Call for public submissions to greenway plan
Youghal Chamber of Tourism and Development is appealing to businesses, all community organisations and the public to make submissions to a planning consultation process for a proposed Youghal-Midleton greenway.
The scheme, being promoted by Cork County Council, will see a disused rail corridor between the towns converted to a cycling-and-walking trail. Submissions can be made until October 30.
The project is expected also to benefit smaller communities along the route, such as Killeagh and Mogeely.
Interest has been furthered by the phenomenal success of the Dungarvan-Waterford greenway while preliminary studies noted the “suitable topography and gentle gradient” of the 23 km east Cork route. Exiting from Youghal Strand, the proposed greenway will quickly traverse a 2.6 km boardwalk across Ballyvergan Marsh and its varied wildlife habitat that includes several bird hides.
The plan invigorates Youghal’s emergence as a self-sustaining, family-friendly, tourist town with a strong emphasis on scenery, heritage, food, beaches and river attractions.
The restored medieval town walls and 18th-century clock tower, the beachside eco boardwalk and, lately, the restoration of the 82-year-old Regal cinema has instilled confidence in the process.
The rail line had opened in 1860 and operated passenger services until 1963. It continued running goods traffic until the early 1980’s, then passenger specials until 1988 when it finally closed.
The railway legacy remains strong in local minds, with nostalgia sometimes aligned to more pragmatic sentiments in favour of retaining the route as a restored rail line as a commuter corridor towards Midleton and Cork city. Some people believe it would be viable in the context of a future light rail link and other traffic restructurings within the city.
Should planning proceed beyond the Part 8 planning process the council will begin the search for funding currently estimated at over €6m. The council proposes leasing the line from CIE who will retain the right to recommission it for rail development if desired.