As part of her submission for the new Wicklow County Development Plan 2016-2022. Cllr Irene Winters proposes that lands be reserved for a new rail corridor from Rathnew to Kilcoole.
Recent erosion of the Murrough, a coastal wetland area north of Wicklow Town, has brought the sea shore ever closer to the existing single line railway track.. Cllr Winters speaking about her submission said “The process of erosion appears to have accelerated in recent times. In 2009 a group of local people led by Brendan Cullen erected a new ‘Monkey Pole’ 10 metres from the shingle beach. Today this new Monkey Pole is 6 metres from the beach. The shoreline appears to be eroding at a rate of almost 1m a year and in places the railway track is now only 20 metres from the shingle beach.”
Cllr Winters says she has written to our MEPS and relevant Government Ministers asking for both funding and a solution to the problem, however she is very concerned that the rail line which is a very valuable transportation link for the people of Wicklow, Rathdrum, Arklow and Co. Wexford may be lost to the sea within 20 or 30 years unless action is taken. “If global warming predictions are correct, rising sea levels coupled with the current cost of providing coastal protection may mean that it will not be either physically possible or financially viable to save the 15km of line between Wicklow and Kilcoole.”
Cllr Winters says while she is hoping for a solution and funding to save the Murrough she believes it would be prudent long term planning to identify a rail corridor further inland and restrict development along that land to provide the option for future generations to have an alternate rail link with Dublin. A new rail link could be double track, helping to increase the frequency of service and number of passengers on the route.
Submissions or observations from the general public regarding the preparation of the new Wicklow County Development plan are invited from the public and interested bodies between the period 28th October 2014 to 23rd December 2014.
Children, or groups or associations representing the interests of children, are also entitled to make submissions or observations.
Submissions may be made in one of the following ways:
- Write to: Administrative Officer, Wicklow County Council, Station Road, Wicklow Town
- Email to: [email protected]
- Online: Make a submission via the online submission [divider]