Cork County Council is moving forward on a multimodal transportation plan.
Titled the inter-urban network the proposal links rural towns and villages with urban centres.
The master plan forms part of an official bicycle route crossing the country that will see East Cork form part of a national route, connecting Larne, county Antrim in the north east with the north west and the southern coasts via Kerry, Cork and Waterford, ending in Rosslare Co Wexford.
Last week Wexford County Council launched its Eurovelo route which links Rosslare to Waterford. The 120km route takes cyclists along the quieter and more scenic areas of the county.
Eurovelo is a network of 15 long-distance cycle routes promoting Europe’s natural beauty.
The plan currently under review by Cork County Council includes connections from the east with an inter-urban route via Midleton and Carrigtwohill and from the west with a greenway via Ballincollig, providing for both leisure and commuter cyclists.
Within Cork city centre there are a number of route choices.
The draft report seen by the East Cork Journal, suggests a series of infrastructural changes to the road network are required which includes extra cycle trails, segregation of cyclist from the motoring public, adequate signage and the widening of roads.
The proposal points out linking Cork City and Glanmire will be difficult due to the topography of the area, and suggested the widening the roads and the setting apart of cyclists and motorist if possible.
It’s understood the release of €6million in LIHAF funding for the upgrade of the Dunkettle interchange will include the addition of safe cycle routes.
In East Cork the proposal for the cycle network in Cobh is based on improving access to the town centre from the Passage West ferry terminal as well as the surrounding residential area.
The trail takes in a series of routes which bring cyclists from the ferry port along the waterfront to Cuskinny and along the Tay Road.
However, the report states “the introduction of facilities along the Tay Road maybe difficult considering the narrow and rural nature of the route. The introduction of lighting and road widening would significantly improve the route.”
The Carrigtwohill cycle area will extend from west of the Fota retail park at the intersection of Killahora road with the railway line to the western edge of Ballyadam in the east, serving Fota Island resort and the industrial zone to the south along the N25.
In Midleton the route extends from west of Castle Rock estate to the eastern boundary of the Midleton Distillery. It encompasses land from the Maples south of the town to the north of Water Rock golf course.
Two senior planners are currently working on turning the old railway link between Midleton and Youghal into a biking and walking trail, giving the potential of the national cycle route to connect with the Dungarvan Greenway.