AS work begins on the construction of the new 10km Tralee to Fenit Greenway, Kerry County Council has announced plans for the extension of an adjacent walking and cycling route along the coast of Tralee Bay which would connect with the greenway and provide a new leisure amenity for the area.
The council is proposing to extend an existing Lee Valley Trail which has been developed in recent years from Ballymullen to Ballyard and from The Basin to Cockleshell.
Plans are being developed to continue this coastal route – which
forms part of the North Kerry Way – as far as Spa village. This would
allow users to connect to the new greenway at the Spa at the rear of the
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD recently visited the walkway at the of end of Cockleshell Road and discussed with councillors and officials the proposal to continue the walkway to The Spa, a distance of approximately two kilometers.
Subject to funding and the agreement of local landowners, the walkway and cycleway, when completed, would allow users to travel along the coast to The Spa, cross the road in Spa village and join the Fenitgreenway to continue their journey on foot or by bicycle.
It would effectively provide a looped route to and from Tralee via the greenway and the coastal walkway/cycleway and ultimately extend to Ballyseedy wood.
Kerry County Council looks forward to the extension of the route at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile preliminary work is underway on the new Tralee-Fenit Greenway along the route of the old railway line, following the receipt of €3m from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
There are a worrying number of “ists” in society today – racists, sexists, and even fascists – who’d have thought they’d make such a comeback?! For her debut one-woman show, Elaine Gallagher has decided to focus on a positive “ist” in society – the cyclist!
The Freedom Machine is a hilarious audio-visual stand up show, which celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage by exploring the revolutionary bicycle. Co-Director of “The Comeback” feature film (Filmbase). Writer for “The Mario Rosenstock Show” (RTÉ). This work premiered at Smock Allies: Scene + Heard 2018.
As part of National Bike Week Kerry Cycling Campaign presents The Freedom Machine a new show from Elaine Gallagher which explores the parallels between cycling and feminism using a mix of stand up comedy and audio-visual inserts.
The history of cycling mirrors the history of feminism in a fascinating way. As the call for women’s suffrage grew towards the end of the 1800’s, so did women’s use of the bicycle, and both were seen as threats to the established social order. The notion of women traveling around unchaperoned was at best challenging, and for many unacceptable and dangerous. Is it any wonder when bicycles were a source of unprecedented liberty for so many women, or as Susan B. Anthony called it, “a freedom machine”.
Elaine’s show will chart the origins of the bicycle and its role in granting freedoms to women, including its significant role in female suffrage. It will also explore the parallels between cyclists and women, and motorists and men, i.e. motorist/male entitlement, being subject to abuse and potential violence, lacking the safe facilities that we need in this day and age, and so on.
This is a free event (limited spaces) and will take place at O’Donnells, Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry on Friday the 29th of June at 8pm.
For those interested in cycling to this event a group will be meeting at 7.15 in Tralee town square for a leisurely spin out along the Tralee-Fenit Greenway.
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.