At the beginning of December an official press release for the funding of three cross-border greenway projects in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was announced that will open up new sustainable cross border travel routes for both cyclists and pedestrians. The EU’s INTERREG VA Programme has offered approximately €23.27 million.This will fund the development of greenways in three different areas including one joining Carlingford to Newry, a route from Monaghan into Armagh along the Ulster Canal and three different routes in the North West, one from Strabane to Lifford and two from Derry/ Londonderry into Donegal. One of these routes is good news for the further development of EuroVelo 1 in Ireland.
Greenways are corridors of land that are recognised for their ability to connect people and places together. They enhance existing outdoor recreational opportunities and can be used equally by cyclists, walkers and joggers. The overall objective of the INTERREG VA Programme in supporting the three projects is to increase the number of cross-border journeys made by cycling or walking by up to 10% across the region by 2023.
The EuroVelo 1 related greenway connects Derry / Londonderry (Northern Ireland) with Buncrana in Donegal (Ireland). The route will provide a key cross border link from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and will facilitate the development of a new link to the start of the Donegal Cycle Route at Newtowncunningham. The Donegal Cycle Route is part of EuroVelo 1 and is already signposted with EuroVelo signage. For over two years the Wee Greenway Initiative in Donegal, initiated by Ronan Gallagher, has been canvassing local opinion around Inishowen and Derry. The identified growing desire in that area to see such infrastructure funded and constructed now come true by approximately €14 million funding. Once the new cross border greenway is developed and the link to the start of the Donegal Cycle Route is complete (which is a separate project) it will be possible to travel from Belfast to Donegal town on a developed cycle route covering a distance of over 400km.
If you like to read more about that project, please take a look on the local website.