Royal Canal Green Way Study

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The new government has plans to upgrade the Royal Canal towpath and would welcome your ideas on how it should be developed as an important amenity.

In Fingal the Royal Canal runs between the county boundaries from Ashtown in Dublin City to Westmanstown in Kildare.
While the Canal is reasonably well developed from the city to Ashtown the section in Fingal has been badly neglected by the previous government. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD has made €600,000 in funding available to improve this important amenity

Nationally €7 million euro is to be invested in a programme of cycle routes. The funding will see sixteen separate cycling projects built across the country over the next two to years amounting to an additional 334 kilometres of cycleway as part of the National Cycle Network.  

Fingal County Council in conjunction with the National Transport Authority and Waterways Ireland has now begun a feasibility study to upgrade the canal towpath to a premium quality cycle and pedestrian route. The study will examine how the Royal Canal can provide an improved recreational amenity. Among the issues being considered are:

• Feasibility of providing a high quality continuous footpath/cycleway along the towpath

• Potential to provide parallel routes where towpath route not feasible

• Improvements to accessibility issues at interfaces with public roads

• Improved amenity areas (car parking, picnic areas, angling, boating)

• Environmental and heritage issues

• Improved connectivity with local residential areas and adjacent rail and bus services

• Integration with adjacent cycle routes (existing and proposed)

The County Council is inviting any interested parties to make submissions on the future of the Royal Canal as a Greenway Route in the Fingal area.

Submissions or observations may be made in writing to Senior Executive Officer, Planning & Strategic Infrastructure Department, Fingal County Council, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin to arrive no later than 5.00 p m 25th May 2012 or e-mail to Please feel free to copy me if you miss this date.

It is worth mentioning the work of Royal Canal Amenity Group which was set up in 1974 by enthusiasts to protect and if possible develop the canal. This voluntary body operating on a financial shoestring but with unstinting commitment, was instrumental in stopping the motorway plans for the Dublin section and in ensuring that no further low level bridges were built.
They set up a lock-gate factory in Dublin to build lock-gates for the eastern section of the canal, and organised dredging works and many improvements schemes. Without their efforts the canal would not have survived. Westmeath County Council then set up another lock-gate factory in Killucan to make lock-gates for the western section of the canal.

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