'Deep Sinking' section of Royal Canal between Castleknock and Coolmine train stations
‘Deep Sinking’ section of Royal Canal between Castleknock and Coolmine train stations

Today, I made a submission to the public consultation process on the development of a new Greenways Strategy, which was undertaken by the Department of Transport. In it, I highlighted that the protection of the natural environment has to be a key consideration in any extension of the Royal Canal Greenway from the 12th Lock to the Kildare County Council border.

Getting the greenway extended along the Royal Canal is something I have been working on consistently. While everyone accepts that the ‘Deep Sinking’ section between Castleknock and Coolmine train stations is currently extremely unsafe for walkers and cyclists, it is also an incredibly scenic area. Bringing a greenway through this section will involve change. But it is vital that any new development is balanced with maintaining the natural heritage of this section. A ‘chop and pave’ approach here would devastate a beautiful area”.

Separately, the period for tenders to draw up a design for the 12th Lock to the Kildare border has closed, and Fingal will now examine the applications and award the tender early in the autumn. The successful consultant will draw up a design for what this section of the greenway will look like and what route it will take. This will then go out to public consultation.

Balancing the next section of the Royal Canal greenway with the scenic importance of the area will be complex and may require some innovative solutions. But it is vital that this is done. The key selling points of greenways are their natural beauty. We must be careful that we do not sacrifice this in the process of opening up the Deep Sinking section.

3 thoughts on “Royal Canal Greenway extension must also protect natural environment

  1. I Cycled the 22km to and from Intel’s Leixlip campus last Friday on a very frosty November morning.

    Track from cross guns bridge to Blanchardstown was in very good state with an even surface and no debris

    There is quite a bit of oncoming traffic in terms of bikes and pedestrians coming into the city but the path is generally wide enough to allow passage in opposite directions simultaneously

    After the M50 flyover which is pretty spectacular the path transitions to grass which was quite muddy and slippery in the frosty November weather but manageable if quite slippery but there was nobody coming from the other side with the exception of a few dog walkers

    The section before Coolmine station was very difficult with lots of rocks and tree roots on a very narrow path with a steep up to 7-8m drop

    Certainly not for the faint hearted and the tires on my tricross bike both succumbed forcing me to take the train from Coolmine to Luisa Bridge (there was no issue bringing the bike onto the train as it was pretty empty going out of town)

    On the way back I cycled as far as Coolmine after fixing my punctures and the path was grassy, muddy and very slippery but manageable with my light as the track was unlit

    I then went on road from Coolmine to Blanchardstown where again I took the cycle path into town

    The Coolmine section is best avoided or walked unless you are an experienced mountain biker used to the bone jarring and destructive ride

  2. Fingal will soon be issuing the contract for a design of a new greenway between Castleknock Station and the Kildare border. Once the design is done, they will tender for the actual job. So, it’s still a few years away, but progress is being made – Roderic

  3. Hi there,

    My partner and I cycled from East Wall, Dublin City, the start of the Famine Way trail, to Coolmine yesterday. At the 12th Lock at Castleknock, there are no bikes permitted, so we cycled around to Coolmine. We then got back on our bikes and began cycling down Coolmine towards Clonsilla, but, as the terrain is very bad, we had to get off and push the bikes.

    At one point we both tripped over the rocky surface and my partner fell about 20 feet down into the canal. She was badly injured and is in hospital at the moment. Her clothes, our phones, her bike, and some other personal items were also either damaged or destroyed. I had to climb down to help her, with the aid of 2 passers-by.

    There are no signs here saying ‘no cycling’ and in wet weather this particular part is treacherous. This was the only part without a proper path we encountered.

    We really need something done here, I used to use this to cycle to school as a child (Clonsilla to Coolmine, 20 years ago) and it still hasn’t changed.

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