The proposed transformation of the Kingscourt to Navan disused railway line into a cycling and walking greenway is set to inject an estimated €5.9 million per year into the region.
The impressive figures were contained in a feasibility study conducted into the Boyne Valley to Lakelands County Greenway, which were unveiled at a recent meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in Kingscourt. Kingscourt’s share of the economic windfall is expected to be significant, given its location at one end of the Greenway. The study was carried out by Kieran Boyle Consulting.
There is potential now for a loop to be created from the end of the proposed Greenway, so that visitors could proceed up into Dun A Rí Park, back through the town and back to the Greenway. This would essentially incorporate both the park and Kingscourt town into the greenway.
Cavan and Meath County Councils have commenced the planning process for this project, and the closing date for submissions or observations with respect to the proposed development is Thursday, October 10.
President of Kingscourt Chamber of Commerce, Frank Corbally said he hoped the project would be ready to go to the National Transport Authority for funding in November.
Mr Corbally said that no more than a half kilometre of footpath would be required to link the end of the Greenway to the Forest Park. They will pursue this objective once the Greenway gets the green light.
He added that as a destination town at the end of the line, they would be hoping to get a decent share of the €5.9 million annual income to the region, generated by the Greenway.
“Between hospitality and retail – they are the two big ones in the town that can win out of that – this would include B&Bs, hotels, pubs, cafes and restaurants,” he told the Celt.
The study outlines that the trail follows the route of the old Navan to Kingscourt railway corridor, beginning at Navan Town Park and finishing at the old Kingscourt Railway Station. The trail is approximately 30.1km in length and over 98% of the route is along a traffic free, segregated route. The on-road section is limited to the initial 500m from Navan Town Park to the access point at the railway line, the level crossing on the Ratholden road.
The railway line passes through a number of old railway stations and these stations form well-defined access points to the corridor, as well as providing direct references to rail heritage.