A cause for celebration.

There it is! Objective No. SG 9-32 in the Kerry County Development Plan 2009 – 2015: To promote and protect the Tralee-Fenit Railway Line as a cycleway and walkway (raon rothaíochta is siúlóide) as part of a government strategy to reclaim disused railway lines for local and tourist recreational use.

This, coupled with the news that funding of 750,000 has been secured by the Spa/ Fenit Community Council for the development of the project, is genuinely great news for a wide diversity of groups:

  • private recreational walkers
  • private recreational cyclists
  • commuters
  • school children cycling to school
  • nature lovers
  • tourists
  • cycling groups
  • walking groups
  • businesses with an interest in promoting Tralee/Fenit as a tourist destination
  • groups with an interest in promoting healthy lifestyles and sport
  • disabled people and carers looking for a wheelchair friendly walkway

The list goes on! To find out more about the Tralee to Fenit proposed walkway/ cycleway, there is a public meeting being held on October 22nd in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel at 8pm.

A bus tour has been arranged by Kerry County Council for Saturday, 17 October to Abbeyfeale – Newcastle West where 28km of walkway/cycleway has been installed on the Old Limerick Railway Line. The bus is free and is on a priority first come basis. To book a place, call 066 7183900.

Excerpt from Kerry County Development Plan:

” There are significant stretches of land that were formerly in use as railway lines. To the extent that these are engineering works negotiating difficult topographical obstacles, they constitute significant resources, with potential for use as corridors for amenity access, free from motorised traffic, and even have potential for a revived railway use. It will be the policy of the planning authority to consider proposals for development in these areas for local heritage and outdoor activities including the provision of recreational walkways.”

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53 thoughts on “A cause for celebration.

  1. This is going to be a brilliant amenity! When does work get underway? – I can’t wait to go from Tralee to Fenit free from the hassle of motorised traffic!

  2. Tomas,
    All going well if objectors are satisfied work should be completed by Christmas all going well.Lets hope it’s all resolved soon a good positive turnout at Ballyroe on the 22nd is crucial

  3. This is a great idea. I have just heard about it. I would love to see this happening. I do not drive myself and would love to be able to cycle safely to the beach. Fenit is a beautiful area, it has a lot to offer the eco tourist and local people. A health promoting way to enjoy Kerry. Love it : )

  4. Brilliant – A new perspective on this town and it’s environs would should be welcome by all, and the positives can only end up outweighing the negatives in the long run.

  5. Sounds like a great plan. This year in particular has seen the cycling population soar, it would be such a great asset to them and those of us who frequent Fenit. Good work!

  6. This looks like an excellent scheme. Congestion in Tralee has become a major issue and investment in alternative transport modes to encourage people out of their cars is definitely…..way off at present. An off road route like this, connecting the town to a large residential catchment will provide a massive incentive for more sustainable commuting and leisure trips. I hope short term issues can be resolved to secure the route and long term benefits. 

  7. A very important project from any perspective. Can’t wait to get my children cycling somewhere safe, with beaches and playground at the end of the track.

  8. This is so exciting, what a wondeful amenity for our children. I cannot wait to get out there on our bikes, somewhere we can feel safe and enjoy all the beauty and nature our wonderful county has to offer. Somewhere I can teach my kids about nature and nurture their physical wellbeing. We need this project.

  9. I think it is very important that this amenity goes ahead. Safe areas for families to cycle are few and far between and this would be a fantastic amenity for both Tralee and Fenit. The current road to fenit is very dangerous to cycle on.

  10. Great work and good luck with this project. Its hard to imagine that developing the cycleway could be opposed by anyone with an interest in their own or the wider community’s well being. For those of us not too keen on a swim on Christmas day, a cycle to Fenit is a great idea!

  11. Congratulations to KCC and all the community groups involved. This will be a flagship project which will benifit everybody and will make Tralee/ Fenit more attractive for sustainable tourism.

  12. This would be a fantastic addition for people who like walking. Just imagine the view of Tralee Bay as you walk without fear of cars etc. Looking forward to doing the walk.

