— Public consultation ends at 23.59 on Wednesday night.
— Section of greenway route in Dublin 15 likely to be one of the last bits built on route from Dublin Docklands towards the Shannon near Longford and at Athlone.
Campaigners have called on members of the public to support the north bank option for the Deep Sinking section of the Royal Canal Greenway in Dublin 15 as opponents of the northern option have mounted a concerted effort against the preferred route
The Deep Sinking is a section of the canal which has higher than normal banks around the canal. The current towpath is narrow, stoney, and harder to upgrade into a greenway than the rest of the route, now usable between Maynooth and the river Shannon.
The north bank option is Fingal County Council’s preferred option for the Deep Sinking section of greenway because the south bank option is seen as problematic as it is more expensive, more destructive, technically difficult and likely to cause further delay. It would need long lengths of boardwalk, near-total removal of greenery and is very close to the Maynooth railway line.
Some people want the north bank of the Deep Sinking preserved, but many of those same people seem to have little issue with all the greenery stripped from the south bank of the canal. Some supporters of the north bank option point out that some the objectors are people who extended their gardens into north bank greenery.
The call to support the option comes as people objecting to the preferred route have claimed the greenway will bring anti-social behaviour, extra people parking cars on their streets, a danger to children from that extra traffic, privacy concerns an increased risk of burglaries — these are similar to claims made about other urban and rural greenways which rarely materialise in reality.
The submissions made so-far on the project can be read on the council’s consultation portal. Locals and others have made submissions both for and against the project.
There are a wide range of points being made, for example ranging from requests to have separate paths for walking and cycling to requests to do nothing with the canal banks at all.
Local and city-wide groups are calling on the public to support the north bank.
A group of locals coming under the name ‘My Lovely Greenway’ to support the greenway, said: “We are an architect, and a designer, resident, and a former resident of the area. We are concerned that the voices of many residents who support the Greenway on the North Bank of the Royal Canal are not being heard. We are also concerned that those who occupy the ‘middle ground’ could be better informed as to the opportunity this proposal presents for the area.”
“The main beneficiaries of this project will undoubtedly be local residents, with a world class amenity on their doorstep,” they said.
My Lovely Greenway said: “The Greenway offers the potential to safely bike from D15 to the city (30 minutes, leisurely cycle – faster than a car/bus most of the time!), all the way to Galway in the west, or connecting with the Grand Canal, Phoenix Park, or Dunsink Observatory (via proposed Hamilton Way). This is for everyone, and the North Bank is the best option!”
The group added: “The urban greenway on the north bank will be easier to enter, exit thanks to the multiple entry and exit points. That means more people will use it, making it safer, all year round.”
The Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “One of the significant issues with this consultation concerns a section of the Royal Canal known as the Deep Sinking. Dublin Cycling Campaign is supporting the North Bank route option at the Deep Sinking, due to the significant engineering and safety challenges facing the South Bank route option. We believe the only viable option for progressing the Royal Canal Greenway in a reasonable timeframe is to pursue the North Bank option at the Deep Sinking.”