After some rumours last week we just received this statement from Minister Brendan Griffin, great news for the Great Southern Trail and Tralee-Fenit Greenway.
And good to hear that the funding previously committed to the South Kerry Greenway has been reserved.
Statement by Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport
Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
MINISTER of State for Tourism & Sport, Brendan Griffin, is today (Thursday) assuring people that he is totally confident of a positive announcement of substantial funding for the Tralee-Fenit and Listowel-Kilmorna Greenways in the coming weeks.
Minister Griffin says that a competitive application process for greenway funding has just concluded within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and that both North Kerry Greenways have fared well.
He said that he is fully confident that the projects will receive the funding they need from his Department to proceed to full construction and looks forward to making the official announcement in the coming weeks.
“This is really great news for the county. The tranche of funding about to be announced is being allocated for shovel ready Greenways and we have two such projects in the county.
“I worked hard to secure a national greenway fund in Budget 2018 with Minister Shane Ross and the existence of this fund now means that both Greenways will go ahead.
“I am glad to be bringing even more funding to Kerry and these projects have the potential to be major game changers for the greater Tralee and Listowel areas.
“I look forward to working closely with Kerry County Council to ensue that the process of constructing the Greenways begins as soon as possible and I look forward to cycling on both beautiful routes before long.
“Finally, it’s important to state that a pot of funding has been reserved for projects currently going through the planning process, such as the South Kerry Greenway. I will continue to monitor developments on that project and our Department will do everything we can to assist at the appropriate time in the future.”
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.
Things finally seem to be moving along on the development of the Kerry section of the Great Southern Trail the Tralee to Fenit Greenway as Kerry County Council announce that they are to hold a public consultation day regarding each projects in Fenit and Listowel respectively.
Maps of the route of the proposed greenway will be on display for inspection throughout the day. Kerry County Council officials will be available to discuss any aspect of the projects on a one-to-one basis with landowners and interested parties during the hours specified above. In the event that a person cannot attend, an appointment can be made on an alternative date in their office in Tralee or at their landholding if preferred.
Public consultation day regarding the proposed Tralee to Fenit Greenway
Venue: Fenit Parish Centre
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Time: 11am – 8pm
Public consultation day regarding the proposed North Kerry Greenway – Listowel to Limerick County Bounds (Sluicequarter).
Venue: Listowel Arms Hotel (Greenville Room)
Date: Thursday 24th May 2018
Time: 11am – 8pm
The Great Southern Trail will host a presentation from John Grimshaw next Friday (13th April 2018) at 8pm at the Glórach Theatre, Abbeyfeale, Co.Limerick.
John Grimshaw is a pioneer of Greenway developments for almost 50 years, he founded the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity Sustrans heading it up for 30 years before standing down to set up his own consultancy ( johngrimshawassociates.co.uk ).
John was the author of the Great Southern Trail report commissioned by Shannon Development which was published in 1988 and proposed a trail on the former Kerry/Limerick railways, the project which has still to be realised is seen as Ireland’s first planned Greenway, at that time John walked the entire route from Tralee to Ballingrane.
John and a few associates are visiting several Irish Greenways including the Great Southern where he and his colleagues will cycle from Rathkeale to the Kerry Border and they are delighted to hear of the positive developments which will hopefully see the Greenway extended into North Kerry in the not too distant future.
As part of the presentation John will outline his experiences in developing Greenways and the multiple benefits that accrue to communities as a result. For both dedicated Greenway enthusiasts and those who wish to inform themselves this will be a rewarding evening.
To the Dutch, cycling is as normal as breathing. They don’t think about it, they just do it. Perhaps the fact that they don’t think about it is the key to the bicycle’s success there. But because they do not give cycling a second thought, they don’t really know what the deeper needs of cyclists are.
“Why We Cycle” takes a ride with ordinary cyclists and specialists from a variety of disciplines. These conversations uncover some obvious, but even more hidden effects of cycling, on people, on societies, and on the organization of cities.
This film is a free event (limited spaces) and will take place at Kerry County Library, Tralee, Thursday 12th of April at 6.15pm
There was sense of disbelief among followers and advocates of the three decade long Great Southern Trail saga while listening to Tuesday’s edition of the Kerry Today programme which featured former Councilor Din Stack (center above) extolling the benefits of the proposed greenway.
Mr. Stack a former Listowel Town Councilor was the sole member who opposed a proposal for the council to back the greenway project and was also a key member of the North Kerry Abandoned Railway Line Action Group (NKARLAG) who not only objected to the development of the greenway but also claimed ownership of the former railway land, a demand that was dropped in 2013 when CIE stated that they would fight any ownership claim.
As mentioned in the interview the change of heart came after a of a number of former objectors to the project paid a visit to the much lauded Waterford Greenway,
Following the transfer of the two North Kerry railways from CIE last year, Kerry County Council has this week begun the consultation process with interested parties along the proposed North Kerry Greenway.
Letters were delivered to residents and landowners adjoining the route which will run from the current Great Southern Trail head at the county bounds to Tralee where it will join with the Tralee to Fenit Greenway.
This is a long awaited development in a project which was originally initiated 30 years ago this year. In 1988 Sustrans was commissioned by Shannon Development to carry out a comprehensive feasibility study on the development of the Great Southern Trail.
The report outlined Ireland’s first planned greenway, over the intervening three decades the entirety of the Limerick section of the route has been converted. While Kerry has fallen behind there has been action on both ends over the last number of years with the opening of the urban section in Tralee and the ongoing clearance of the 10.5km section between Listowel and the Kerry border. A survey of this section is currently being carried out, and it’s expected the design of the greenway will be completed by the end of August then preparation of the necessary planning documentation can begin.
Last year Limerick Council took over the running of the Limerick section of the route from the volunteer led GST Ltd. and plans to invest significantly in the amenity allocating €1.2 million in their 2018 budget to the project. They are currently in the process of re-branding the route as The Southern Greenway, along with the installation of new signage there are also plans to rejoin the Barnagh tunnel to the route which was previous cut off due to road realignment as well as resurfacing the trail. Longer term plans include extending the route right into the heart of Limerick City.
In Kerry the route would not only provide a much needed boost to tourism in the area but would also serve to provide a safe off road link connecting the North Kerry towns of Tralee, Ardfert, Abbeydorney, Lixnaw and Listowel, as well as linking isolated rural communities.
The Great Southern Greenway which if fully developed would be almost 100km in length making it Ireland’s longest greenway. The route will also form part of Trans-European EuroVelo 1 and in time will link up with other greenways such as the Waterford and Mayo greenways in order to provide a dedicated cycle route from Wexford to Belfast along the Atlantic coast, much of the route would be in parallel with the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Road Safety Association have released their report into fatal collision statistics on Irish roads for 2017.
Overall 2017 saw a 15% decrease in road deaths with 158 fatalities compared with 186 in 2016 while the same period saw fatalities of cyclists increase by 50% with 15 deaths up from 10 in 2016, a record for the decade.
Of the cyclist fatalities:
all 15 fatalities involved motorists
13 fatalities occurred during the hours of daylight
2 occurred during darkness
the majority of fatalities occurred in zones of 80km/h and above
County Kerry had 8 road fatalities, an slight increase from the 2016 figure (7) with 38% (3) of these deaths being cyclists in stark contract with the national average of approximately 10%.
Of these 3 deaths one was a tourist, and one a sport/recreation cyclist cycling with a group.