Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has welcomed the news that a firm of Consultant Engineers have been appointed to take Boyne Greenway to the next level.
“The Boyne Greenway and Blueway has the potential to become one of the most important Greenways in Ireland. It can be an internationally recognised project that will draw tourists from all over the world.
“The Boyne Valley has one of the best concentrations of monuments of historic and heritage value in the world. Brú na Bóinne is a Unesco World Heritage Site and Trim Castle, the Hill of Tara, the Battle of the Boyne are just a few of the dozens of places of real interest in the Boyne Valley”.
“The tourism potential is enormous. Walking and cycling tourism is growing enormously in popularity internationally. It also means that tourists stay within the county for up to a week as opposed to the one-day coach tour that is so typical of Meath tourism currently”.
“The importance of the route next to the river and incorporating these heritage sites is also one of the major challenges of the project. The standard of protection and conservation necessary is very high. As a result, this is no doubt a challenge for Meath County Council. I have pushed for this project for 12 years when I first passed a motion for the project at council level 12 years ago. I want to give credit to Meath County Council for all the work that they have done on this project to get it to this stage”.
“It is great news that Meath County Council has appointed Atkins Consulting Engineers to examine in detail a route for the Boyne Greenway between Navan and Oldbridge and the restoration of the Boyne Navigation. The Greenway would run from the Councillor Andy Brennan Park in Navan to the main gates at the Oldbridge Estate, where it will link with the existing greenway facilities which provide a route onward to Drogheda and on to the sea. This is a stretch 26.5km in length which is a considerable undertaking”.
“The first phase will look at the feasibility of developing the cycle and pedestrian route from Navan to Old Bridge. The second phase will prepare a preliminary design for the Boyne Greenway cycle and pedestrian route and preliminary design for the restoration of the Boyne Navigation from the canal harbour in Navan Town to the Oldbridge Guard Lock”.
“The third phase will compile documentation and participate in oral hearing(s) as required by the statutory processes to ensure that the proposed project is developed in accordance with planning and environmental legislation. Central to this work will be consultation with stakeholders and the public. It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala in late 2021”.
“I am delighted that we have a concrete project with concrete timelines. When this work is completed, I am hopeful that we will be able to extend the Green and Blue Ways onto Newtown Trim and Trim Castle and onto the source of the Boyne in north Kildare.
“This will turn the project into a regional project taking in three counties and will allow the Green and Blue ways to intersect with the Royal Canal Greenway that will run from Dublin to Galway”.