  13. Waht a great idea. This kind of project will develop our area. Lets make this happen then start on the old south kerry line. check out sustrans in britian , They ve done great things.

  14. Growing up near the railway line in Cahermoneen it was always obvious that it had great potential. However it is such an underdeveloped asset at present. With the cycle/walk way it would make summer and bright winter day trips a joy. I really hope that this is one project that gets all the support needed to make it possible. Appreciate the great work by everyone involved.

  15. Fantastic news – and about time too! A number of years ago I looked into the possibility of the railway line being opened for bikes/walkers (I live right beside it) but the representatives on the Council I spoke to were reluctant to have anything to do with it. We have to make it clear that this is an incredible opportunity to improve the quality of life of a lot of people in the area. Everyone has to play some part in making it happen.

  16. This is a fantastic initiative and as a local resident I support it completely. Hopefully this is just the start and that before long we will have the Tralee-Dingle and South Kerry routes up and running too. Some lighting and policing would make it an almighty public amenity.

  17. This is the way to go. Separating cars from bikes. Family days out, Sponsored cycles and walks, school groups, youth clubs, scouts, tourists (who’d expect no less), less cars, better health, safe environment, pro-active local authorities, tourist attraction. We’re already behind most other EU partners in this, and can’t really justify more delays.

  18. I can’t wait for work to start on this and to have it completed. I think that it will be a fantastic amenity for the town and the county. I hope it is only the beginning.

  19. We are constantly paying lip service to the issue of children and excersize and the fact that they are more sedentry then we were .Cycling is great excersize ,and an excellent way to get an appreciation of the countryside and it is something we all did when we were young .However It is almost impossible for kids and familes to cycle around Tralee as there are few safe places available .This project is a huge opportunity to encourage and support familes and cyclists of all ages to engage in this positive activity .

  20. This has to be done. What a brilliant idea. There’s nothing like this in Tralee it would be of great benefit to the town.

  21. Comhgairdeas le gach duine What a brilliant idea ,light at the end of tunnel just as I was losing the last bit of faith in a system that seems to become more and more deviod of ideas I hope that the(GENUINE) concerns of the people can be addressed as well.

  22. Also think this is an excellent idea!Those railway lines have been lying idle for years and its great to see that they will finally be put to a really good use for the people of Tralee.

  23. Really looking forward to this initiatve getting off the ground…it will be a great facility.I’m oiling the chain of my bicycle already!!

  24. A cycle-walkers path enhances the livability and social health of a community and between communities.

    From a standpoint of physical health, it is an excellent form of physical activity with significant health benefits (but these health benefits are undermined if cyclists and walkers, in order to get from point A to point B, must use the main traffic roads (accidents, congestion and pollution). The cumulative effect on a community of having available cycle paths is invaluable from this respect.

    A cycle-walkers path is an alternative to motorized transport and, therefore, offers an excellent method of reducing transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. We may feel that we can make no big contribution as individuals to the global warming problems. This is not true, each individual is capable of making a change, and the cycle path offers a substantial contribution by a community of individuals towards reducing global emissions. It allows individuals, literally, an avenue for making their contributions. It is not simply just a pathway but a means and the power to change how we choose to navigate through the world.

    A cycle-walk path is an economically efficient activity, it lowers transport costs and reduces fuel expenditure.

    A policy of ‘not in my backyard’ undermines the social viability of a community but also the quality of life of the individuals in that community. It is not a toxic waste dump or, god forbid, a McDonalds that the KCC is proposing. It is a cycle-walkers path, it is a symbolic, social, and physical means of community interconnectedness. Opposition to a cycle-walkers path is no less illogical than opposition to a playground for fear that it would attract loiters and troublemakers.

    Safety and solidarity exist not in isolation but in community, and what sort of community or group of communities would we be without a park. A park like a cycle-walkers path is a place for the community and for communities, it is an essential architecture of a community.

  25. Great idea. Its been talked about for years, hopefully it will go ahead this time for the greater good of the community.

