Derry and Strabane council approve Strabane greenway route

Plans to develop a £1m cycling and walking route in Strabane, part of the planned North West Greenway Network, have been approved by Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee.

The development plan includes a 3.5km greenway route in Strabane connecting the A5, Derry Road, Canal Basin, River Mourne Flood Wall and Strabane Retail Park. The works includes signage, drainage, landscaping, lighting and walls.

“The work is highlighted as a key capital project in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Strategic Growth Plan, which commits to connecting people and opportunities through infrastructure while promoting neighbourhood enhancement through the development of local environmental improvement facilities,” a council press release said.

It added: “The Strabane section is central to overall Strabane-Lifford greenway which forms part of the North West Greenway Network project, which will see the District connected with Buncrana, Lifford and Muff. Funding for the project has been provided through the INTERREG VA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the Department for Communities, Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland.”

In the statement, chair of Derry City and Strabane District Council Planning Committee, Christopher Jackson, said: “The completed project will offer cyclists and walkers a wider, safer and more user friendly experience and can play a key role in encouraging the public to get out into the fresh air and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.’‘It will also provide an incentive for more local people to choose active travel which will have a positive impact on the environment by reducing congestion and fuel emissions.”

Head of planning at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maura Fox, said: “The new shared cyclist and pedestrian greenway path will be a significant enhancement for cyclists and walkers in the area.”

“This development is in keeping with key objectives in the Strabane Area Plan to improve the quality of the urban environment, to make effective use of new and existing infrastructure and to conserve and enhance the natural and man-made environment,” she said.

Ronan Gallagher, communications officer for the North West Greenway Network, said: “This project has been developed over three years and it is fantastic that planning has now been approved. The Council will now proceed to appoint a construction company, and we are confident that the project will be completed by summer 2020.”

IMAGES: Before photos and artist impress of what the route should look like:

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

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