The latest section of a proposed coast-to-coast Greenway running from Dublin to Galway was formally opened this morning at the Twelfth Lock in Castleknock by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.
The €2 million Ashtown to Castleknock stretch is a 2.5km Greenway along the Royal Canal and a valuable local amenity for walkers, cyclists and other local residents in west Dublin. But it will also form part of the first national Greenway running right across the country, from the Docklands in Dublin city to the Atlantic coast in Galway.
Minister Varadkar also announced details of the preferred route for the western section of the Greenway between Athlone and Galway. The preferred route corridor runs through Shannonbridge, Loughrea, Craughwell, Clarinbridge and Oranmore to the Galway coast.
“It’s great to see the Galway to Dublin Greenway taking shape. Two years ago we only had a simple idea to run a Greenway along the Royal Canal. Now three sections are open to the public and being used actively by walkers, cyclists and for other leisure pursuits. Today I’m delighted to formally open this new section between Ashtown to Castleknock,” Minister Varadkar said.
“I’m also pleased to confirm the preferred route for the section running between Athlone and the Galway coast. Instead of trying to build the entire route in one go, at a time when resources are very limited, I have taken an incremental approach by developing each section as funding becomes available. Although we still have a huge task in finishing the rest of the project, I’m really looking forward to walking, cycling or running along the entire route between Dublin and Galway when it’s finally completed.”
Minister Varadkar first announced plans for the Galway to Dublin project in 2012, and a formal route has been mapped out between Dublin Docklands and Athlone. Work to date includes:
a section in Dublin from Guild Street to Sherriff Street has opened;
a second 25km section in Westmeath, from Grange South in Mullingar to the Meath border has opened;
And the Ashtown to Castleknock section was opened today.
The 40km section between Mullingar and Athlone will be completed next year, after €4 million was allocated by Minister of State for Transport Alan Kelly. Two further sections totalling 40km in Kildare and Meath are at shovel ready stage, and work will start as soon as funding becomes available.
The project is being developed through the National Roads Authority (for the Maynooth to Galway section) and the National Transport Authority (for the Greater Dublin Area section).
PLEASE FIND ATTACHED MAPS OF THE PROPOSED ROUTE OF THE DUBLIN TO GALWAY GREENWAY
The Galway to Dublin Greenway comprises the following sections:
Section LA Funding Agency Extent Phase Section Length (Km)
1 DCC NTA Guild Street to Sherriff Street Complete 0.350
2 DCC NTA Sherriff Street to North Strand Preliminary Design: Final stakeholder report forwarded to NTA. Draft Request For Tenders for Engineering consultancy services being prepared.Detailed Design: Detailed design due July/August 2014. Anticipated tender issue for construction end 2014. Advance contract required for Japanese Knotweed eradication. 1
3 DCC NTA North Strand to Phibsborough Road Preliminary Design: Options report under review. Finalisation of draft preliminary design drawings on-going. 2
4 DCC NTA Phibsboro to Ashtown Preliminary Design: Options report under review. Further consultation with Waterways Ireland on the possibility of increasing widths required. 4.3
5 FCC NTA Ashtown to 12th Lock Complete. (Funded by DTTAS: €600,000; additional funding from NTA to cover shortfall: €1,100,000+) 1.6
6 FCC NTA 12th Lock to KCC boundary Feasibility study complete.
Options for deep sinking section under further investigation. Then a preliminary design will commence.
7 KCC NTA FCC boundary to Maynooth Preliminary Design commencing following completion of Feasibility Study. 8.5
8 KCC NRA Maynooth to Cloncorry and Kilmore to Longwood Planning approval has been acquired 21.5
9 MCC NRA McLoghlin Bridge in Kildare to Westmeath border in the townland of Croby Planning approval has been acquired 21
10 WCC NRA Meath County Border to Grange South Completed cycleway (Total Cost €1.26m) 25
11 WCC NRA Mullingar to East Athlone €4 million allocated. Section to be completed in 2015 40
12 WCC NRA Through Athlone Town Currently preparing an EIS that will entail a new crossing of the River Shannon 6
13 RCC, OCC and GCC NRA Athlone to Galway Preferred route corridor has been selected from Athlone to Galway. This section of the route will pass through Shannonbridge, Loughrea, Craughwell, Clarinbridge and Oranmore and will run along the coast into Galway. 145