  26. I find this most amusing for a so called group such as yourselves to be in support of something you know very little about. You are quoted on your website as standing for and i quote REAL LOCAL DEMOCRACY, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABITITY IN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES.

    Both Cork and Limerick Co Council had to apply for planning perrmission for the same projects to be carried out yet Kerry Co Council did not and tried to push it through with as little people as possible knowing

    PEOPLE POWER.Active support for grass roots community ans social movements to bring about real chance.

    Nice to see ye are supporting the elderly people who are living alone and terrified as it is besides opening up access to the rear of there houses, to the people who who have the line running through their gardens and 5ft from there windows.
    Maybe this is why you were not elected in the Tralee area.
    I look forward to meeting you and the eight people who voted for you on Thursday night

    1. John,

      I think there might be some confusion here, Kerry Co Co would have no reason to apply for planning permission, they are not behind the project, is it not the Fenit village council or similar who are behind the project ?

      If planning permission were required it would be the village council who would need to apply TO Kerry co co.

      There is no conspiracy here nor lack of democracy.

      As for the Cork and Limerick examples, I have no idea about these specific cases [ it would be interesting to know what are the projects you mention though], but if the railways had been abandoned it would be the case that planing permission would be required. If the Tralee/Fenit line does not require planning permission it is probably down to the fact that the railway has not been abandoned.

      Both Cork and Limerick Co Council had to apply for planning perrmission for the same projects to be carried out yet Kerry Co Council did not and tried to push it through with as little people as possible knowing

      1. Hello john..
        most of the limerick section has been developed by the southern trail without limerick county council being involved.. getting a licence from c.i.e. and consulting the farmers was the requirement to get the project done..
        when limerick county council jumped on the bandwagon of our success and then investing a lot of money in the project and to make sure that some farmer didnt get onto to them down the road and look for compensation of not having being consulted .. it became apparent that seeking planning permission was the best option and the council had the paperwork to back up any future complications….
        the project did get some objectors but when scrutinised they didnt carry any weight after being looked at evaluated and considered…
        actually it got more letters in favour of the project then against it..

  27. Att: John

    Thanks for your comment.

    I was approached in a personal capacity to support the Tralee-Fenit Cycleway Project, the basis of which was outlined to me.

    I was glad to support it, and offered the further support of PeopleBeforeProfit, on the basis of the same community values that are cited on our website and which you also quote. Council projects that offer amenities to the community are surely worth supporting?

    As to local democracy, the Council, composed of elected representatives of the community, is voting in a democratic forum, on the issue, with members of the public able to attend.
    If the planning process also has to be entered into then we have no objection to that either. Why would we?

    I had visions of happy families going for Sunday cycles together in the sun.

    Your dark vision of “terrified” elderly people never came in to it. Walk through many estates in Tralee and houses are also a few feet from the road, from the public, from any “danger”: what is so different here?

  28. This is a fantastic idea that will provide many a enjoyable and safe day out for all the family and visitors to Tralee i completely support this and am hoping it goes ahead.

  29. Having being involved in the setting up of the trail in west limerick and having had the privelage to walk the tralee to fenit section some years back on one of our christmas walks…we too in west limerick had fierce opposition to the project especially from farmers who tried every trick in the book to stop us.. we persevered and who are getting paid to maintain the trail now under the rural social scheme the very same farmers whose only worry now is that after the budget the funds to the rss scheme might be cut and are presently lobbying their local politicians to keep the scheme going.. its funny world… as the saying goes anything worth having dosent come easy… THE FENIT LINE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR as a tourist and local amienity…
    best of luck with it ….
    regards
    Denis..

  30. It was heartening to see such a large turn-out at the meeting in Ballyroe last night. The tenor of the meeting was generally positive as reflected in most contributions. Even those most affected by proximity to the line seem prepared to engage meaningfully with the process, and indeed were encouraged to do so by others in similar positions or with similar experiences. However the idea that half of the railbed might be covered for bye-laws and policing, while the other half might not, was very counter productive and showed serious lack of pragmatism. Nonetheless it seems clear that there is very considerable support for the project at this stage and hopefully it will come to fruition. Why do I have a foreboding that it may yet lapse for lack of “ring fenced” funding down the line (excuse the pun!)?

