Greenway to link Waterford City to Rosslare

Wexford County Council said on Friday that it has appointed consultants to draft a preliminary design for a greenway along the disused railway corridor from Rosslare to Waterford City, with a link from Rosslare to Rosslare Harbour.

The 56km route has an estimated cost of €12 million. It will link to Ireland’s current longer greenway, the 46.5km Waterford Greenway, in Waterford city centre.

The greenway is planned to also link the towns and villages of Kilrane; Rosslare, Killinick, Mayglass, Bridgetown, Wellingtonbridge, Ballycullane, Campile in Wexford; and Belview in Kilkenny; and Ferrybank in Waterford.

The council said that Roughan O’Donovan Consulting Engineers will now commence the preparation of the feasibility study, route selection report, environmental assessment, planning and related consultancy services for the 56km greenway, which covers counties Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford.

Chairman of Wexford County Council, Councillor John Hegarty, said: “The Rosslare to Waterford greenway will be a fantastic amenity right here on our doorstep, attracting domestic and international visitors to come, explore and stay in the region.

A council statement said: “This greenway will form part of a proposed integrated network of greenways, blueways and EuroVelo routes proposed for the South East region, providing an array of recreational facilities, constructed to the highest quality standards, for enjoyment by local and visiting pedestrians and cyclists.”

11 Comments

  1. This is brilliant news. Hopefully it’ll go ahead without any issues and as soon as possible. I’d love to cycle the whole way from Rosslare to Dungarvan on a route completely free from the danger of cars.

  2. The benefits of well designed infrastructure are clear. By going that little bit further, and investing in an excellent Greenway, Waterford CC has earned a better pay-back. Wexford CC has recognised that, fair play! The standard has been set to a high level, lets hope more follow.

  3. Great news. This is a beautiful and less well-known part of the country. The relative far-sightedness of Waterford County Council in implementing the Waterford Greenway is already starting to have positive knock on impact for the wider South-East region.

    I just hope that this project will not be plagued by the kind of objections and delays that we have seen elsewhere, but the positive examples of Waterford and Mayo as well as the existing state-owned railway line should minimize the potential for that to occur.

  4. Fantastic – you can expect and large influx of British (and continental) cyclists making their way into the south-east when this route opens. Great forward thinking by Wexford CC.

  5. fantastic news,full marks to wexford county council for there insight into the greenway,it should have the same impact as waterford,s greenway on the ecomony

  6. I think it would be extremely short-sighted of Wexford CoCo to tear up a perfectly good railway line (closed in 2010 but still in working order) in order to build a Greenway. The Rosslare to Waterford section is one part of the only non radial (from Dublin) rail routes in Ireland and I believe it has a future role to play in our move towards sustainable travel.

    Is there any chance that the proposed Greenway could be build alongside the line? I’ve no idea how you would provide a work-around for the Barrow Viaduct but I’m sure something could be put in place. I’m all in favour of Greenways but I have significant concerns about the either/or approach when it comes to railways/Greenways, esp when the railtrack is still in perfect working order. Can’t we have both?

  7. I think conversion to a greenway is much more likely to allow the train track to reopen at some point in the future when compared to the current situation where a track is closed and then farmers and other landowners just appropriate it for themselves.

    Clearly Irish Rail and the government do not believe the cost of maintaining that line compared to the demand warrants keeping it open.

    If, in 10 or 20 or 50 years it became a good idea to reopen this line closing the greenway, possibly moving it to the side, is going to be a lot more feasible than dealing with landowners who now consider it their private property.

  8. I’d have to disagree. If the track is lifted, it will never be replaced as the cost to re-lay would be prohibitive.

    The line belongs to IE so no illegal appropriation should occur. As long as IE maintain the track (which they currently do) then the railway can be re-opened easily and with a minimum of fuss. The line is still operational and it strikes me as bizarre to tear up a perfectly good railway line to provide for a Greenway (it’s not as if we have many railway lines left). Surely Wexford CoCo should explore the feasibility of building alongside the current line.

  9. I’m also wary of dismantling rail infrastructure. Look at the decision to decommission the Harcourt line, only to rebuild it for the Luas. At the time everyone thought trains were the past and cars were the future.

    In this instance, there is another rail line from Wexford to Waterford. I don’t believe there will be sufficient demand to justify a separate line from Rosslare to Waterford in the next 50 years, or ever. In the meantime, this amenity will be lying unused, when it could add great value to the local community.

    The average passenger numbers when the line closed was just 25, with an annual cost of €4m. Compare that to the number of people who use the Waterford Greenway today, and you will get a good idea of which option makes most sense. This is about which option makes the best use of a public asset, and benefits society.

    Interesting article from the IT at the time the line closed:
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/rosslare-waterford-rail-service-to-end-1.617737

  10. @Bob
    That is a reasonable concern; we have made serious mistakes in the past by tearing up rail and tram infrastructure in the belief that it would never be needed again, and as Eric points out, in many cases allowed landowners to appropriate the land or in some cases just gave it to them, as happened in South Kerry, which is the principle reason the local Greenway is floundering.
    However, in this case, I believe that the alternative route via Wexford town is probably a perfectly good substitute if a Rosslare – Waterford link needs to be re-established which it may well do. The area the direct line passed through is very sparsely populated and is likely to remain so, which adds to its potential as a greenway.

  11. The track wasn’t lifted for the Mullingar Athlone Greenway.

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