A completion date of 2025 has been earmarked for the West Clare Greenway.
An active travel webinar chaired last Thursday by Senator Roisin Garvey (GP) was told “the West Clare Greenway will be one of the best in the world”.
Senior engineer in the project management office of Clare County Council, Seán Lenihan made the comment and also outlined that the Greenway would span a distance of 110km to 115km and be completed by 2025 in the event of “no legal challenges”.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD (GP) was among the 185 persons listening to the address. A fund of €50m announced in December is to be made available to local authorities for investment in walking and cycling projects. Clare County Council last year obtained €225,000 under the Department of Transport’s Carbon Tax Fund.
Lenihan stated that the old railway line is a tentative route and severs privately owned land throughout the county. “I am fully aware that farmers, homeowners and property owners have yards or farming practices that would be too much interfered with by the development. We are very happy to talk to anybody to find a mutually beneficial solution to these issues”. Connecting with towns, villages and scenic areas were labelled as vital to the success of the Greenway.
It will serve as an expansion of the former route of the West Clare Railway. “It will start in the Clare capital with fantastic walks and woodlands in Lees Road, onto Corofin which is the gateway to the Burren, moving on to the cascades in the heritage town of Ennistymon, down the coast to Lahinch, onto Miltown Malbay, the blue flag beach of Spanish Point and down to Doonbeg. Finally, it passes through the world class Marina in Kilrush and onto Kilkee,” Seán explained.
There may be a period of two to three years before necessary planning permissions are put in place, Lenihan highlighted. “Following planning permission, design and tender will be next. Once we have a defined line on a map then, we will be engaging with landowners”.
“Further to planning, further to timely consents and further to agreements with landowners, a good wind behind us and the availability of funding from the Department, we will be talking about two years for construction. The bottom line is I would be hopeful of opening for business in 2025,” he concluded.