  31. Wow! What a positive response – it’s kind of odd, after so many years of me internal moaning about Ireland, it now seems like we are getting it together. The train system is great, RTE is producing good TV, people smile at you in shops again, and now this! Fair play Ireland.

  32. I think this is an excellent project and will add immensley to the tourist ammenities of Tralee.

    Having been involved in many similar projects such as Ballyseedy Wood, Scotias Glen Wood (Public ownership), Canal Bank Wak, Save The Green,Green River Walkway, Pairc An Phiarsaigh etc, it gives me great pleasure that their is people out there who have the forsight to secure such great resources for future generations yet unborn.

    Keep up the good work.

    Tommy Foley ( Former Tralee Town Councillor and Kerry County County Councillor).

  33. It’s really heartening to read all the positive comments regarding the walway/cyclepath.I hope this will be the catalyst to spur on more projects of a similar kind .Both Fenit and Tralee stand to gain massively from this project in terms of tourist potential etc but mostly in terms of improving the quality of the lives of the citizens of both areas.It will free the walker and cyclist trapped within some of us and who need the encouragement that this walkway/cyclepath will provide and will deepen our experience of our own localities by allowing us the time to take in the surroundings at our own pace as opposed to the pace of the speeding car.It will allow us in Fenit to create a vision of a village where the value of our local environment will come first and will encourage a sustainable development of our village with a view to having a vibrant local economy based on healthy activities such as walking ,cycling,swimming,sailing,canoeing,fishing,relaxing, using our fantastic playground etc,etc.I feel we can create work locally based on these activities and where Fenit might be seen as a test case in how to develop a small village by keeping it green and keeping thing simple, sometimes less is more, remember life is short, come to Fenit and enjoy the simple things.walk on ……and on

  34. Best Wishes for the successful completion of the Fenit Rail Trail.
    It will be a great amenity for the community and visitors to Ireland. In New Zealand two former railway lines have been converted into rail trails and they have proved to be very popular with users. These tracks have led to additional employment and income opportunities for the locals in the communities that the trails pass through. In addition, the central government in NZ has undertaken to spend $NZ50 million in the next three years to build further cycle tracks. The aim is to eventually have a national network of trails totaling 3000kms. If anyone wishes to have a look at the websites for the completed trails go to http://www.littleriverrailtrail.co.nz or to http://www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz A 2008 survey and study of the economic benefits to the Otago Central area can also be sourced on this site.
    Best Wishes
    Warwick Armstrong
    Christchurch, New Zealand

  35. well its heading for march 2010.. and having walked the remnants of the tralee/fenit line over the weekend i didnt see any sign of progress.. is this pie in the sky.. HAVE THE FARMERS WON AGAIN…????????? … The wellie brigade
    are very powerful…

  36. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost of repairing roads damaged during the cold snap is used as an excuse to defer this project. Bah!

  37. Work is well underway in rock street now i seen it one day i was passing just wud love to now when it will be complete

  38. ANYBODY NOTICED THE NO TRESPASS SIGN ON THE FAT MILE AT THE RAILWAY LINE? WHO DOES THIS FARMER THINK HE IS HITLERS COUSIN? HE HAS NO RIGHT OF WAY!!ITS A RAILWAY LINE.

  39. There is a story on Radio Kerry News today:

    27 Jan 2011
    Plans to develop old Tralee Fenit railway line into path and cycleway advancing well

    Plans to develop the old Tralee Fenit railway line into a path and cycleway are advancing well.
    The project, which is estimated to cost half-a-million-euro, has already received funding from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
    Funding has also been promised by the Department of Transport, Leader, as well as the local community.
    The council is awaiting a proposal from CIE regarding the removal of the track, and following that work will begin on the path.

    Also there are soem photos of the line clearance on tralee.org

    http://blog.tralee.org/2010/11/08/good-progress-and-some-confusion/

    .k

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