Residents start petition supporting Cork walking and cycle route after shop owners object to width of path

A group of local residents has started a petition in response to shop owners objecting the width of a shared path in Co Cork and reconfiguration of a car park on public land.

The walking and cycle path is partly built and partly under construction between Bury’s Bridge (near Dunkettle) and Carrigtwohill.

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The petition has been set up by what is described as a “group of concerned members of the public from Glounthaune and surrounding areas” in response to “the campaign of negativity toward the shared pedestrian and cycling space by Fitzpatricks food store.”

According to The Echo newspaper, Kerri O’Neill, manager of the Fitzpatrick’s Shop located in Glounthaune, said that the O’Neill family who own the shop are “fully in support” of the project, while explaining how they are objecting to its design which is already partly constructed.

O’Neill confirmed to the newspaper that the family does not own the area that hosts the car parking in front of the shop before proceeding to look for nearby parking spaces, including across from an apartment block, to be designated just for shoppers at certain times.

The newspaper reported that “other requests the family had asked for have been denied causing issues for the business” but

The previous layout on front of the shop was a wide open space between the shop and the carriageway and O’Neill agreed that formalising it makes things safer.

O’Neill told the Echo that there has been “incidents” as customers get used to the new more compact parking area, but no details were given of these.

O’Neill said that their business has suffered due to the changes but did not even give a percentage decrease of the customer and work is on-going on the project outside the shop, while it is understood that the shop has just undergone an expansion.

Residents who started the petition said: “The first phase of the shared space opened in 2021 and has greatly enhanced the landscape and amenities in Glounthaune. We believe that when all phases are complete the shared space will become an even busier and prosperous amenity stretching from the City to Youghal. Based on evidence from other greenways in the country Glounthaune and other towns and villages on the route can become a bustling space for individuals and families to enjoy.”

They said: “Fitzpatricks food store has waged a campaign against the shared space outside their shop. They are calling for the space to be reduced in size and also for the wall adjoining the railway line with planting to be removed. They want this to allow for bigger parking space. The current redesigned car park is on public land and not owned by Fitzpatricks food store.”

“Fitzpatricks food store recently went through a massive redevelopment but failed to allow any space on their premises for car parking. They are instead relying on public space for customers and deliveries etc. it is unfortunate that they could not embrace the shared space and see the success it will bring like other businesses in the area have done,” they said.

The petition starters added: “Any changes to the current layout of the shared space will have a detrimental impact on the overall project. This petition is for Cork County Council not to make any alterations to the layout and further ensure adequate barriers are in place to prevent Fitzpatricks customers and deliveries from mounting the shared space to park their vehicles and compromise the surface.”

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