Council to reassess route for greenway

by Sylvia Pownall
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Fingal County Council has agreed to go back to the drawing board before it determines, a preferred route for a contentious section of the Royal Canal Greenway.

Earlier this year, 600 submissions were lodged during a public engagement exercise – most opposed to a raised walkway running behind houses in Castleknock.

The majority of submissions requested that the greenway run along the southern bank of the canal and that a workable solution be found for the deep sinking section.

Since then, eleven route options have been identified with engineers admitting that all present “various technical and environmental challenges”.

At a council meeting, officials said linking the route via a boardwalk partly sitting on the towpath and partly overhanging the canal’s southern embankment was assessed, but was ruled out on several grounds.

These included the potential impacts on the integrity of the Royal Canal as a protected structure, canal navigation, biodiversity and railway operation.

A report stated: “Many of the submissions did specifically request that the greenway be routed along the southern bank.

“In response to these concerns, FCC is now undertaking more detailed assessment work including ground investigations, surveys and design work, to conclusively identify the preferred route for the scheme at deep sinking.”

A second public engagement process will take place later this year and any relevant reports including ecological and route options will be made public.

Cllr Emer Currie (FG) told Dublin Gazette: “I welcome the commitment to have another consultation and to make available the surveys and reports, but I would urge the council to hear the views of the community on this issue.

“People want the greenway – but they do not want a major piece of public transport infrastructure overlooking their homes or accessing what are safe, secure green areas where their children currently play.

“Any access points into housing estates should only be identified with the consent of the local community.”

Once completed, the greenway aims to provide a “first-class multipurpose off road walking and cycling link” from the River Liffey in Dublin city centre to the Shannon in Co Longford.

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