Greenway plans for Limerick to be discussed further

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

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norma.prendiville@limerickleader.ie

Greenway plans for Limerick to be discussed further

COUNCILLORS in the Adare Rathkeale area will return to the table later this week in a bid to advance the 3km extension of the Great Southern Greenway from Rathkeale to Ballingrane.

COUNCILLORS in the Adare Rathkeale area will return to the table later this week in a bid to advance the 3km extension of the Great Southern Greenway from Rathkeale to Ballingrane.

When the plans for the extension were brought before a special meeting of the Adare Rathkeale councillors at the end of July, they did not give the green light to the project but instead asked for a further meeting. This is now due to take place on Tuesday, August 15, just before a planning deadline is reached.

Meanwhile, a resident close to the proposed route from Rathkeale to Ballingrane has warned of potential problems in the plans drawn up by Limerick City and County Council.

Philip Ruttle explained to the Limerick Leader point out what he believes is an error by the council’s engineers. “The planned extension is along the old Rathkeale to Tralee line,” Mr Ruttle explained.

Just before Ballingrane, this line meets up with the Limerick to Foynes railway line and crosses over it to the north before continuing a short distance east to Ballingrane station. According to Mr Ruttle however, the maps for the greenway extension do not show this. Instead, the Limerick Foynes line is shown as running north of the greenway, when in fact, it is south.

“The Limerick Foynes line is intact,” Mr Ruttle said. “If the plan to have it lie to the north of the greenway were to go ahead, the Foynes line would have to be radically re-aligned at enormous cost.”

Mr Ruttle is also concerned at a possible waste of public money. Approximately 600-800 metres of the proposed greenway lie in the path of the new road from Limerick to Adare and any work on the greenway would have to be undone when the new road starts, he argued.

His solution would be to run a cycle/walking path along the shoulder of the existing N21, from Rathkeale, through Croagh and on to Adare. By bringing the greenway through centres of population with amenities, there would be economic benefits for the local area, he argued.

This, he believes, would also provide a viable alternative to continuing the greenway from Ballingrane along the Limerick/Foynes railway line to Limerick. It is his belief that there is not sufficient room to run a greenway alongside the existing rail line.

Meanwhile, Cllr Kevin Sheahan has welcomed the announcement that the European Greenways Network will be holding their conference in Adare next month. And he has welcomed the organisation’s continuing enthusiasm for what began as the Great Southern Trail. “Some people have indicated we are maybe coming late to the greenway idea,” Cllr Sheahan said.

“Not at all. But we must proceed with our Great Southern Greenway by extending it,” he said. Its potential for tourism cannot be ignored by any public representative, he said.