Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: More progress on the Midleton to Youghal Greenway...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

More progress on the Midleton to Youghal Greenway...

Back in late 2016, I had a post up about how Iarnród Éireann were proposing to abandon the old Midleton to Youghal railway line due to maintenance costs. This raised the possibility of it being turned into a Greenway.

At the East Cork Municipality meeting for councilors last week, formal approval was given for the proposed Midleton to Youghal Greenway plan to go forward for public consultation. This should appear over the next few weeks.

The success of the recent Waterford Greenway has certainly given a boost to a lot of other Greenway projects around the country with many communities are now asking if it can be replicated in their own areas. The Waterford Greenway seems to be very popular and there was a good article recently in the Irish Independent about it HERE.

If you consider that the Waterford Greenway runs between Waterford City (pop 53,000) and Dungarvan (pop 8,000), imagine what the new East Cork Greenway might be like with the Greater Cork Metropolitan area on its doorstep with a population of some 400,000? How many people are likely to use it for walking, cycling or running at the weekend? How many cafés would benefit? Bike hire shops? Hotels and B&B's? Imagine what the economic return would be on a new Greenway that is low maintenance and all for a projected cost of €6 million.

The biggest objections to the Greenway project are likely to come from people who wish to see the return of the old rail link from Midleton to Youghal. When the railway was extended from Glounthaune to Carrigtwohill and Midleton back in 2009, it cost in the region of €130 million for the 10km line. What would it cost now for a 22km rail link from Midleton to Youghal? €200 million? €300 million? Would any government seriously spend that kind of money considering that building relief roads around places like Castlemartyr and Killeagh would probably have a much bigger impact.

After the recent meeting, a local East Cork politician Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said “If we don’t take this Greenway project, there’s nothing going to happen to the railway between Youghal and Midleton. It’s never going to reopen as a railway line.”

And I suspect she is probably correct. If the rail objectors get their way, the old line is just going to sit there unused for another 40 years. Invest €6 million now and the whole East Cork region will get a financial boost for the foreseeable future.

Will we see the East Cork Greenway Half-Marathon sometime in 2023?

1) East Cork Journal article

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