January 2016 Greenway Update
It has been a relatively quiet month on the Dublin Galway Greenway project. As the controversy over the East Galway route quietens down, focus has shifted to the Kildare and Meath section of the greenway. We can only suspect that the project planners are taking stock after the bruising they received from the landowners in Galway and are now taking some time out to consider the best way forward for the western section of the greenway.
But while the Dublin Galway greenway takes a breather, supporters of national greenway projects were heartened by the following news updates:
Reconciliation Hopes in Sligo Mayo Greenway
The West On Track and the Sligo Greenway groups took some steps towards a reconciliation over the past month. These two groups have been in very different camps about the potential use of the Sligo to Claremorris disused railway. After the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue stated that the actual rail tracks have no value in any future operational railway, it became apparent that the West On Track’s position became redundant on the need to keep the rusting tracks. It has also been reported that there is growing interest abroad (especially from German and the US) in a potential greenway from Sligo to Claremorris.
Kildare gets moving on the Royal Canal Greenway
Kildare County Council has started a public consultation on the Royal Canal Greenway from Maynooth to the Dublin County border just outside Leixlip. This section will be part of the Dublin Galway greenway. However, some cycling interest groups, such as IrishCycle.com, have commented that the standard of the greenway does not meet international standards as a commuting route for cyclists. Kildare County Council will review all of the submissions and move forward accordingly.
Lovely Leitrim Greenways
According to reports this month, Leitrim County Council will begin its bid to develop two greenway projects in the county this year. This blog also reported on this news and the potential connections of Leitrim’s greenways into a large network of greenways with connection to the Dublin Galway Greenway.
Ulster Canal may get it’s own Greenway
Waterways Ireland is exploring the potential of a greenway on the planned Ulster Canal. Given the success of other greenways along the canals it would seem an obvious move. An invitation to tender for Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Ulster Canal Greenway Strategy has been placed on the online. The tender can be viewed here and comments are open until the 27th January 2016
Dodder Valley Greenway
As part of a 40M funding announcement by the government about gateway and hub towns, it was revealed that almost 1.5M will be allocated to Dodder Valley Greenway (South Dublin Co. Co.) to complete 2 phases of the scheme to install & extend cycle and pedestrian routes. The Irishtimes reported, however, that opinion is divided on the project and that some people fear the project will see the Dodder Valley developed into a cycling superhighway.
Athlone to Mullingar Cycleway goes from strength to strength
Following the successful opening of the Athlone to Mullingar greenway by the Taoiseach in October, the greenway is getting significant interest with numbers of cyclists growing rapidly. As predicted with these type of projects, tourism related business opportunities follow and we are glad to see many new bike hire companies in Athlone and Mullingar have opened.