In December 2016 Derry and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Department for Infrastructure (NI) and Sustrans (the UK-based cycling and walking charity), were awarded €14.8 million funding from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme, administered by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), to construct 46.5kms of cross-border greenway. This will link Derry to Buncrana via Bridgend; Muff to Derry via Culmore; and Lifford to Strabane. To read more about the funding, click here.
The key target output of INTERREG VA funding is that of achieving a rise in modal shift and reducing private car dependence through provision of greenway infrastructure.
The project provides over €2m worth of cross-border employment with seven new posts created between both Councils, plus an Active Travel Officer employed by SustransNI. Five staff members are based in the offices of Derry City & Strabane District Council: the Programme Manager, Finance and Administration Officer, Project Engineer, Assistant Engineer and the Active Travel Officer. In Donegal, the remaining three staff are located in the Roads and Transportation Division of Donegal County Council: the Communications Manager, Project Engineer and Assistant Engineer.
The historic An Grianán Fort overlooking Lough Swilly provided the stunning backdrop for the official launch of the North West Greenway Network on Monday 26 February 2018. Upon completion the project will deliver 46.5 km of new cross-border greenway that will help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home. The €14.85m project is the largest of three separate greenways to be funded under the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Speaking at the launch event Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: ‘We recognise the positive impact that greenways make to a region, and therefore have made awards of €23 million worth of INTERREG VA funding, for three separate greenway projects that will open up new sustainable travel routes across Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. The North West Greenway Network is the third of such projects to officially be launched and will make a real and tangible impact on the environment.’
While welcoming the launch of the cross-border North West Greenway Network, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Mr Shane Ross T.D. said: ‘We have an opportunity, through our commitment in the Programme for Partnership government, and in our new National Planning Framework and National Development Plan to build more greenways throughout Ireland and to provide more localities with the opportunity to benefit from such investment in the same way as communities in Mayo, Waterford, Monaghan and Armagh. On the day that’s in it I must also acknowledge and thank all those involved in delivering this initiative; the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), my officials in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council and Sustrans. I very much look forward to making use of it in the future and I encourage you all to do likewise.’
Mr Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department for Infrastructure said: ‘Encouraging greater use of active travel is a draft Programme for Government commitment and the development of greenways has an important role to play in achieving this.
Consultation Process 2018
From May/June 2018 onwards, public consultation events (as required) will be organised at locations convenient to the proposed route corridors and study areas. Any such events will be publicised on social media, in local press and on the radio. In due course, additional information will be available on this website.
The form of public consultations may vary depending on the nature of the routes and statutory or established procedures in each jurisdiction. For more information on the current status of the consultation process, click here.