Green Party representative for Skerries, Balbriggan, Lusk, Rush and Rural Fingal has vowed to prioritise the development of a cycleway from Sutton to Balbriggan if elected to Fingal County Council this summer. Joe O’Brien stated that:
Looking at the big picture, a cycleway from Sutton to Balbriggan has the capacity to not just revolutionise cycling in Fingal but the tourist industry in Fingal. All the way up the coast we have unparalleled tourist attractions within a short distance – Portmarnock Beach, Malahide Castle, Broadmeadow Estuary, Newbridge Demense, Rogerstown Estuary, Rush, Loughshinney, Skerries, Ardgillan Demense and Balbriggan. The Great Western Greenway in Mayo is certainly an amazing trail but I believe the Fingal Coastal Way has the potential to be a much richer and more diverse tourist package particularly with all the heritage along the way. Its proximity to Dublin city is of course its other great asset – Dublin being the location where the vast majority of our tourists arrive and we have a huge advantage in having Dublin Airport located in Fingal. Also, cyclicng tourists can access various point of the Way by rail – making it even more attractive.
Mr. O’Brien’s comments come after the announcement of the consultation process by Fingal County Council on the Broadmeadow Way which will see Malahide and Donabate connected by a pedestrian/cycle track. He stated that:
The Broadmeadow Way is one of the key pieces in the jigsaw and if the Fingal Coastal Way finally comes to fruition it will provide a very significant and sustainable economic and employment boost to all of Fingal and beyond. I will pull out all the stops to ensure that adequate funding is sourced to make the Fingal Coastal Way a reality. The next big challenge to the development of the route is the crossing of Rogerstown Estuary. The National Transport Authority have suggested a floating pontoon bridge to facilitate this and this could well be the way forward – but there are a lot of practical difficulties to overcome that I will put my mind to.
Of course the benefits for Fingal are not just in terms of tourism, there are also vital opportunities to develop commuter and school cycling not to mention the health benefits of getting more people on their bikes. Evidence from other successful councils has shown us though that we need a focal point in the Council to push cycling development – Fingal County Council need to appoint a Cycling Officer immediately in accordance with government policy, to make sure that these opportunities are maximised for all the people of Fingal in a professional and committed manner.
Details of the consultation process are at this link: