Waterways Ireland has responded to fears and concerns expressed at a public meeting in Graignamanagh and reported across a number of media in relation to the preparatory work being undertaken on the proposed Barrow Blueway going through County Kilkenny and Carlow.
“Contrary to speculation, the proposed development of the trackway would entail the use of clean stone and compacted quarry dust to a maximum width of 2 metres similar to that which is already in use along some of the trackway,” Waterways Ireland said.
“It is the intention of the agencies to develop this trackway as a sustainable multi-activity leisure route from Lowtown to St. Mullins and ultimately linking Dublin to Waterford,” it added.
Waterways Ireland in partnership with eight agencies is undertaking early survey work on the various environmental and other reports necessary for the planning process. If the environmental reports are favourable they will formally apply for planning permission in early 2015.
Waterways Ireland added that the development of a Blueway along the Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation was one of the key recommendations of the Barrow Product Development Study.
This project is entirely focused on sustainable rural regeneration and development through the provision of a recreational and tourism product of economic and social benefit to the local communities.
For example the Great Western Greenway in Mayo of shorter length, contributes an €7.2 million annual to the local economy and has helped create 38 new full time equivalent jobs and sustained another 56 jobs.