Little hope for footpaths in Midleton

Elsinore rise

It is while walking that a place is best appreciated; but for the 179 residents of Elsinore Rise and Heights in Midleton, that right to walk in their estate has been lost.
Last month a deputation of the 179 residents called for the restoration of broken down footpaths in their area at a meeting of the East Cork Municipality.
At Monday’s Municipal meeting (1 December) Chairman Noel Collins told councillors that a commissioned report compiled by the municipality’s senior Roads engineer was a disgrace “A prioritised work is detailed and is estimated to cost €54,000. The last line in the report sums up the bad news for residents. The recommended works will be considered in future footpath rehabilitation works ” he said.
The overall length of foot paths in Elsinore is 1.9 KM in excess of 1 mile. Rehabilitation works were carried out in 2011 on approximately 200 metres and some localised reconstruction of defective areas and a further 50 meters in 2012. This year for the first time Cork County council provided Midleton Municipality with a footpath programme of €125,000. The municipality have completed 7 or 8 locations in Elsinore Heights and Rise. There is a further 50 meters in Elsinore to be replaced under that foot path programme.
Elsinore has always fallen outside Midleton town boundaries. It has always come under Cork County Council, who have to this date neglected their duty of care.
In most parts of the estate, you will find pavement blocks either loose, sunken, broken or uneven. Certain stretches are bad and force people to avoid them totally.
Councillor Collins told the boroughs executive “I thought rehabilitation was going to refer to the residents and not the foot paths. What an insult to the residents involved struggling and falling with broken down foot paths for 20 years and then to be told the development will be put on a rehabilitation programme for consideration when funding may become available. Who prepared this report ? Was it taken at ground level or was it taken by a swivel chair in the county hall? ”
Earlier this year the issue of Elsinore Estate was raised at County level, councillors were advised on that occasion the estate should qualify for funding under the road safety foot path restoration programme for 2015.
It would seem following Monday’s municipal meeting, Elsinore Estate has been ignored again under the road safety programme where government promised major capital in the interest of road safety.
David Clarke Senior Engineer Cork Roads who compiled Monday’s report told Councillor Collins
“there is no certainty that there will be a footpath programme for 2015. In 2014 there was a special county wide allocation of €1 million. Elsinore Heights has benefited from that programme. Foot path replacements for number 37 & 43 are being advanced under that programme. If funding is provided under that heading in 2015 certainly further rehabilitation works would be considered . ”
In relation to the general roads funding Mr Clarke added “roads maintenance funding in 2015 is a further reduced. Every year since the recession began we have seen a reduction of 2 and a half % year on year. The level of funding that has been made available on the roads maintenance budget hasn’t been sufficient in recent years since the economic crisis has hit, it’s barely sufficient to do road maintenance” he stated.
Councillor Collins retorted “live horse and you get grass. I think this is an insult to the residents.
I move that we refer this to the Southern Committee meeting on roads in Cork County Council and Irish Water” he added.
Following the recent budget approval for Cork County Council the decision on how the monies are divided up will not be made until early January. Its hoped that a further allocations for foot paths will be given for 2015.