The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D, has launched a public consultation process on the future development of Greenways. The Minister recently published a public consultation paper on a “Strategy for the Future Development of Greenways” and is inviting submissions from interested parties on the issues raised in the paper by 14 July 2017.
The consultation paper aims to seek the views of all those interested in the development of greenways in Ireland. The paper discusses a wide range of issues surrounding the development of greenways and poses a number of questions to prompt further debate and inform the development of an overarching Strategy for the future development of Greenways. The public consultation paper sets out the policy context for Government investment in Greenways, including their value from an economic, health, community and rural and regional regeneration perspective. It also references the significant tourism benefits that can accrue as well as providing a more sustainable transport option for many communities. Importantly, the paper seeks views from interested parties on some of the more contentious issues that have arisen in the development of some greenway projects and asks what approach should be taken to such issues in future.
In launching the public consultation, Minister Ross stated it is important that investment in greenways is targeted so that it delivers the most for the communities and for the country at large. The outcome of this public consultation will inform the development of a new Greenways Strategy to ensure that future funding is spent on the right projects, in the right areas and at the right time. Full details of the public consultation are available on http://www.smartertravel.ie/content/greenways
The Minister also announced funding for a number of greenway projects underway. These included further funding for the Galway to Dublin Greenway to progress elements of the Greenway in Counties Kildare and Meath which will build on the work started last year in those counties and will see people able to cycle all the way from Maynooth to Athlone by early 2018. Funding was also announced for the completion of works on the Waterford Greenway.