independent

Friday 19 September 2014

Cycleway delay an 'embarrassment'

Alison Comyn

Published 09/04/2014 | 05:28

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The section of the ramparts blocked by the landslide.

THE DELAY on clearing the ramparts to allow for the planned opening of a €800,000 cycleway development along the banks of the River Boyne is being described as 'a regional embarrassment'.

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THE DELAY on clearing the ramparts to allow for the planned opening of a €800,000 cycleway development along the banks of the River Boyne is being described as 'a regional embarrassment'.

The massive undertaking to provide a greenway from Drogheda to Oldbridge is all but complete, but there are fears the summer season will be lost due to a blockage caused by a landslide from the Riverbank estate.

'To think the whole project is on hold because of this is fast becoming a regional embarrassment,' said Geoff Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Boyneside Trail Committee.

'This will not be just a cycleway, it is a place to learn about our estuarine ecology, view wintering birdlife and understand estuarine fauna and flora. It is a route to follow the great historical events that shape Ireland today – Cromwell, the Battle of the Boyne, Mellifont, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. But right now, between the developer and Drogheda Borough Council, it is being held up and it urgently needs to be resolved.'

A landslide, which happened last December at the Riverbank development at Rathmullen, has meant the tow path has been impassable for the past four months.

'This is fast becoming a serious lost opportunity for Drogheda's fragile tourism industry and we are trying to compete on a national level with other projects,' added Geoff.

'It threatens to put the kibosh on the opening of the most important tourism amenity for Drogheda in the recent past, and we need to work together to get this resolved urgently.'

Meath County Council and the National Transport Authority, funders of the project, are watching closely to see how this matter is resolved.

The Minister of State at the Department Transport, Tourism and Sport, Alan Kelly had planned to open the facility and review proposed plans to develop further facilities in the area.

Meanwhile, the taking in charge of the Riverbank estate has moved one step closer, with the conformation that the council is in the process of getting paperwork relating to the final snaglist from the developer.

It is expected the statutory process will commence at the end of this month.

Drogheda Independent

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