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“It’s about the safety of our kids”: Residents claim proposed cycleway could put children playing in danger | #schoolsaftey

Residents have raised concerns about a proposed new greenway designed to provide a safe route for children to walk and cycle to school, but which some parents claim will put kids playing football or riding their bikes near their homes in danger.

A public consultation has recently commenced concerning the first phase of the Maglin Greenway in Ballincollig, a suburban town to the west of Cork city. The proposed greenway, Cork City Council says, will deliver almost 10km of safe and high-quality cycling and walking facilities, and form part of the city’s Cycle Network Plan, originally outlined in 2017.

The first phase of the project aims to provide a direct, 1.4km-long route between Maglin Road and Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin school in Ballincollig, connecting to several residential developments along the way.

The proposed works include the creation of an up to four-metre-wide shared use path, quietways through estates, new footpaths, lighting, and public realm improvement that highlight the area’s railway heritage.

The council says the shared use path will “provide a safe route to school” for cyclists and pedestrians, along with encouraging new commuter routes and increasing connectivity for cyclists.

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However, the plans have been criticised by residents, who claim that the proximity of the greenway will put children who live in the developments at risk.

A meeting, attended by more than 70 people, was held on Monday night to oppose the plans, with a residents committee set to be established and a petition launched calling for an alternative route to be considered, Echo Live reports.

“It’s about the safety of our kids,” one resident told Monday’s meeting. “This greenway will dissect the green in front of eight houses. It is six metres from my pillar to where the greenway path is. It is approximately 10 metres from the green across the way, where the kids play. Four of that is going to be taken up by this path.

“This is my front door and my kids’ safety. I have two kids, and this is where the kids go to play football, cycle, and have the craic with their friends. We are all against it. Greenways are fantastic and we are all for all of that, but at what cost?”

> Local activist slams “selfish” parents for allowing their children to cycle on the pavement, and says riding on the road is “safer” for primary school pupils

In response, a spokesperson for Cork City Council said: “The scheme aims to provide a safe route to school for pedestrians and cyclists to Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin and create an environment which will encourage modal shift to sustainable forms of transport.”

A public information evening on the scheme is expected to be held in the coming weeks.

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