I have commented from time to time on the reluctance of some Irish folk to move beyond the technologies of the eighteenth century. Thus we find Shinners wanting canals all over the place and folk in Leitrim determined that, if Ireland has oil and gas, they must never be used. [That’s the Leitrim that had both a coal and an iron industry, by the way, as well as hydroelectricity, railways, a brickworks and a dockyard, to name but a few industries that come to mind.]
The latest target of the ire of the Luddites is that newfangled invention, the bicycle. Waterways Ireland might like to provide for folk to cycle along the trackway on the Barrow Navigation; some folk want to keep the dreaded bicycle, and presumably its Lycra-clad users, away from the trackway along which they like to walk.
Happily, some sane folk have written letters to the blatts and IndustrialHeritageIreland has a sensible comment.
I presume that the Luddites insist that the grass be cut using scythes, thus creating much local employment.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Natural heritage, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Scenery, Sources, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Barrow, cycling, Ireland, Operations, towing-path, towpath, trackway, walking, waterways, Waterways Ireland
In an article on making use of the Royal Canal, I wrote:
[…] I am neither active in user groups nor a confidant of Waterways Ireland, so it is quite possible that folk have developed, or are developing, some plans to increase use of the Royal and Grand Canals (and the Barrow): plans that involve boats rather than, say, cyclists or walkers, who don’t actually need a functioning canal, just wayleaves and interesting artefacts to look at. I’d like to see such plans published on the Waterways Ireland website, but I haven’t found anything there.
But it seems that the cyclists may get in first. According to a report in today’s Irish Times [which may eventually disappear behind a paywall]:
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has instructed the National Roads Authority to examine possible routes for a cross-country cycle path from Dublin to Galway, similar to the award-winning Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo.
Mr Varadkar, who is also responsible for tourism and sport, said he wanted to secure funding for the project he predicted had the potential to bring in at least €15 million per annum. While a proposed route remained to be decided, the Royal Canal was an “obvious candidate” for the stretch outside Dublin from Mullingar to Maynooth, he said.
[…] Mr Varadkar said the proposed Galway-Dublin facility should be open to walkers as well as cyclists, like the Great Western Greenway.
Nothing wrong with any of that, of course. And perhaps walking and cycling routes could be developed in other ares, eg from Belturbet to Clones ….
Notice, by the way, that the news story mentions the National Roads Authority and the National Transport Authority. But which body is not mentioned?
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged boats, bridge, canal, cycle, cycling, Dublin, Galway, green route, Ireland, Maynooth, Mullingar, Royal Canal, towing-path, towpath, trackway, Ulster Canal, Varadkar, walking, Waterways Ireland, wayleave
The Irish Times has a report here.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged access, bollard, court case, Dublin, Ireland, right of way, Royal Canal, towpath, waterways, Waterways Ireland