Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Proposal for new Greenway from Kanturk to Newmarket

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Proposal for new Greenway from Kanturk to Newmarket

There was a article in an online newspaper recently about a proposal to establish an 8km Greenway between the towns of Kanturk and Newmarket in NW Cork.

The article based on a press release from local politician Cllr John Paul O'Shea said that the new Greenway would follow the route of the old railway line which closed in 1963. As can be seen from the map above, the railway was adjacent to the main road between the two towns.

The estimated cost of this project is in the region of 2.3 to 3.0 million Euro.

In the press release, Cllr O'Shea said...“A Duhallow Greenway would be similar to the greenway in Waterford in that it would follow the old railway line. With regard to the Kanturk-Newmarket Railway Line, it has been closed since 1963 and there is undoubtedly the potential to create a fantastic public amenity, something that would be of great value to local and tourists alike.”

According to the article, a feasibility study from 2016 said that from an engineering and social viewpoint, the Kanturk to Newmarket Greenway would be viable.

Following on from the success of Greenways in Mayo and Waterford, there are public funds available for establishing more Greenway routes.

In the case of Waterford for example, the new Greenway has resulted in people spending more money in the area in terms of accommodation, refreshments, etc. and this extra economic activity of course results in more taxes being paid. As such, suitable Greenway projects can be seen as sound economic investments and that's not even looking at the social benefits to the local community.

Parts of the old Kanturk to Newmarket railway route are still visible in aerial photos

Looking at the proposed 8km Kanturk to Newmarket route, it might have its own challenges.

a) Low population density... While Kanturk is listed as having a population of 2350, Newmarket has just 976.
b) Scenery... While the Waterford Greenway has mountain, ocean and river views, viaducts and a tunnel, the proposed Kanturk to Newmarket Greenway just runs along the back of farmers fields. It's unlikely to be much of a draw in terms of tourism.
c) Isolated... One obvious drawback is that this Greenway would exist in isolation. It does not connect to any other Greenways or walkways in the general area.

Having said all that, it would be a very good facility for the local population in terms of walking, cycling and running. People in North-West Cork are as entitled as anyone else to local facilities even if the population density is low.

As an aside, there used to be a 5 mile road race from Newmarket to Kanturk a few years ago on the main road between the two towns. If this project does go ahead, it does the raise the possibility of it being used for some future races.

We'll have to wait and see what comes of it.

More info on the proposal in the links below...

1) North Cork wants a slice of the ‘Greenway’ action for #LocalTourism (
2) O’Shea Cites Enormous Tourism Potential in Call for Duhallow Greenway (Cllr O'Sheas website)

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