By Dan Walsh
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Eamon Ryan TD, believes that the way forward post Covid-19 is through walking and cycling and is stimulating the measures through the Active Travel Measures Allocations 2020 with the announcement of funding to Wexford County Council of €1,351, 098.
Minister Ryan said; “The Active Travel grant scheme is a positive initiative which will see communities across the country benefiting from improved and more accessible walking and cycling infrastructure as well as stimulating local employment. The projects included in the scheme can make a real difference to people – footpaths and cycle ways that allow children to walk/cycle to school and to local sport clubs; the dishing of footpaths and pedestrian crossings that improve access to local amenities and links to public transport, and improvements to town and village centres that will support our hard hit retail and hospitality sectors.
€258,714 has been allocated for the conversion of the hard shoulder to cycle tracks (called greyways) from Clough Roundabout, north of Camolin, to Scurloughsbush (old N11), south of Enniscorthy where the M11 ends – a total distance of approximately 30kms. A similar arrangement is planned between Ballymacar Roundabout to Oaklands Roundabout (old N25 at New Ross) will cost €41,284; and €24,000 each is provided for cycle parking shelters for the towns of Wexford, New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey, and for the villages of Bunclody, Oylegate, Ferns and Camolin. €10,000 will be made available for the completion of a footpath and a cycle land link between Wexford and Castlebridge.
€15,375 will support the provision of bike racks (for 4 to 8 bikes) at 15 beaches throughout the county – Curracloe, The Raven, Ballinesker, Morriscastle, Cahore, Courtown, Ballymoney, Castletown, Rosslare Strand, St, Helen’s, Carne, Kilmore Quay, Fethard, Duncannon, and Ballyhack/Arthurstown.
There is a further €9,225 for similar bike racks at nine ‘communal locations’ throughout the county – Peoples Park in Gorey; Sports Hub and Vinegar Hill Car Park in Enniscorthy; Sports Park and Library Park in New Ross; Min Ryan Park, Ferrycarrig Car Park and Ferrybank Car Park in Wexford, and the Swimming Pool Car Park in Bunclody.
In Enniscorthy, at the Duffry Gate area linking residential houses to services such as the Post Office, shops and a pharmacy, €30,000 is allocated for the provision of disable and age friendly parking and the upgrading of the existing pedestrian crossing point and other works.
Further work is earmarked for the Templeshannon area of the town. €60,000 is to be made available for new surfacing and line marking and the installation of cycle parking, disabled and age friendly parking facilities to support the use of the public rail transport system at Railway Square.
€3,000 is allocated by bicycle racks to be installed at the Nine Stones Cycle rest stop (which I always thought was near Bunclody) but the official report refers to the Paul Funge Boulevard, Gorey? €4,500 also for bicycle racks at Gorey Town Park, which is a construction site at present!
Biggest project in the Gorey district is €60,000 for the continuation of the new footpath from the town to Courtown; Ballygarrett is set to get €75,000 for a new footpath from the village to the GAA pitch.
€86,000 is earmarked for the project at Carrigfoyle Rock in the direction of the road junction at Shelmalier Commons and Fort Mountain, in the Barntown area, near Wexford town. The provision of new footpaths will take walkers off the busy roads leading to the forestry trails, used as walking trail routes. Works will include the installation of roadside drainage, kerbing, relocating telegraph poles, realignment of an old stone boundary wall and path surface finish and line marking.