Lack of funding is key issue for walking and cycling in Naas area, says municipal mayor

Mayor of Naas Municipal District, Cllr Bill Clear (Social Democrats), said the area has progressive councillors in terms of cycling but the main issue in the area is lack of funding.

He was speaking at the launch of the Grand Canal Greenway between Sallins and Aylmer Bridge and to IrishCycle.com afterwards. He told Minister Ryan that he was “pushing an open door” in the area.

He highlighted how, for the Naas area, there were key missing links on the Grand Canal Greenway — into Dublin, which is a South Dublin County Council project which has been delayed, and between Sallins and Naas which he said is being held up by Waterways Ireland’s lack of response.

Sallins and Naas, the train station which serves Naas, is actually in Sallins. It’s a very cycling-friendly distance at around a 15-minute cycle from most of the residential areas in the town.

“The landowner [on the planned route between Sallins and Naas] is Waterways Ireland, it’s very frustrating. We have written to them and we’re not getting anywhere. So, they need to give us permission to use their land and it has not been forthcoming.”


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As an example of pent-up demand, he said the new walking and cycling bridge and greenways in Sallins were being straight away when the construction barriers were taken down.

Cllr Clear said that the Naas Neighborhood Greenway group, which he was involved with since before he became a councillor, came up with a network of routes using State-owned land, yet, progress has been painfully slow.

Kildare County Council has been quietly — and slowly — developing a network of walking and cycle routes in the town including older cycle paths, some roads which are now filtered, permeability requirements in newer housing developments (an example pictured below using an old laneway which is now sectioned off for walking and cycling only), and green spaces.

Much like in Dublin, the network is still patchy. Phase one of the town’s first more modern cycle path scheme has just opened, with construction is ongoing on a link into the town centre.

As reported on this website, a recent setback was the removal of the town centre project from the Pathfinder programme because its delivery timeframe is too slow to meet the requirements for the programme.

The Kilcullen Road scheme already links to older — mostly segregated — cycle tracks further out the road which links to two schools. The Pathfinder project in the town centre would have linked the route through the town centre.

Cllr Clear said he was knocked off his bicycle recently but wasn’t badly hurt, and says he can understand why parents might not want children cycling until a safer network of cycle routes is in place.

2 comments

  1. I’ve cycled between Naas and Sallins train station a few times, and it’s quite a cycling-friendly route apart from the second ~500m along Osberstown Cottages. The turn is not well sign-posted, but once you’re on the canal it’s a very low traffic route with good surfaces right into the centre of Naas – I’m not sure what the Councillor is asking WI to do?

    Reply
    • It’s not so much as between the Naas and the train station but to finish the canal route — I’m not 100% on the area but I think especially between Osberstown Bridge and Lock 13 / the newly opened greenway.

      That should also offer a better link between the canal route and the train station via going past the Sallins Scout Den etc.

      Between Osberstown Bridge and Abbey Bridge in Naas, the public roadway along the canal will likely be used — this can sometimes get busy with rat running and there’s a plan to tackle that by cutting it off as a through route.

      Reply

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