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North West Greenway Network

The North West Region - comprised of Derry City and Strabane District and North and East Donegal - is home to a rich natural, cultural and built heritage landscape, and some of the island’s highest quality, natural scenery. Situated on the Northern Ireland - Republic of Ireland jurisdictional border, the area is heavily reliant on cross-border movement of both people and goods, with about 325,000 cross-border vehicle journeys made per week (Department for Infrastructure telemetric data 2016).

In December 2016 Derry and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Department for Infrastructure (NI) and Sustrans were awarded €14.8 million funding from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme to construct 46.5 km’s of cross-border greenway by December 2021.

What is a Greenway?

Greenways are recognised for their multi-functionality as: sustainable travel facilities; green corridors; linear parks and the associated benefits that these functions bring in terms of recreation and leisure, tourism, sustainably connecting people to place and for the environment e.g. carbon dioxide savings.

The project is based on the design, development and delivery of a cross-border greenway across three routes:

• Route 1- Derry to Buncrana (32.5km)

• Route 2- Derry to Muff (10.5km) 

• Route 3- Strabane to Lifford (3.5km)

The partnership envisages that these greenway routes will contribute to socially, economically and environmentally transforming the North West Region, aligned to the sustainable transport objectives of the Draft Programme for Government 2014-2020 and the National Planning Framework: Ireland 2040.

These routes will connect and complement with existing greenways, cycleways and walkways in the North West such as the Derry-Londonderry Urban Greenway Network, Inch Levels and EuroVelo 1.

Expected project benefits

Social

Improving people’s physical and mental wellbeing through provision of greenway infrastructure and encouraging people to incorporate active travel into their daily routines.

Environmental

By developing high quality greenway infrastructure along these routes, and encouraging at least 500 people to use developed greenways to commute to work, school or college on a daily basis,we estimate that this will prevent approximately 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.

Economic

Whilst the emphasis of our project is to develop routes to facilitate modal shift, developed greenways will also be a tourism asset and key economic driver, providing a much needed boost to the local economy. This is evidenced in similar greenway projects developed in other parts of the island including: The Great Western Greenway, County Mayo and; Waterford-Dungarvan greenway.

Travel behaviour change

The project also includes an Active Travel Officer. Their role is to engage with schools, colleges and workplaces (trip generators) to offer advice and guidance, and to implement a range of programmes to effect changes in the way people travel. For more information on these activities, please contact nwgreenway@donegalcoco.ie.

Project Timeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress Update

Route 1 - Derry to Buncrana

The planning application for the section in Derry linking to the border at Bridgend was submitted on 26 June 2020. The planning application for the section from Bridgend to Buncrana will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála on or before February 2021.

Route 2 - Derry to Muff

Planning secured in Donegal; construction scheduled to commence September 2020; work in Derry has begun on sections within highway boundary and under the jurisdiction of the Department for Infrastructure. The remaining sections will come before Derry's Planning Committee before October 2020. Construction in Muff to commence in September 2020.

Above: Culmore 

Route 3 - Lifford to Strabane

Planning secured in both jurisdictions. Construction re-commenced May 2020

Strabane section of greenway under construction July 2020

Above: Strabane section under construction July 2020

For more information about the project, click here.