Sligo, Leitrim, Northern Counties, Railway (SLNCR) Greenway
Leitrim County Council, in partnership with Sligo County Council, Cavan County Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, under the auspices of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Department for Infrastructure (DfI) are developing the Sligo, Leitrim, Northern Counties, Railway (SLNCR) Greenway. Arup have been appointed by Leitrim County Council to provide multi-disciplinary engineering and other specialist consultancy services, consisting of all services and deliverables for the delivery of this Project through Phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (detailed design and tender documents only).
The Project is currently at Phase 1 Concept and Feasibility.
This project is to provide a high-quality greenway from Sligo town to Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, passing through Collooney, Ballintogher, Dromahair, Manorhamilton, Glenfarne, Blacklion, Belcoo and Letterbreen on the way.
Local communities have been to the fore in developing the idea of a greenway in the area and the opportunity which the historic SLNCR that linked Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh to Collooney, Co. Sligo presents. There are many surviving signs of the railway line including stations, road crossings, cottages, earthworks and bridges. In a number of places new sections of road have been built, along or across the old line, but generally the old line is discernible.
Project Specific Need
The need for the SLNCR Greenway is underpinned by the necessity to provide facilities which enable physical activity in a safe environment for all, by the need to connect rural communities using sustainable modes for short trips and strengthen rural economies and communities, whilst enhancing amenity and heritage.
The SLNCR Greenway could form an integral part of the County Cycle Network Plans currently under development as it has the potential to link into the proposed Sligo Greenway from Collooney to Bellaghy and subsequently provide a branch off the EuroVelo 1 – The Atlantic Coast Route and the Wild Atlantic Way.
The development of the SLNCR Greenway will attract domestic and international visitors to come, explore and stay in the region. The surrounding areas contain attractive scenery and an opportunity for users to interact with nature whilst benefitting from outdoor activity.
The SLNCR Greenway will be a ‘world class’ Greenway linking the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, bringing communities together and promoting cross border tourism.
It will unlock the tourism potential of the counties it traverses and will provide opportunities for the development of a local tourism-based industry in the area. Visitor numbers to local attractions such as the Sligo Way, Cavan Burren Park, Creevelea Friary, Manorhamilton Castle, Rainbow Ballroom and Showband Memorabilia Museum, Enniskillen Castle and the Butter Market will also increase.
Arup have been appointed by Leitrim County Council to provide multi-disciplinary engineering and other specialist consultancy services. That is to bring the Project through the planning process in the Republic and Northern Ireland plus to provide tender documents for Construction of the proposed Greenway in compliance with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Project Management Guideline documents.
The Project will be developed in line with TII Project Management Guidelines Phases 1-5.
The objectives of this project have been set following the five objectives (herein referred to as the 5 S’s) as set out in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways: Strategic, Scenic, Sustainable, Substantially Segregated & Shared Use, Offer Lots to See and Do.
In achieving these objectives, the project will in turn:
- increase the economic contribution of tourism to the Irish economy by increasing the numbers of visitors to the area
- promote physical activity in a safe outdoor environment and increase the number of people using active travel modes
- provide opportunities to enhance the local amenity and heritage value of the area
- benefit local communities through enhancing existing amenities and providing new linkages to adjacent town and village centres
What’s Happening Now
The Project is currently at Phase 1 Concept and Feasibility. The purpose of Phase 1 is to develop and investigate in further detail the feasibility of the project, to identify a suitable study area for the examination of preliminary route options and to implement the project management structure.
Public consultation on the study area and constraints is planned from Monday 16 January to Friday 10 February 2023. This consultation will be held to inform stakeholders of the proposed Greenway Project and study area. This consultation will inform the preparation of a Feasibility Report which will present the study area, highlighting opportunities, constraints and concerns.