Kerry TD John Brassil raised a parliamentary question recently regarding funding for the stalled Tralee to Fenit Greenway:
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will allocate funding to Kerry County Council to allow it to proceed with the Tralee to Fenit greenway now that all land ownership issues have been resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As part of his reply Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross stated that:
…it is not intended to issue a further funding call in the immediate future.
I expect to be announcing a new competitive round of funding later this year.
We are not too sure if things change that much in a week but it seems that a new funding round for Greenways may come on stream later this year, this can only be good news for the Tralee to Fenit Greenway and similar projects around the country.
Update 21st April
John Brassil has indicated that he has sought clarification from Minister Ross.
Minister Ross has responded to the additional PQ raised by John Brassil in order to clarify the funding timeline.
Unfortunately it seems that additional Greenway funding may not be available in the near term. This has implications not only for the Tralee-Fenit Greenway project but also for the South Kerry Greenway and the Kerry section of the Great Southern Trail.
That said it is good to hear that the department is committed to funding these project over the remaining years of the current capital plan.
There will be no new funding calls for greenways until the review of the Capital Plan is complete and there is clarity on the funding that will be available for greenways for the remaining years of the capital plan.
As part of National Bike Week Kerry Cycling Campaign presents Who is Dervla Murphy ? a new documentary which explores the life and the renowned Irish touring cyclist and travel writer Dervla Murphy.
Murphy is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, which chronicles her overland cycling trip from Ireland to India via Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Dervla Murphy is Ireland’s most prolific travel writer who for five decades has traveled the world alone and with her daughter Rachel. A fiercely independent woman who turned her back on societal conventions at a time when few were as brave, she observed and recorded the world with wonder and curiosity, and an astute political sensibility.
But, Who is Dervla Murphy?
This new documentary explores the woman behind the words in an interview which shows her personal life to be as fascinating as her extensive journeys. The minutiae of life at home in Lismore and journeys abroad with her grandchildren provide an intimate backdrop to interviews with Dervla, her daughter Rachel, her publisher John Murray and fellow travel writers Manchán Magan and Michael Palin.
This film is a free event (limited spaces) and will take place at Kerry County Library, Tralee, Thursday 16th of June at 6.15pm
Part 8 planning application for the development of Blennerville to Denny Street Amenity Trail was approved at a Kerry County Council meeting on Monday, this is the first development as part of Tralee Active Travel Town project.
The planning was for a amenity trail consisting of a cycle and footpath from Blennerville to Denny Street, this will be the first section of a cycle route which will ultimately stretch from Blennerville to ITralee North Campus/ Kerry Technology park. This path will also join the existing Lee Valley path which runs from the Aquadome to Ballymullen with a proposed extension to Ballyseedy woods.
As well as the creation of a 6km cycle route between Blennerville and ITralee North Campus the funding will also be used to create two-way cycle facilities along Denny Street, implement ‘shared space’ zones in the Mall, introduce a 30km/h speed limit in the town center as well as the appointment of a cycling and walking coordinator to champion the smarter travel initiatives.
In April 2014 the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTT&S) granted €1.3million funding for Tralee as part of it’s Smarter Travel initiative with another €900,000 funding coming from the local authority itself to develop Tralee as an Active Travel Town. The Active Travel Towns Programme is designed to achieve modal shift from the car to either walking and/or cycling and to encourage greater public transport use through facilitating greater walking and cycling access to public transport.
One of the main complaints of the first phase of the Tralee to Fenit Greenway was the lack of route permeation and linkage with estates it passes, with only one intermediate access point along the whole route, this issue was observed by numerous individuals and groups as part of the planning process.
A prime example of this was at Gort Na Greine where the existing access point was blocked up with industrial palisade fencing despite the fact that at the time of the development this was a well trodden route.
Within a short period of the fencing being installed a few sections were removed and people were able to ‘unofficially’ use the link again , it was a common sight to see people lifting bikes and even children in pushchairs through the gap in the fence.
The ultimate irony here was the fact that the Gort Na Greine road had an existing cyclepath, the white line can be seen runnign down the center of the footpath in the picture above.
It was great to hear that this very issue was raised by Cllr. Pa Daly at the November Tralee Municipal District meeting, and that the fencing will be removed and access restored.
11. Cllr. P. Daly:
That this Council will construct an official gateway on to the Fenit Walkway from Gort Na Greine.
The existing palisade fence and gate will be removed and a new pedestrian access will be provided to facilitate connectivity between the local
estates and the Walkway
Cllr. P. Daly said that he welcomed this reply
Update April 2016
Kerry County Council have finally removed the fencing to allow ‘official’ access onto the greenway from Gort Na Greine and adjoining estates, this is great for linkages along the greenway.
It is surprising that the full fencing was not removed only the part bounding the roadway meaning that pedestrians have to depart the footpath and travel along the roadway, a situation not ideal especially for the elderly, people with pushchairs, and wheelchair users.
Last month Cian organised a cycling study tour to the Netherlands for cycling campaigners, elected representatives, council staff and professionals with a focus on cycling. The goal of the trip was to showcase everyday Dutch cycling — from the culture to cycle networks and everything in between.
In the talk Cian with present findings from this trip as well as discussing his website/blog IrishCycle.com
The talk which is free and open to all will take place on Saturday 10th October at 4pm in the Chapel Room, St Patrick’s Center / Tobar Naofa, Moyderwell Tralee [Old Moyderwell convent] and will be followed by a Q&A session.
For a taster of what to expect notes of the trip have been published by Phil Skelton of the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign and Barbara Connolly Cycling Standard Development Officer with Cycling Ireland
Today sees the introduction of fixed charge notices for cycling offences, and with great timing this press photo surfaced this morning featuring the Mayor of Kerry Pat McCarthy and Kerry County Council staff cycling in a pedestrian area, which from today is liable to a €40 on the spot fine.
Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area
This offence is likely to cause a lot of issues and uncertainty in locations such as Tralee town square (pictured above) while the area is pedestrianised it is often used by cyclists to avoid a lengthy trip around the towns one way road system, and highlights how ill-conceived the new system is.
Last year Tralee’s bid to become an Active Travel Town was successful when the town received funding of €1.3million from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTT&S) as part of it’s Smarter Travel initiative with another €900,000 funding coming from the local authority itself bringing the available funding for the project to €2.27 million.
The project is to be developed over 5 phases:
Phase 1 ‐ Appointment of Champion and School Travel Advisor
Phase 2 ‐ Proposed 6km Cycleway
Phase 3 ‐ Introduction of a 30km/h Zone
Phase 4 ‐ Shared Space Concept at the Mall Area
Phase 5 ‐ Proposed Two ‐ Way with cycling and walking facilities at Denny Street
The Active Travel Towns Programme is designed to achieve modal shift from the car to either walking and/or cycling and to encourage greater public transport use through facilitating greater walking and cycling access to public transport.
As part of this project Kerry Co Co have just launched a dedicated website, traleeactivetravel.ie and a promotional video.
The original funding application can been found here and great to see our nascent campaign get a mention in the bid !