An Update on the East Coast Greenway
We recently attended the second meeting of the East Coast Greenway Taskforce, chaired by the Wicklow County Council CEO Frank Curran, and attended by senior representatives from Irish Rail, OPW, Failte Ireland, WCC, National Parks and Wildlife and the East Coast Greenway group.
Last August, the WCC appointed the renowned engineering consultants WS Atkins to look at the feasibility of building a Greenway from Wicklow Town to Greystones.
The lead consultants of WS Atkins updated the meeting on their findings to date and highlighted 2 key areas that are crucially important for a feasible Greenway.
Firstly, they are consulting Irish Rail regularly in order to plan the safest movement of people near the railway line.
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 – which means that the feasibility report won’t be ready until April.
The East Coast Greenway committee chairman said "Whilst initially disappointed to hear of the short delay, we are very 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. We look forward to seeing the final feasibility report in April."