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Donegal County Council with the support of Transport Infrastructure Ireland is working to provide commuters and leisure cyclists with a corridor linking the settlements of Bridgend – Buncrana – Newtowncunningham in North County Donegal.

The Bridgend to Buncrana and Newtowncunningham Greenway project will seek to provide both long and short-distance recreational users and commuters with safe, convenient opportunities to travel along the route. It is anticipated that the provision of a greenway in this location will provide enhanced access to the wider region, enticing users to explore its surrounding towns and villages and further develop the untapped tourism potential within the region in addition to forming part of a wider plan to provide an integrated series of greenways around the Inishowen peninsula.

The Department of Transport’s Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways describes a Greenway as an attractive trail mainly used for recreational purposes by pedestrians, cyclists, and people with impaired mobility, and as such promotes physical activity for these users.

The popularity of recently opened Greenways throughout Ireland demonstrates the many benefits that they can promote, including the provision of safe, substantially segregated walking and cycling infrastructure that makes it easier to visit friends, travel to school or work and to connect villages and towns.

On a wider scale, Greenways are providing opportunities to experience Ireland’s beautiful countryside for both visitors and locals alike, contributing to Ireland’s health and wellbeing, enhancing local communities with opportunities for new and existing businesses, and offering sustainable alternatives for tourists and locals to access a hidden Ireland.

The project team are committed to fully consider any inputs from members of the public, such as submissions received through the public consultation process or through the identification of local issues. We would value any feedback which you think should be reviewed by the project team to help inform the development of the project. Please refer to Public Consultation 1 of this Project Website for information on how you can have your say.

Donegal County Council has responsibility for planning and managing development within the study area. Planning applications and new developments may still be granted within the study area, however as some planning applications may affect the project, all relevant planning applications will be reviewed by the project team. Each planning application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is anticipated that the use of state-owned lands (where possible), in conjunction with the lands acquired by Voluntary Agreements, will deliver the majority of the lands required for the Greenway.

Where private land acquisition is necessary following the selection of the preferred route corridor, the project promoter will engage with individual landowners in an effort to agree upon a route that minimises the impact on their respective farm / property holdings and enter into Voluntary Land Acquisition Agreements where possible. The process of agreeing upon Voluntary Land Acquisition Agreements will be initiated in advance of an application for planning consent.

The feedback and submissions received through the current public consultation process will be considered by the project team as part of Phase 1 constraints mapping and will help to inform the development of the project.

The project is currently at Phase 1 (Concept & Feasibility), which involves the mapping of the constraints and assessment of potential feasible options. Following the feedback from the first non-statutory public consultation a number of Route Corridor Options will be identified.

As the project moves through Phase 2, a second period of non-statutory public consultation will be held including further exhibitions, where the public will again be invited to make submissions or comment on these Route Corridor Options, before a Preferred Option is identified.

The Bridgend to Buncrana and Newtowncunningham Greenway will be managed and maintained by the council who will put in place appropriate measures to minimise anti-social behaviours. The council will work closely with key stakeholders, for example the Gardaí, which follows the examples set by other greenway projects implemented to date.

The Bridgend to Buncrana and Newtowncunningham Greenway is a new scheme and is being brought forward to reflect recent changes to the funding body for the scheme, now Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), and governmental policy documents which necessitate that the scheme be brought through the TII Project Management Guidelines Phases. This will allow the use of the Transport Appraisal Framework and TII Project Appraisal Guidelines for Greenways to be applied to the scheme.

Ensuring that the scheme is progressed to meet the project aims and objectives set during Phase – 0 Scope and Pre-Appraisal, and the new appraisal requirements throughout the TII Phases 1 to 4.  Resulting in a consistent, robust, and equitable design and appraisal process being followed.  

Consequently, the scheme is now undertaking Phase 1 Concept & Feasibility, which involves the mapping of the constraints and assessment of potential feasible options.

Studies carried out as part of the previous scheme will be used to inform the development of the project in conjunction with additional surveys/ updated surveys required due to the passage of time.