Despite a lack of clarity of border arrangements due to Brexit, a new network of cross-border walking and cycle routes is continued to be planned between Donegal in the Republic and Derry in Northern Ireland.
Plans for a route between Derry and Muff in Donegal are to go on view at events this week in Hollybush Primary School and Muff Community Hall. The Derry to Muff route is part of an EU-funded greenway project that that also includes routes between Derry to Buncrana and Lifford-Strabane.
The public information events are at Hollybush Primary School, Culmore from 14.00 to 20.00 on Wednesday November 28 and at Community Hall, Moville Road, Muff from 14.00 to 19.30 on Thursday 29 November 2018. The plans and a comment card will also be available at nwgreenway.com from Wednesday.
Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council said that from the route corridors published in May 2018 and following an appraisal exercise, the chosen route is a mixture of the ‘red’ and ‘green’ route corridor options.
The councils said that they will “proceed to lodge formal planning permissions in both jurisdictions and will engage with landowners along the route to agree accommodation works. The councils are keen to liaise with residents while minimising disruption during construction. Subject to the approval of planning consent in both jurisdictions, it is hoped that construction work can commence in early 2020.”
The North West Greenway Network programme manager, Jonathan Henderson said: “Almost 300 people attended the consultation events which were held in May and we received over 100 written submissions. A key outcome from the consultation process is that people on the whole supportive of the project concept and are keen to see both local authorities construct infrastructure which encourages cycling and walking between the two locations.”
He added: “The rationale for the chosen route has been explained in the Stage 2 Preferred Route Corridor Selection Report which will be available at both events as well as online from 28 November.”
Ronan Gallagher, communications manager, said: “One of our key objectives is to build infrastructure that will encourage people to cycle and walk to and from their destination in Derry or Muff, but particularly between the two locations. Once completed, not only will we link Muff to Derry, but students at Thornhill College and several primary schools will be able to cycle and walk to school in a safe, segregated environment.”
The councils said that the main route is planned as follows:
- Quay Trail from existing greenway behind Sainsbury’s supermarket, Derry to the entrance of Foyle Hospice on the A2 (this section will also include a new bridge across the Pennyburn river)
- Entrance of Foyle Hospice along A2 on left-hand side towards Thornhill College
- Thornhill College to Culmore village, turning right on to Culmore Point Road continuing adjacent to the River Foyle
- Coney Road (with a link to Hollybush PS on Ardan Road) past Culmore Country Park, turning right on to Canning’s Lane in Muff (with a proposed new cycle/pedestrian bridge at the border crossing)
- Turning right on to Kilderry Lane and continuing to the R238
- Connection on R238 back towards the Community Hall and also in the direction of the Muff Community Park;
- In Muff, the route will also include an additional link to the village centre from further up Canning’s Lane on to Kilderry Lane, coming out at Main Street opposite Borderland.