‘Greenway extension must protect local environment’

by Mark O'Brien

Cllr Roderic O’Gorman (GP) has called for the protection of the natural environment to be a key consideration in any extension of the Royal Canal Greenway from the 12th Lock to the Kildare County Council border.
Cllr O’Gorman made the call as part of his submission to the public consultation process on the development of a new Greenways Strategy, which was undertaken by the Department of Transport.
“In my submission to the Department, I highlighted the importance of protecting the natural environment when the Royal Canal Greenway is extended from the 12th Lock to the Kildare border,” he said.
“While everyone accepts that the Deep Sinking section between Castleknock and Coolmine train stations is currently extremely unsafe for walkers and cyclists, it is also an incredibly scenic area.
“Bringing a Greenway through this section will involve change but it is vital that any new development is balanced with maintaining the natural heritage of this section.
“A ‘chop and pave’ approach here would devastate a beautiful area.”
Greenways allow for pedestrian and bicycle pathways to be built away from busy roads in urban areas.
Transport Minister Shane Ross recently announced plans to develop the Dublin to Galway Greenway in Counties Kildare and Meath.
Once completed in early 2018, this Greenway will allow people to cycle from Maynooth to Athlone.
Cllr O’Gorman said that he fully supports the Royal Canal Greenway but said that steps must also be taken to preserve the “natural beauty” of the area.
“Balancing the next section of the Royal Canal Greenway with the scenic importance of the area will be complex and may require some innovative solutions but it is vital that this is done,” he said.
“The key selling points of Greenways are their natural beauty.
“We must be careful that we do not sacrifice this in the process of opening up the Deep Sinking section.”
The period for tenders to draw up a design for the 12th Lock to the Kildare border has now closed.
Fingal County Council are expected to examine the applications and award the tender early in the autumn.
The successful consultant will draw up a design for what this section of the Greenway will look like and what route it will take.
This design will then go out to public consultation.

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