The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is planning to develop a new strategy for the future development and funding of greenways in Ireland, Agriland can confirm.

The proposed strategy will include the approach to be taken by authorities and agencies tasked with delivering greenway infrastructure where engagement and consultation with landowners is required.

When finalised, it will inform the approach to be taken to progress delivery of the section of the Galway to Dublin Greenway between Athlone and Galway.

The Department will undertake a separate public consultation process in the new year to inform the public of the development of the new Greenways Strategy and all interested parties will have the opportunity to give their views on such issues as part of this public consultation process.

Separately, the Department has announced that a public consultation on the SEA Environmental Report on the Dublin to Galway Greenway Plan opened on December 16.

The consultation process remains open for submissions until January 27, 2017.

In the west of the country, work has stalled since 2015 on the Athlone to Galway section of the Dublin to Galway Greenway as landowners objected to the route going through their lands.

While work on the section has been paused, it has not been halted and the Minister for Tourism, Shane Ross, said that his Department will consult all stakeholders in the coming months on the issue.

Speaking earlier this year he said that he understands the problems for landowners and the fact that they feel threatened by the possibility of compulsory purchase orders.

“My officials and I are determined to promote greenways throughout Ireland. The possibility of a coast to coast greenway of the sort envisaged here is something which we must turn into a reality. We will have to examine all the possibilities.”