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Wednesday, 17th July 2019

Boyne walkway dream edges closer to reality

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An artist's impression of how the boardwalk would look at Mornington West of the bridge.

The dream of a walking and cycling route along the river Boyne from Mornington to Newgrange and possibly as far as Navan has been shared by many people for years and, though it is slow in becoming a reality, there are some positive signs.

It was announced last month that Drogheda’s popular Ramparts walk was to be upgraded and Louth County Council began work on Monday,15 July. (See our previous article). 

“Over €200,000 has been secured for work along this stretch of the river” said Councillor Pio Smith who had worked alongside Council officials to secure the funding. 

The upgrade to will see new lighting installed from Dominick's Park to the Cable Bridge. Seating will also be placed at various points along the trail. 

“The pathway will be upgraded to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists and information boards will be put in place to inform visitors of the biodiversity in the area and the historical and cultural significance of the river Boyne” Cllr. Smith said.

The pathway will not be accessible to pedestrians and cyclists during these works which should finish by late October. It is also expected that work will stop for the duration of the Fleadh and recommence when it is over. 

“I believe that we should look for funding to construct a walkway along Wellington Quay” Councillor Smith told Drogheda Life. 

“If successful, then people could walk from St. Mary's Bridge to Oldbridge along the river. The Boyne is a unique selling point for Drogheda and we need to develop it for both locals and tourists."

"When completed this work will be a positive contribution to the wellbeing of people in the town and staff in Louth County Council are to be congratulated on their commitment to this project."

Meanwhile, last Thursday, July 11th, Meath County Council, who received €200,000 for preparatory work on the 7km Mornington to Drogheda section of the greenway, presented an update on the project to the Laytown/Bettystown Municipal District Councillors.

Contrary to their previous announcements they have now decided to make an application directly to An Bord Pleanala which will involve a public consultation to be held during August 2019 with the application to be made to An Bord Pleanala in October 2019.

The greenway East of the viaduct along Mornington Road past the Flogas and Boyne Fishermans bases.

After the meeting Cllr Stephen McKee said: “This project has huge potential to create a unique walking and cycling route in our area, improve road safety, promote tourism and create local jobs.

“Residents will be able to have their say and I want to see all concerns of local people properly addressed as part of the planning process.”

Councillor Sharon Tolan said she was bitterly disappointed that Meath County Council had opted to make an application to An Bord Pleanala.

“I had hoped we could go the much quicker route of a Part 8 Planning application, however, this was decided against by our Planning Department.

“I would encourage those who support this fabulous project to remember that the important submissions are the ones made during the statutory public consultation period to the Bord itself.

“I am determined to see this project delivered, but it is now in the hands of An Bord Pleanala.

Further upstream, Meath County Council was awarded €845,250 In February towards the Boyne Navigation and Greenway project for technical assistance to address environmental impacts for restoring both the Boyne Navigation and Greenway between Drogheda and Navan.

All in all there is room for hope that the dream may become relaity but there are still hurdles to overcome.

How the Greenway will look at Mornington Tower Road.

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