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Greenway strategy makes waves

Words: Roger Milne

Ministers confirmed this week that a walking and cycling route stretching coast to coast and possibly linking Dublin with Galway is the hoped-for centrepiece of the government’s national Greenway strategy just published.

Some €53 million funding is being made available for regional and national projects over the next three years.

Transport minister Shane Ross is quoted on the Irish Times as saying: “It is certainly our ambition that there will be at least one greenway that is coast to coast”.

He later explained that tourism research indicated the need for such a project and stating his preference for a Dublin to Galway route.

According to the strategy, the government is looking for the development of greenways at scale, involving developments or extensions of at least 20km in length. The development of smaller more local greenways will not be funded under this strategy.

National greenways are routes which are 100 kilometres while regional greenways would typically be 20km.

“While best practice would be that all greenways will be fully segregated from vehicular traffic, we consider it prudent to allow some scope for local situations where total segregation might not be possible but that other traffic calming measures have been introduced to make the route more suitable for inexperienced cyclists,” stressed the blueprint.

Ross said: “I am looking forward to examining the many worthwhile project proposals that we expect to receive over the coming months under the funding call, and I would urge local authorities and state agencies to consult widely with landowners and communities along proposed routes to bring agreed routes to fruition. This strategy sets out how that consultation should take place and suggests the components that make for a successful greenway.”

Image credit | iStock