By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Municipal Council meeting
Walking trails come under the spotlight at today’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council and members were informed that the extension to the Riverside Walk or the Country Walk which received €200,000 in funding may be delayed by up to a year before the proposed 600-metre loop is completed.
Mr. Rory O’Mahoney from the Environmental Section of Wexford County Council told the meeting of plans to extend the Riverside Walk and complete the 600-metre loop onto the public road and a team of consultants were involved.
Cllr Cathal Byrne spoke of extending the walk to include the Ringwood and Borodale and while very enthusiastic for the completion of the project he wondered at the need for large project teams to add to the existing walk. “We have €200,000 to spend or advance, but why has everything to be with consultants and the work outsourced at the moment,” he queried.
Cllr Jackser Owens said; “600 people a day use the country walk”, but he had concerns over lack of wheelchair access over the River Urrin and expressed a need for a wheelchair suitable surface, and he felt the need to point out “the lack of public toilets” along the trail.
Mr O’Mahoney confirmed that due to the planning process and An Bord Pleanála it would be nearly a year before it would be shovel ready along The Banks (€30,000 approved) on the north side and the existing country walk on the south side of Enniscorthy.
Established as the Country Walk in 2010, the popular trail is a 6km round trip scenic walk along the western bank of the River Slaney south of Enniscorthy town. The trail starts along the promenade walk at the southern end of the town and heads past a playground, crosses a footbridge at the River Urrin and follows a gravel path through a semi-wild meadow and is part of an extensive Special Area of Conservation.