Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Cork County Council sign €2.6 million Contract for Initial Phase of Cork to Kinsale Greenway

Friday, November 03, 2023

Cork County Council sign €2.6 million Contract for Initial Phase of Cork to Kinsale Greenway

More good news! On the 1st of Nov 2023, Cork County Council announced that they had signed a €2.6 million Contract for the initial phase of a proposed Cork City to Kinsale Greenway.

Their press release said... "We are delighted to announce a significant milestone in the development of the Cork to Kinsale Greenway with the appointment of consultant, Arup, as technical advisors to oversee the initial design phases of the project from Phase 1 Concept and Feasibility to Phase 4 Statutory Process.

🚶🚲 Funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland the €2.6million contract offers a significant opportunity to develop a safe, scenic, off-road route that will connect communities between Cork and Kinsale with a convenient and enjoyable means of travel.

📃 The preliminary phase of the project will go through various stages such as feasibility, route option selection, public consultation and ultimately the statutory process before progressing to construction."

Let's have a look at the area under consideration. This is a map of the old railway routes around 1900.

1) At the top right, we have the old railway line crossing over the Cork to Kinsale road. This old Limestone bridge was known as the 'Snotty Bridge' due to the multiple stalactites hanging underneath the arch. 

The bridge was replaced with the Kinsale Road roundabout and a new Greenway is going to be developed from there to the Chetwynd reservoir in the next few years as outlined in this previous post.

2) Going west from the reservoir, the proposed line will almost certainly use the magnificent Chetwynd over the Bandon road.

The route of the old railway line is still clearly visible on satellite maps and selecting the route to Waterfall should be relatively easy.

3) For the route south of Waterfall, the old line is still mostly there with two bridges still intact. It then reaches the tunnel to the west of Ballinhassig near Goggins Hill.

This tunnel is about 800m in length with some spectacular ventilation shafts along the way, a great feature to have on any Greenway.

4) From the southern bore of the tunnel, the route swings west and again, most of the line is still there. It crosses a viaduct at Halfway.

If you look back at the map again, you can see a point marked Kinsale Junction Station which was just to the east of Crossbarry and there was a spur in the line then south to Kinsale. 

There are so many features along this first section and the fast a lot of the old line is still there, it's hard to imagine any other route. A new Greenway as far as Crossbarry would also link nicely into any future Greenway to Bandon and West Cork.

5) The route south from Crossbarry to Kinsale is a different story though. There are only fragments of the old railway line left and it's pretty much a blank sheet of paper for the designers of any new Greenway.

In summary... Unlike the Midleton to Youghal Greenway which is being constructed on an old railway line still owned by Iarnród Éireann, the old railway line to Kinsale is now mostly on private land and there are likely to be objections.

On the other side, you have people that think the old railway should be rebuilt and they may object as well. Whatever route is selected, the whole process will take ages.

I'd expect that we won't see any Greenway by 2030 except for the one near the Kinsale Road roundabout. We might see the link to Waterfall built in the early 2030's with the rest of the Greenway to Kinsale by the end of that decade?

At the end of this €2.6 million spend, there still won't be any Greenway but at least, a major part of the project will be completed.


Barry said...

The ventilation shafts are a really lovely feature to have, would be an awful shame if people never got to see these. Given length of tunnel on Waterford greenway am surprised it doesn't have any

Anonymous said...

Great article and agree that this will take years...any chance of any other greenways based on old railway lines? Clon to Bandon? Bandon to Cork? The Claire o leary walk alone in Bandon is taking a chunk of time and funding

John Desmond said...

As for other old railway lines I think once the Cork to Kinsale route is a firm commitment, there will be plenty of other groups trying to get projects off the ground.

Bandon to Crossbarry is an obvious one using the Claire O'Leary walk with a new bridge over the River Bandon.

A new Greenway from Bandon to Clonakilty would then link into the EuroVelo1 coastal cycle route.

John Desmond said...

Reply to Barry: The Ballvoyle tunnel on the Waterford Greenway is about half the length at 400m so I presume that has something to do with the lack of ventilation shafts.