Work has begun on the Clooney Greenway walking and cycling facility in the Waterside.
The new project will link Nelson Drive to Clooney via the Foyle College and Ebrington Primary school campus.
Derry City & Strabane District Council said the greenway will enhance off-road connectivity for all in the Waterside area and will benefit school children accessing the school campus on foot or by bike from Nelson Drive and Clooney.
Adman Civil Projects Ltd. is the contractor for the development, which will be 0.94km in length and will be complete with an asphalt surface, paladin fencing and lighting throughout.
The project was developed following an extensive public consultation. Mayor John Boyle said: “I am delighted for residents of the Waterside that this long awaited development is now close to becoming a reality. The project has been the result of a lengthy consultation, planning, acquisition of lands and funding process and I would like to commend the Clooney Greenway Steering Group who have worked closely in developing and progressing each stage of the project.”
Paul McNaught, Department for Communities said the greenway would be a significant addition to the city’s greenway network: “This project will add to the City’s already impressive greenway network and will offer a convenient safe access route for cyclists and pedestrians alike,” he said.
Linda Watson, Caw/Nelson Drive Community Action Group added: “The start of work on the Clooney Greenway is an exciting and long awaited development for local residents after the scheme was first proposed in 2010.
“The finished project will reduce the need for a number of school bus services, reducing travel expenses for schools and parents and allowing local children to choose active travel to school.”
Ms. Watson also praised the council and the Department for Communities for funding the project.
Paying tribute to all those who campaigned for the Clooney greenway, Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Forum said it is also now time to build the Strathfoyle Greenway.
“Derry City & Strabane District Council is committed to delivering the project and has secured the lands required for this project. Planning permission has been in place since 2012.
“The Strathfoyle Greenway Project is listed as the number one priority in the Strathfoyle & Maydown Village Plan. It’s time to make it happen. I am calling on The Department for Communities and Department of Infrastructure to help make this project happen.
“The fact that there is no ministers in place to take key decisions relating to the Greenway Capital Development Fund is shameful and the Head of the Civil Service should now make a positive intervention and open up the Capital Fund for Greenways applications,” Mr Hughes concluded.