Wicklow Sinn Féin representatives John Brady TD and Cllr Grace McManus have welcomed the reopening of the public access from the Bray Harbour area to the new Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools are located on the old Bray Golf Clubs Lands. The reopening will allow limited access for 1 hour in the morning and afternoon to accommodate students going to school. Both representatives have said that common sense must now prevail and that the access remains permanently open.
Deputy Brady said “I welcome confirmation that there has been an agreement to reopen the right of way which links Bray harbour to the Old Golf Club lands. The agreement will allow limited access for pedestrian and cyclists and it will open for an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon to accommodate children getting to Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools. This is a welcome start, however it makes no sense only having restricted opening for a couple of hours each day and only when the schools are sitting. It needs to be opened permanently, but I welcome this opening as a starting point.”
“Over the last 18months I have been engaging Wicklow County Council, Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority (NTA) with a view of getting the public right of way to the harbour reopened. It was closed temporarily for the duration of the Dargle flood protection works. Since the two new schools opened on the golf club lands having it opened has become more pressing as many students and teachers could walk or cycle to the school that way. So this opening is welcomed by many teachers and students who can now use it.”
Cllr McManus said “I warmly welcome that the Harbour underpass is being used, albeit for a limited time each day. It offers another route for school traffic, and particularly during warmer weather I hope it will alleviate some of the school congestion we have in the town, children can be dropped to the harbour and then walk to the schools. I tabled a motion on the underpass in December that asked that the council will commit to exploring how best to ensure public right of way is protected long term and I believe that to be necessary work. I thank the officials who have been working on this, including the staff who we met recently who are working hard to keep the underpass clean and ready for use of children and adults alike.”
Deputy Brady continued “Unfortunately a bit of a standoff has developed on the issue between the Council and the NTA. Planning permission was granted for the schools with a condition that there would be pedestrian and limited vehicle access under the railway line at this location. Now however the NTA are opposed to the reopening as they have concerns regarding vehicles going through the underpass. Discussions have been happening over the last 18 months, these have led to this limited reopening.
”Deputy Brady concluded “Having the right of way opened for an hour in the morning and the afternoon shows how important of a link that it is. I will continue to engage all the stakeholders on the issue to ensure that common sense prevails and it opens permanently.”