Proposed ‘East Coast Greenway’ aims to generate significant tourism and revitalise damaged route

A petition to secure funding for a Greenway connecting Wicklow Town to Greystones has been set up by an advocate group named the ‘East Coast Greenway group’.

The East Coast Greenway Group — a subsection of the Wicklow Town Team — was set up by concerned citizens and local Councillors from towns along the route.

Dubbed the ‘East Coast Greenway’, the project proposes a cycle and walking route to be built along the coast connecting Wicklow Town, Kilcoole, Newcastle and Greystones.

The project hopes to generate “badly needed economic development” for Wicklow and rejuvenate the coastal route after years of erosion.

Coast erosion has wiped out vast areas of land along the route at an alarming rate, which can be seen in the video above. Video: Skycam Ireland.

Chairman of the group, Ciaran Lally said they are petitioning Wicklow Minister Simon Harris to “use his influence and seniority to secure funding and ensure the East Coast Greenway is fast tracked”.

“Generations of people have enjoyed the beautiful sea walk along this coast, but in recent years, coastal erosion has wiped out vast areas of land, making the walk very narrow and difficult in places; the area will not survive many more east coast storms. We passionately believe that funding is urgently required for coastal erosion protection, with a cycle and walking Greenway built at the same time,” Mr Lally said.

“We are frustrated that many of our elected and public officials cannot see the urgency and strategic importance of this project — they can and need to do more,” he added.

The group has listed the key benefits they believe a Greenway would bring:

1. Make use of Wicklow’s “unrivaled scenery” and to attract national and international tourists. Experts from the East Coast Greenway Group estimate over 500,000 visitors per year to Wicklow with a Greenway set up.

2. The project would generate badly needed economic development for Wicklow Town, Kilcoole, Newcastle and Greystones with tourists spending significant amounts in amenities including hotels, B&B’s, cafés, bars, restaurants.

3. It would provide an excellent amenity for the physical and mental health and well being of people who use the route.

4. The proposed route would link with the popular cliff walk from Bray to Greystones, and the planned cliff walk south of Wicklow Town.

5. DART access to Bray and Greystones makes access to the Greenway very easy for the entire Greater Dublin population.

6. The project will see a coastal defense built, in order to prevent the coastal erosion that has increased at an alarming rate in recent years.

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The petition has received huge support in the space of one week, with over 7,000 signatures so far.

You can find the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/minister-simon-harris-t-d-secure-funding-for-an-east-coast-greenway-from-wicklow-to-greystones

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