THE first phase of the long awaited Tralee Fenit Greenway has been opened.
The 6.5km stretch of the walking and cycling route – linking Fenit and The Spa – was opened by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan on Friday.
The remainder of the greenway is now expected to open in the autumn, with the latest indications suggesting that this will take place in September.
The entire 11.3 km greenway will encompass the, already open, stretch from leading from Tralee Railway Station to the Mounthawk and will greatly enhance the local tourist economy, allowing people to cycle or walk safely all the way from Tralee town centre to Fenit in a healthy and scenic car-free environment.
Minister Ryan said the new amenity – which was first proposed in 1987 – is an example of the role greenways can play in connecting communities in a sustainable manner.
“This new infrastructure from Fenit to Spa is accessible to all and allows those living on this route to commute safely to school, work or other amenities by foot or bike.”
“It also provides an attractive amenity for visitors to the area and I look forward to the delivery of the rest of the greenway which will further support tourism and sustainable transport in the region,” said the Minister.
Welcoming the opening of the route Mayor of Tralee Johnnie Wall praised the work carried out by Kerry County Council staff.
“It is something that has been in the pipeline for many years and to see it coming to fruition is fantastic,” he said.
“Great credit must go to everyone involved, including the Council staff who built the greenway, the landowners for their cooperation, and the Department of Transport and TII for funding the project,” said Mayor Wall.
“This, along with current and future Greenway projects in the county will be hugely beneficial for local and visitor alike and I look forward to the rest of the greenway opening in Autumn,” he added.
Education Minister and Tralee based Kerry Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley also attended Friday’s opening.
“The greenway which will provide locals and visitors alike a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the delights of walking and cycling in beautiful, picturesque and safe surroundings,” she said.
“Today’s launch marks a hugely significant day for Kerry and I look forward to the opening of the remainder of the Greenway which will further enhance and enrich the visitor experience,” said Minister Foley.
The entire greenway was originally due to open fully to the public in summer 2021 but Covid restrictions and a number of planning issues led to significant delays.