Coun­cil­lors call for joined-up think­ing re­gard­ing foot­paths

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

“Joined-up think­ing” is needed when it comes to foot­paths, or rather the lack of them, con­nect­ing many hous­ing es­tates in towns in Co Cork.

Coun­cil­lors want a Spe­cial Pur­poses Com­mit­tee (SPC) con­sider in­tro­duc­ing a new pol­icy and pro­vid­ing more pave­ments to make it safer for pedes­tri­ans, and to tackle in­creas­ing child­hood obe­sity.

Cllr Christo­pher O’Sul­li­van raised the is­sue at a meet­ing of the West Cork mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict coun­cil. He re­quested a foot­path link from a hous­ing es­tate on the pe­riph­ery of Clon­akilty to other foot­paths which con­nected to the town cen­tre. Coun­cil engi­neers said cre­at­ing a 450m-long foot­path might in­volve Com­pul­sory Pur­chase Or­ders of land and that could be ex­pen­sive. Cllr O’Sul­li­van said a lo­cal res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion had been in con­tact with landown­ers and he un­der­stood they were will­ing to en­ter talks with the coun­cil.

He said that plan­ning per­mis­sion had been granted for an­other site close to the es­tate he was talk­ing about, at MacCur­tain Hill.

Cllr O’Sul­li­van said there was a lack of joined-up think­ing and this was putting pedes­tri­ans at risk. “It’s a con­stant prob­lem get­ting hous­ing ar­eas linked up prop­erly,” he added.

Cllr Paul Hayes said there were hun­dreds of houses planned for Clon­akilty which could come on-stream in the next five to 10 years and con­nect­ing them with proper foot­paths needed to be ad­dressed.

Cllr John O’Sul­li­van (FG), mean­while, ob­served: “If we can’t have chil­dren walk­ing safely into towns, it means more traf­fic. We should re­fer this to SPC for fur­ther dis­cus­sion.

“We’re all hear­ing sto­ries of child­hood obe­sity. There are other towns in West Cork with sim­i­lar is­sues,” he sug­gested. The govern­ment wanted a health­ier Ire­land and walk­ing was one way of achiev­ing it: “Forc­ing peo­ple to drive their chil­dren some­where as it’s not safe to walk was lead­ing to traf­fic jams and un­nec­es­sary pol­lu­tion,” he added.

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