Hussey says £8k for Derry and Strabane greenway study isn’t enough

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard at the old railway track near Dundrum, as he launched his plan to develop 1000kms of greenways paths across the north. Picture: Michael Cooper

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard at the old railway track near Dundrum, as he launched his plan to develop 1000kms of greenways paths across the north. Picture: Michael Cooper

Derry City and Strabane District Alderman Derek Hussey says a grant of just £8,000 for the development of a feasibility study for the hugely wide-ranging North West Greenway Plan, which takes in a massive geographical area from the North Coast to Bundoran, isn’t good enough.

The Minister announced the funding whilst publishing his ‘Exercise Explore Enjoy: A Strategic Plan for Greenways’ policy document.

He told MLAs at Stormont on Monday that the policy would help create “a region where people have ready access to a safe traffic-free environment for health, active travel and leisure.”

Mr Hazzard said: “It also includes cross-border links from Derry to County Donegal, Enniskillen to Sligo, Armagh to Clones and Newry to Dundalk. That is the first step towards creating a world-class greenway network that will be a welcome investment in rural development and active travel, providing for leisure and recreation, creating long-term employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and enhancing opportunities for tourism.”

But Mr Hussey took umbrage at the fact that Derry and Strabane will only get £8,000 for its expansive North West Greenway Plan study, while Newry, Mourne and Down, to take just one example, will get £32,000 for the four separate Carlingford Lough, Downpatrick to Newcastle, Downpatrick to Ardglass and Comber to Downpatrick greenway studies.

He said: “Given the exciting and valid proposals available throughout out local Council area, urban and rural, it is disappointing that only one is to be considered for funding by Sinn Féin Minister Hazzard within Northern Ireland’s second city region.”