A lighting system akin to that which illuminates the Waterside greenway on the city’s East Bank should be installed out the ‘line’ to make the popular cycling and walking route more attractive and accessible for users, local Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has suggested.
Colr. Logue called for the installation of a new lighting system at the Craigavon Bridge end of what is one of Derry’s busiest riverfront walkways.
She said: “Anyone who is regularly in the Foyle Road area will see hundreds of people use the walkway along the riverfront on a daily and nightly basis.
“There will be people out running, walking with their families or walking the family pet at the park land there.”
Although the current stretch in the evenings means walkers and cyclists are not desperate for the immediate illumination of the riverside walkway it’s something that should be considered for later in the year, Colr. Logue believes.
She said it would make the public walkway safer and more attractive for users.
“I was very surprised that there is no lighting on the section which runs along beside the old railway tracks between the Foyle Valley Railway Station, right out past Coshowen.
“I am calling on Transport NI and the Council to take a look to at this section and the feasibility of introduction of low level lights in the wall along the riverfront or standard street lights.
“This would greatly enhance the area and link in with the walkway which goes right down past the Peace Bridge and Quay area, it would also light it up at night and make the place safer,” she said.
Under the multi-agency Foyle Valley Gateway Masterplan, which was one of the catalyst projects included in Ilex’s ‘One Plan’ for Derry several years ago the area south of the Craigavon Bridge was to be redeveloped in order to “maximise the unexploited potential of the river banks for active and passive leisure and to create employment and training opportunities in an area of low rates of economic activity”.
While endorsed by the old Derry City Council and adopted as a long-term commitment by its successor, Derry City & Strabane District Council, the Foyle Valley Gateway Masterplan is not specifically referenced in the local authority’s comprehensive Strategic Growth Plan, which nonetheless commits to the enhancement of greenways throughout the district.
This, it is hoped, will promote a “modal shift away from the use of the private car towards sustainable travel.”