Royal Canal plans gets Kildare County Council nod

The Royal Canal from Pikes Bridge, maynooth. Photo John Barrett.
A plan for increasing the use of the Royal Canal has been agreed by Kildare County Council but there is opposition to some aspects of it.

A plan for increasing the use of the Royal Canal has been agreed by Kildare County Council but there is opposition to some aspects of it.

Seventeen submissions were received by the Council on a shared pedestrian and cycle route along 17km of the Royal Canal from Maynooth harbour to Moyvalley at the Meath border.

The so called Part 8 plan is, part of a wider €3-4m scheme by the National Roads Authority. On 1 July Meath County Council agreed to do a 21km stretch.

The Maynooth- Moyvalley plan involves, for the most part, a three meter path which will be shared between pedestrians and cyclists.

Area engineer, Jonathan Deane, said it was intended to be a tourism route and that a second plan, involving the Maynooth to Dublin section is to be created as a commuter route.

Cllr. John McGinley said he had “serious misgivings” about speeding cyclists mixing with walkers.

Many local walkers opposed it, he said, although he acknowledged they had not put their opposition in writing. “If the NRA wanted to promote tourism, they were going about it arseways.”

Waterways Ireland have also said they do not want horses on the canal bank because of fear of damage.

Cllr. Liam Doyle thought this was a bit odd. Not only was Kildare the horse county but horses were original users of the tow paths as pullers of barges.

Most Council members support the move to increase use of the canal walks.

A detailed report on the submissions on the plan was prepared.

- Henry Bauress