Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (142)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

142. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his officials will undertake to establish the level of openness or otherwise from landowners in relation to the possible use of OPW flood embankments as walking routes or potential cycling routes such as the River Maine banks from Farranfore to Keel and Callinafercy and other similar schemes nationwide; if the potentially huge benefits for landowners and communities from fully utilising such assets through a consultative and cooperative approach has been recognised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26339/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy is aware the Office of Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of embankments that form part of arterial drainage schemes it completed under the Arterial Drainage Acts. These embankments are not in State ownership but are on lands that are for the most part privately owned. I am advised that these embankments were not designed or constructed to cater for cycleways or walkways and might not have the capability to have any sort of walking or cycling infrastructure placed on top of them.

The provision of walkways and cycleways is a matter for local authorities and the OPW would be happy to work with the local authorities and other State bodies with their planned development of such community assets, where feasible.

In respect of the OPW’s planned programme of flood relief works that involve embankments, the OPW works with those local authorities that wish to explore opportunities for the provision, where feasible, of additional public realm elements such as cycling and walking.