Cycling 'greyway' plan for old N11 is proposed
Following the recent opening of the new Enniscorthy Bypass, Co Wexford Minister Michael D'Arcy has called for the opening of a cycling greyway to be introduced along the old N11 road in an effort to link Wicklow and Wexford.
'This greyway is a for-value concept as it will utilise existing infrastructure, the old N11 road. I first thought of the concept whilst travelling along the route, I thought the stretch of road should be used to its full potential. This greyway will be over 80km long and provide cyclists with a safe cycling route,' said Minister D'Arcy.
'Such projects have been successful in other parts of the country, and this would be a fantastic route for cyclists, connecting Wicklow and Wexford,' he said.
He is suggesting that this be achieved by reconfiguring the existing road, to have a separate, safe, designated section for cyclists.
He is proposing that the route commence in North Wicklow and move southwards through towns and villages such as Rathnew, Arklow, Gorey, Camolin, Ferns and Enniscorthy.
Cyclists in those areas have shown their enthusiasm for Michael D'Arcy's proposal.
'This greyway will give children more of an option to get into cycling because I don't know of any parent who would allow their young child to cycle on the roads on their own, as there's a huge danger there. The biggest problem is the motorists attitude towards cyclists, not all motorists but the minority do have an issue,' said Derek Webb of Gorey Cycling Club.
'A very small percentage of children in Wexford use cycling as a mode of transport so something like this has to be done to promote cycling as not just a leisure activity, but a real option as a mode of transport and as an alternative to driving. This greyway would give people the opportunity to cycle and get confidence on a bike,' he said.
'It is really important to attract cyclists to this part of the east and south east. Cyclists will be able to enjoy the fantastic scenery and attractions, with picnic stops dotted along the route as well as pubs and restaurants located in towns and villages across the route, they would also benefit,' said Michael D'Arcy.
The Minister plans to speak to both Wicklow and Wexford County Councils and said he is now in the process of writing to all councillors there, to gather ideas around getting this project moving.
'Not only will it provide a tourism boost to the area, this cycling route will also promote health and well being. Whilst initially we should begin with connecting the towns and villages in Wicklow and Wexford, I would eventually envisage a series of routes being developed, providing Wexford and neighbouring counties with a cycling network,' he said.
The Minister sees that the route would eventually join in to the Rosslare to Waterford City and New Ross to Waterford Greenways that are already in existence.