New cycle and walking track planned for Lough Boora area

Offaly County Council is at present planning the development of a brand new cycle and strolling monitor within the Lough Boora space.

Tom Shanahan, Director of Companies, informed the current assembly of the Council in Aras an Chontae Tullamore that the proposal consists of “the event of a protected biking and strolling hyperlink from Leabeg to the Lough Boora Customer Centre and the event of a pedestrian / biking raised crossing at Leabeg by Offaly County Council.

“The Native Authority has collaborated with Bord na Móna within the preparation of this Half 8 undertaking proposal.”

Lough Boora Discovery Park attracts about 100,000 customers per 12 months. In co-operation with Bord na Móna, throughout 2019, the Council enhanced the hyperlink between the present Lough Boora Parklands outer strolling & biking route and the Grand Canal Greenway. It’s due to this fact now potential to cycle, largely alongside greenway, from Tullamore to the Lough Boora Discovery Park Customer Centre. A small part is on the general public street however this new cycle and strolling monitor will imply that it too will likely be taken off the general public street.

The Council has additionally labored with Bord na Móna and secured Simply Transition Funding for the Lough Boora Connections undertaking. This undertaking, stated Mr Shanahan, is nearing completion and has upgraded roughly 9kms of trails throughout the Lough Boora Discovery Park, together with that a part of the outer loop from Turraun Lakes to Leabeg (and brought this half into the cost of the Native Authority).

Presently, the a part of the ‘outer loop’ from Leabeg to the Customer Centre, together with passing the Educate Lea Neighborhood Centre and the previous Lough Boora Inn, is on the general public street. It’s the intention to supply an ‘at grade’ segregated path insofar as is achievable throughout the street width and verges. A part of the hyperlink route, i.e. south of the Lough Boora Inn will likely be completely ‘off street’, i.e. inside the present hedge line.

An software has been made to Transport Infrastructure Eire (TII) for the funding of this undertaking.

“The positioning,” defined Mr Shanahan, “is positioned in Leabeg Village and extends to the Lough Boora Customer Centre alongside the general public street and likewise on lands owned by Bord na Móna.

“The works will include the development of about 100 metres of cycle / strolling monitor inside Leabeg (alongside the R357 Blueball to Cloghan street) and about 1.2 kilometres of cycle / strolling monitor extending southwards alongside the west aspect of the method street (L-7023) to the Lough Boora Customer Centre.”

Mr Shanahan added that works will even include the event of a raised crossing to the speedy west of the Church in Leabeg on the Junction of the R357 and the native street (shared cycleway) to the north, the L-70208.

“The scheme,” he identified, “has been designed to suit neatly into the accessible street verge and can have a gentle influence on the panorama. A buff (gentle brown) floor coating of the proposed cycle / strolling path from Leabeg south to the Lough Boora Works will likely be used to combine visually into the agricultural setting whereas offering a clearly identifiable shared house for cyclists and pedestrians, separate to the street house. The proposed cycle / strolling path will likely be ‘at grade’ (stage with) with the street floor and segregated by the use of exhausting rubber ‘armadillos’ or comparable.”

Further landscaping works will even be carried out to minimize the influence of the scheme and public lighting will likely be put in from the R357 junction south to the group centre.

Staged Security Audits of the proposed scheme will likely be undertaken to make sure compliance with necessities regarding the shared strolling and biking infrastructure and Offaly County Council will present the required ongoing upkeep of the event after its building is accomplished.

The Director of Companies stated it is Council coverage to advertise the continued growth of Lough Boora Discovery Park as a vacationer and ecological amenity. The Council can be focussed on the Park’s linkages with the Grand Canal Greenway and the encompassing cities and villages.

It is also one of many Council’s targets to advertise the present instructional and amenity services at Clara Bathroom Nature Reserve and Customer Centre and Lough Boora Discovery Park and their growth.

This new path from Leabeg to Lough Boora is a part of the Council’s ongoing undertaking of offering applicable new infrastructure and upgrades of present infrastructure to satisfy the wants of the Offaly Biking Vacation spot Community, Offaly Manner strolling route and Greenway hyperlinks between the  Grand Canal and Lough Boora Discovery Park.

An EIA (Environmental Influence Assertion) revealed previous to this growth states that the group of Monterey Pines on the entrance to Lough Boora Discovery Park has a cluster of bat exercise and are essential for feeding and foraging. The Assertion says that these must be “primarily retained if potential to take action aside from these within the space of the proposed cycle / strolling route.” The report additionally recommends {that a} collection of 5+ bat bins must be erected on timber alongside the route to supply future roosting alternatives.


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