‘Fantastic response’ to survey on development of ‘the line’

A survey of residents designed to garner views on a campaign to revamp the Foyle Road walkway from the Craigavon Bridge ‘out the line’ has met with a ‘fantastic response’.

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan said the online canvass of opinions was launched last month to collect local input on the future of the Cityside’s southern riverfront that leads from the Brandywell out to Killea and Carrigans on the Donegal border.

She explained: “Following meetings with stakeholders and the local Council, Councillor Patricia Logue and myself launched an online survey to hear from the people of Derry, and particularly residents around the area of the Foyle Road, on what they believed was needed to improve the embankment and make it more user friendly.

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“There was a fantastic response to the survey, and I want to thank all of those who took part.”

Members of the Pearse Starrs Cumann (Brandywell & Bishop Street ) and Martin McGuinness Cumann Bogside involved in an environmental litter picking clean up- out ‘the line’ on the banks of the River Foyle on Saturday morning past.

Ms. Mullan has been campaigning for more integrated development with targeted housing on the Foyle Road and the Brandywell, the better use of green space and the improvement of ‘the line’ public path and greenway.

People of the area have now highlighted a number of areas where improvements could be made.

“There were many issues raised, but the lack of lighting, dog bins or litter bins were the key concerns mentioned, along with the preservation of green space and the potential for suitable housing and apartments.

“Another common suggestion was the installation of seating benches and coffee facilities for people to be able to meet up and socialise,” she said.

PICKING LITTER: A major issue highlighted by the survey.

The Foyle MLA has called for better public lighting along the Foyle Road walkway to improve public safety, and women’s safety in particular.

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“The walkway which extends from the Craigavon Bridge to ‘out the line’ is regularly used by walkers, runners and cyclists, as well families, and the lack of investment and attention to the area is a health and safety issue, particularly when it is dark at night.

“The Foyle embankment has so much potential to become a more user friendly space in our city, and we will be using the responses given to inform our campaign to improve this neglected space that has so much potential,” she said.

Councillor Logue has been calling for better dog waste and litter bin provision ‘out the line’. This came up in the survey and was raised by dog walkers, runners, families, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

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Derry City and Strabane District Council has already placed an extra bin in the area. A welcome move, said Councillor Logue.

“I am pleased that one more dog waste bin has been placed along the route. This is a start and hopefully the Council will take on board findings from our survey and continue to improve the area,” she said.

One regular user of ‘the line’ who contacted the ‘Journal’ hoped this would be the start of a lot more happening there. He said: “I really hope this is the start of things to come. You only have to go out there and you will see the amount of people that use this walkway. There are vast opportunities and really grasp them.”

Volunteers removing rubbish from the old railway tracks.