carbon foot print that putting the Greenway on top of the rail track and forcing more vehicles on to the highly congested N 25 will create ?
Did the Department of Rural and Community Development think about the effect on climate change of (1) cutting down hard wood forest for the timber on the board walk. (2) the smelting of iron ore for the manufacture of steel for the board walk ?
I am convinced that some of the Councillors never visited Youghal before they made their decision. They never Studied / Read Rail Review 2030 Rail Network Strategy Review of 2011 or the National Transport Authority Rail Review 2016 Report and if they read the TFI recent documents, all these publication are full of enthusiasm for rail development and the green agenda but for some reason Youghal is excluded from this green development.
I would encourage the Youghal Business Alliance to use the Bus from Youghal to Cork and return. Also to go a bit further and travel from Midleton on the train to Cork and on to Dublin and return. They will see queues for Buses and Trains, full Buses and Trains and a stream of cars on the N25, and full car parks at Midleton, Carrightwohill, Glounthane and Little Island.
The numbers are there now for the train to be re – instated and fill the car parks at Youghal, Killeagh and Mogeely and further reduce the congestion on the N25 and make a positive contribution to climate change.
The Greenway should be sited on the beach front from Claycastle to Redbarn and on to Pilmore with future ambitions to link on to Knockadoon, via a Mizen head type bridge over the Womanagh, a Greenway that would be envied by the whole country and get rave reviews for its panoramic sea views and bountiful fresh air. By adopting the above project formats Cork County Council and Department of Rural and Community Development would be making a major contribution to Climate Change. They would be responding to: - The Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015.The Katowice Climate Change Conference 2019 David Attenborough warning :- “The Garden of Eden is no more”
Climate change is bringing poverty and conflict to many countries around the world, we cannot continue as before, we must think about Climate Change in every project that we do.
The authorities would also be actively participating in the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and helping to banish the word Laguard from Ireland’s response to its International obligations.
Climate change is a bigger challenge than Brexit.