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The co-leader of the Social Democrats and TD for Kildare North, Catherine Murphy, has welcomed the National Transport Authority (NTA) progress report on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal Greenways.

In response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Murphy, the NTA outlined that works on all Dublin City sections of the Royal Canal are progressing through detailed design to construction and completion over the course of 2020 and 2021.

Funding of €750k for 2020 has been granted to progress the project from the Fingal border to Leixlip. The section that will link Maynooth has Part 8 planning approval. However, it is now the subject of a review by Kildare County Council and the NTA regarding the detailed design.

Grand Canal plans for the route linking Naas Harbour to Sallins are preliminary and have not progressed to planning. However, €100,000 has been allocated to the project for 2020.
Reacting to the progress report, Deputy Murphy said:

“Overall, I am happy to see both Greenways that will run through Kildare are progressing. While I do have some concerns at the pace at which the inner Maynooth and the Naas/Sallins sections are progressing, I am hopeful that these can be advanced over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

“This infrastructure is long overdue and it is something people want eagerly to make use of, be it for recreation or as an alternative commuting corridor.”

Deputy Murphy added: “The greenways will eventually open new tourism opportunities in Kildare and across the country as well as all the peripheral business associated with that.”

Notes to Editors 
Response from Minister:

Dail Question No: 935
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the funding allocated to the Royal and Grand canal greenway projects; the progress made to date on works; and the expected completion date of works of each stage and or section of these projects.
Identical Question(s): Culture

My Department has allocated €12.332 m to the Royal Canal Greenway since  2012. This greenway is expected to open this year from Maynooth in County Kildare to Cloondara in County Longford and will become the longest stretch of Greenway in the country. It will be 130km in total length, including the Longford Branch. There is still some work on signage and marketing to be completed. The tenders for this work have had to be postponed due to COVID-19
My Department awarded €2.35m to Offaly County Council and €1.70m to Kildare County Council for construction of  the Grand Canal sections outlined below. My Department also provided funding of €415,321 for construction of the section known as Arthur’s Way in 2014/15.

Grand Canal Greenway- Tullamore to Daingean and Lough Boora €2.35m Waterways Ireland/Offaly County Council Parts of most strategic importance and economic significance and also priority sections for Local Authority
Grand canal Greenway -Kildare section as far as Sallins €1.7m Waterways Ireland Aylmer Bridge to Sallins, builds on Arthurs Way

Construction on these sections is due to finish in 2021 but COVID 19 may impact the completion dates .
These two Greenways are strategically important national greenways with the Royal Canal Greenway also forming a section of the Dublin Galway Greenway. It is our intention over the coming years to complete the Grand Canal Greenway as funding and planning allows.
In relation to Urban Greenway sections of both the Royal and Grand Canals, these  are funded and managed by the National Transport Authority (NTA ). Noting the NTA’s role, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Progress Report from National Transport Authority:

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