We thought we would add to the discussion as part of the Pre-Draft Public Consultation stage of the new 2022-2028 Cork County Council Development Plan;
With the rise in popularity of cycling and walking and the decreasing dependency on cars, there is now greater importance on quality safe route design for all. This would encourage cycling and walking as a normal part of everyday life for all ages and abilities in Ireland, similar to other European countries.
With the current development of the East Cork Greenway between Midleton and Youghal, the area is now uniquely positioned to promote cycling and walking as a safe and healthy alternative.
In order to promote this modal shift, essential upgrades would be required to a number of key routes and junctions around the town of Midleton and its hinterland. This would facilitate the provision of safe access routes from all major residential developments to the town centre as well as all local educational & nearby leisure facilities.
Riverside Way has the potential to provide a high quality residential, commercial and leisure environment to be enjoyed by all day and night.
With the area currently dominated by vehicular traffic and having limited local high-quality public amenity space for residents living and working locally, the Owenacurra riverside has the potential to provide an ideal counter balance and an opportunity to reconnect with the natural surroundings.
Now is the ideal time to examine this potential and provide a vibrant urban quarter as a green extension to the main street. With some simple public realm insertions including riverside dining stages, improved connectivity with priority given to the pedestrian & cyclist, this area can be transformed. This would enhance the quality of life of both local residents and the wider community, while reinvigorating and encouraging further development of this part of Midleton.
As a busy market town, the streets of Midleton have historically acted as a magnet for meeting, trading and social gatherings throughout the years. While providing routes for movement and services, the public realm must also reflect the town’s identity and character.
Recent uncompleted upgrade works to a portion of the main street public realm have enlivened a portion of the streetscape. This process of improvement could be added to with further public realm improvements and the addition of external dining pods that would add life and colour to the streets of the town.
Vacancy rates and sustainable residential accommodation above ground floor retail should also be addressed, which would bring life back into the town centre throughout the day. Midleton is ideally positioned to emulate towns such as Westport and Clonakilty, where with clear direction, planning and leadership, the town can become a vibrant place to live, work and visit.