Sunday, January 28, 2007

Open e-mail to General Election candidates in Dublin North regarding Broadmeadow pedestrian / Cycle Way

Update 24th March - The open e-mail below, sent in January has received cross-party support - I have published the candidates responses as comments.


Dear candidate,

I would like to offer you this opportunity to set out your position, and that of your party regarding the development of a pedestrian / cycle way around the Broadmeadow estuary.

Situated between Swords, Malahide and Donabate, the Broadmeadows estuary is a magnificent natural amenity that is currently under utilised. As you know, we are constantly reminded about the increasing levels of obesity in Ireland, especially in young people. A pedestrian / cycle way around the Broadmeadow would provide the residents of Dublin North with a 'safe, accessible' 10km long 'World Class Trail'(1). It would encourage a greater number of families to exploit the many attractions right at their doorstep. Most importantly, it would be a place where parents could teach safe cycling skills away from traffic.

Much of the trail is already in place. The most important 'missing link' is a pedestrian/cycle bridge beside the railway line that crosses the estuary. This is already provided for in the Donabate Local Area Action Plan(2).

There has been talk of a pedestrian / cycle way across the estuary for many years. Delivering this will require the co-operation of Iarnrod Eireann and Fingal CoCo. TDs and prospective TDs in Dublin North have a critical role to play in this.

I look forward to receiving your response setting out your view on the above proposal, and specifically what you and your party plan to do to deliver this.

I will publish this open e-mail and your reply on the internet at (http://www.fingalsafecycling.blogspot.com/)

Yours Sincerely,

Ken O'Connor

-- Ken O'ConnorFingal Safe Cycling Action Group
e-mail fingalsafecycling@gmail.com
www.fingalsafecycling.blogspot.com

(1) The Irish Sports Council launched a 'World Class Trails' strategy in Jan 2007, with the aim of providing 'safe, accessible, and marked' trails to encourage the ordinary person into the outdoors.
(2) Item 153 in the Donabate Strategic Environmental Assessment (March 2006) states: 'That Fingal County Council seeks the provision of a public walkway/cycleway through the Western side of Variation 34 Lands in Donabate and along the existing railway embankment across the Malahide Estuary, in consultation with Iarnrod Eireann within the lifespan of this Development Plan.'

e-mail addresses of candidates:
To: "trevor.sargent@oireachtas.ie" , michael.kennedy@fingalcoco.ie, darragh.obrien@fingalcoco.ie, bren@brendan-ryan.ie, tmorrissey@oireachtas.ie, clare.daly@fingalcoco.ie, joe.corr@fingalcoco.ie, james.reilly@finegael.ie

I could not find e-mail addresses for John O'Leary (FF), or Matt McCormack (SF).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Plan to develop world-class network of trails

Irish Times Sat 13th Jan 2007....
'Waterways, cycle routes, urban walkways and mountain bike routes will form part of a new, safe "world-class" trails network here, it was announced yesterday'. The aim of the new Irish Trails strategy is to encourage the ordinary person into the outdoors, John Treacy, chief executive of the Irish Sports Council, said in Killarney, Co. Kerry. ....
'Ireland does not have a dedicated cycle network. Outside the main cities there are few cycle ways and no official off-road mountai biking trails. Cyclists on holiday have expressed concerns about road safety here.
The strategy is concerned about the over-reliance on public roads which can be dangerous and lack satisfactory interaction with the surrounding countryside'.

We (FSCAG) welcome this strategy....
See Irish Sports Council Press Release

You can see the full article (if you are an Irish Times subscriber) at: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2007/0113/1168460435330.html

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