The examinations are necessary for screening reports, which form part of the planning process for the Tralee Fenit Greenway.
These reports will determine if Environmental Impact and Natura Impact assessments are needed, and whether the planning application will have to go to An Bord Pleanala.
The council’s ecologists have to walk the rail line and undertake preliminary assessments for the screening reports, and once they’re done the scope of the planning process and resources needed will become clear.
The local authority says it’s hoped these walks will completed by the end of June.
The council says significant work has been done in the past 12 months on securing the legal agreement with CIE on the transfer of the land on the rail line, and it’s their objective is to progress the scheme this year.
The Dungarvan Leader report this week that the entire 50km from Waterford to Dungarvan along the CIÉ owned railway will be converted into a Greenway by late summer. This is just over a year since Waterford City & County Council began works on the route which is licensed to them by CIÉ.
This clearly shows the time-line in which projects like this are deliverable within, meanwhile in Kerry we see no developments on similar state owned lines between Tralee and Fenit and on to the Kerry border.
Kerry County Council have been in the news recently regarding two controversial projects both of which involve the development of cycleways and compulsory purchase orders.
These are the South Kerry greenway in which KCC plan to buy back the railway in South Kerry (which was sold off after it was abandoned decades ago) and the other is the N86 development which also involves buying land for a widened road and a cycleway, ironically parts of this land was also once part the Tralee to Dingle Railway alignment.
So essential your tax money is going to buy back the two abandoned railways, which once were in state ownership, but no longer due to either been sold off or lost due to neglect.
At the same time there are two other railways in Kerry which are still in public ownership and lying idle, (the Tralee – Fenit and Tralee – Limerick) and which could easily be converted to greenways (as per the objectives of the county development)
Wouldn’t would be great to see these routes developed, wouldn’t this be much cheaper and in so better value for the taxpayer !
But maybe an Irish solution to this Irish problem is that we all sit on the fence for a few more years by which time we will have to buy back this land too ?