15,000 names on Greenway petition
Growing support for East Coast Greenway as petition continues to gather signatures
Over 15,000 people have now added their names to the petition calling for a new East Coast Greenway connecting Wicklow town, Kilcoole, Newcastle and Greystones.
The 'Wicklow Town Team' has been leading the initiative and formed the East Coast Greenway sub-group, chaired by Ciaran Lally.
'Over 15,000 signatures is a huge amount and it just goes to show the level of support there is for the Greenway. We also released four social media videos featuring captains of different clubs located along the route asking people to get behind the Greenway. The first of those videos has already received 10,000 views,' said Mr Lally.
The East Coast Greenway Taskforce continue to meet to discuss plans and features representatives from Wicklow County Council, Irish Rail, OPW, Failte Ireland, WCC, National Parks and Wildlife and the East Coast Greenway group.
At the most recent meeting, engineering consultants WS Atkins provided an update into the feasibility study they were commissioned to carry out by Wicklow County Council.
'WS Atkins are in regular consultation with Irish Rail to plan the safest movement of people near the railway line,' said Mr Lally.
'Secondly, due to the large areas of land along the coast designated as Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas, the design of any Greenway must take full cognisance of the flora, fauna and wildlife along any proposed route, as they have special protection under European Law.
'We have been impressed by the professional approach taken by the WS Atkins team to date, and are in full agreement that any proposed route must be sympathetic to the beautiful nature in this area and not have any negative environmental impact whatsoever.
'Working in harmony with nature will only enhance the physical and mental health benefits of the Greenway for the people of Wicklow, in addition to the significant economic benefits the Greenway would have for all towns along the route.'
Wicklow County Council will carry out a sand dune survey over the summer months, as they are required to do under EU law. Irish Rail are also working on a coastal protection plan.
'We welcome Irish Rail's involvement,' said Mr Lally. 'We have always maintained that there is no point spending public money on a greenway if it is just going to be washed away to sea.'