Cllr Susan McCarthy has welcomed the Part 8 Planning notice for the Midleton to Youghal Greenway on the disused Irish Rail railway line. The line runs from Midleton to Youghal and also passes throught the villages of Mogeely and Killeagh.
“There are many benefits to such a project, and I would encourage as many people as possible to make a submission giving their support for it. Also, because it’s the County Council’s own development (called a Part 8) it is free of charge to make an observation, positive or otherwise. And support for the project is key to ensuring that if successful, the project will be progressed as quickly as possible.
“This is great news for the East Cork area and will benefit us on so many levels, the first and most important being to health for greenway users. Open air amenities, particularly greenways, blueways and trails improve not only the physical health, but have also been proven to have positive impacts on the mental health and well-being of those who choose to use them on a regular basis. It can be used by walkers, runners and cyclists, children, families, friends, locals and tourists alike. And it’s free, so it’s easy on the purse too” she continued.
“Then there is the economic effect to the locality. As those living on the Waterford – Dungarvan Greenway can attest, it helps the small businesses along the route with existing shops, cafes and pubs and start-ups, such as bike hire, tours, bird-watch guides etc all benefiting from the increased visitor numbers in the area.
“We’ve also been working very hard on developing our tourist offering in East Cork and this greenway would add to what is already a strong product, with visitor numbers growing year on year. There are exciting plans to link with other proposed walkways and parks in Midleton, Mogeely and Killeagh, and to the Boardwalk at Claycastle as well as Front Strand in Youghal. There is also provision for a floating boardwalk through the Ballyvergan Marsh which will protect the delicate ecosytstem there, whilst allowing nature enthusiasts the best possible vantage point for exploring the area.”
But what about the rail link between the two towns? “Irish Rail have conducted a feasibility study and they have made the decision that it is not economically viable to reopen the railway line at this point in time. However, they will be signing a 10 year lease with Cork County Council after which time, they may renew the lease or decide to return it to its former use. The proposed development will also be constructed in such a manner that it can be returned to its former use in the most cost effective way possible.”
“With this in mind, using the line in the meantime for the benefit of all of East Cork while protecting it from further deterioration or even encroachment means that we are safeguarding the integrity of the line for the future, whether it be for trains or bikes, this can only be a good thing” she adds.
Submissions are invited until the 30th October and can be made online using the following link: https://www.yourcouncil.ie/…/Make_a_submission_on_the_Midle…
Part 8 Midleton-Youghal Greenway Submissions, Cork County Council, East Cork Municipal District Offices, Mall House, Youghal, Co. Cork