Fingal County Council has recently announced plans to develop an Urban Greenway along the Royal Canal that would serve Castleknock, Blanchardstown, Clonsilla, Coolmine and the wider Dublin 15 area. As a long-standing supporter of developing the Canal for leisure, walking and cycling I am pleased to see these proposals from the Council, however the proposed route between Castleknock and Coolmine is unsatisfactory to local residents.
I have recently been in contact with Fingal County Council to outline local residents concerns. In response Paul Keane, from the Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department at Fingal County Council, has provided the following statement:
“Earlier this year, Fingal County Council undertook a public engagement exercise for the Emerging Preferred Route of the Royal Canal Urban Greenway project, during which some 600 submissions were received. These submissions are currently being reviewed by the project team with a view to addressing the issues raised.
“As part of the development of the Emerging Preferred Route, some eleven different route alignments were investigated, all of which presented various technical and environmental challenges. The route options were assessed and then ranked in order of preference, thereby leading to the identification of the Emerging Preferred Route.
“For the Deep Sinking section, the route options stage included route options on both sides of the canal. The provision of a route along the southern embankment was assessed based on a boardwalk structure, partly sitting on the existing towpath and partly overhanging the canal bank. There were various reasons why this option did not perform favourably in the assessment, notably in terms of potential impacts on: the integrity of the Royal Canal as a protected structure and on individual protected bridges; canal navigation; biodiversity; and railway operation.
“However, many of the submissions did specifically request that the greenway be routed along the southern bank. Accordingly, in response to these concerns, Fingal County Council is now undertaking more detailed assessment work including ground investigations, surveys and design work, to conclusively identify the “Preferred Route” for the scheme at the Deep Sinking. This additional work will take into account the submissions received to date and a further project update will be given to the members at the September ACM.”