Whatever happened to the Boyneside Park Plan?
(Editor, Meath Chronicle)
Dear sir - Meath County Council has announced a proposal to develop the Boyne Greenway and Navigation Restoration. The proposal aims to provide a walking and cycling route and restore the Boyne Navigation including canal sections and associated locks. The route will be approximately 26.5km long and will no doubt be a major tourist attraction and local amenity for the people of Navan.
But, (yes, there is almost always a "but"), whatever happened to the Boyneside Park Plan?
The Boyneside Park Plan pre-dates the Boyne Greenway and Navigation Restoration Plan by 25 years, with a proposed route, starting at Councillor Andy Brennan Park and looping back into town across the old bridge at Kilcarn, linking directly to riverside and canal-side walkways at the Ramparts, owned by Meath County Council.
Plans for the Boyneside Park started as far back as 1995 when the grounds for Athlumney House were examined in order to prepare an evaluation of the flora and fauna resources. Subsequently in November 1998, a draft plan was produced taking all the relevant factors into account, such as; the archaeology and recorded monuments, water and drainage, structures – such as the existing bridges, the viaduct and Ruxton lock, access, pathways, safety and lighting, signage and litter, anglers and landowners.
Adjacent to the proposed Boyneside Park site is the R147, which is a regional road running from Dublin into Navan. As well as being a main access route for traffic, the pathways are frequently used by walkers and cyclists for recreational activity. Whilst it is well-lit, it is subject to large traffic volumes and is a major source of air and noise pollution. The proposed walk and cycle pathway along the river, would be more safer and less toxic environment.
The Boyneside Park Plan would offer the residential communities of Johnstown, Old Athlumney, Kilcarn and beyond a greener, safer, family friendly recreational route in and out of Navan, which would further expand and enhance our Greenway plans.
I therefore call on Meath County Council to revisit the Boyneside Park Plan and make it their first priority as the feasibility study is already done and the project could be started under the community grant scheme.