It will cost close to £19 million to construct four new greenways across the borough – but they will bring untold benefits with huge interest and public support.
Information has been furnished to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council as it is confirmed that detailed design proposals have now been completed.
Council secured funding from the Department for Infrastructure to help bring forward proposals for the design and development for greenways within the borough.
Four greenway proposals were turned into “fully worked up project bids and detailed designs”.
After completing the design stage, the projects are eligible to enter the next stage of competition for capital funding from DfI
Detailed designs have been prepared by AECOM for the four greenway proposals, which would cost £18.85 million to turn into reality.
The four are the Lagan Navigation Greenway (Craigavon to Aghalee); the Portadown – (North of) Moy Greenway; the Banbridge to Scarva Greenway; and Portadown to Caledon (via Armagh) Greenway.
The most expensive of these would be the latter through Armagh – at a cost of £6.86 million.
Portadown to Moy would cost in the region of £5.44 million, with Craigavon to Aghalee estimated at £3.35 million and Banbridge to Scarva, slightly less at £3.2 million.
If any of the funding applications are successful a report will be brought to the council’s leisure committee for consideration of the next steps.
The committee has been told that maximum funding available from DfI – if next stage bids are successful – is 50%, although the Portadown to Caledon Greenway may be be eligible for cross-border funding too.
A report to leisure committee highlights the importance of pursuing these plans.
“Greenways may have benefits beyond health such as reductions in traffic and carbon emissions, crime and improvements in safety,” it states.
“The proposed greenways will improve connectivity within the borough especially for rural residents, and link to our corporate plan, community plan and sustainable development strategy.
“Each greenway is a cost effective investment in public health within the borough and for the health and wellbeing of our residents.
“The greenway proposal within the ABC Borough are key greenways in the overall DfI strategy and will provide the vital links that will allow cyclists and walkers to cross the country if implemented.”