Slí na Sláinte Routes for Donabate

Slí na Sláinte Routes for Donabate

A group of people from the Donabate-Portrane Peninsula came together from different organisations, including Active Age for All (acting as the lead group), Lambay Sports & Athletics, Donabate Portrane Men’s Shed and Donabate Portrane Community Centre, with the aim of promoting and developing safe routes in our area suitable for walkers and runners of every ability, the numbers of whom has grown dramatically in the past few years. These routes would also facilitate wheelchair users and other vulnerable people. In addition, we have the support of a group supporting people with visual impairment/disability in the area. The group has been campaigning for just over a year to establish routes in Donabate under Slí na Sláinte – the Way of Health – an initiative of the Irish Heart Foundation which aims to increase the number of people walking or running for their health. It encourages the provision of routes that are accessible to all, able bodied & less able bodied, and provides funds towards signage and maps for approved routes. We have met or been in contact with Fingal County Council officials, councillors and Tara Curran from the Irish Heart Foundation. Along with the County Council and others, we will continue to resolve the few remaining obstacles to achieving full approval of the identified routes, which we hope will be addressed in the not-too-distant future.We understand and are delighted that one of these, the Turvey Avenue footpath, is planned to be completed in mid-2021. Three routes in the village and two in Newbridge Park have been identified and drawn up. Fingal County Council has now put two routes in place in Newbridge Park, which is most welcome. It is imperative that the village and park routes link through the new entrance at the pedestrian lights on Turvey Avenue, as this is the most accessible entrance to the park for people with a disability or reduced mobility, parents pushing buggies, wheelchair users and older people. Signage, some of which could also be in Braille, should be provided at this entrance to Newbridge Park, at Donabate Train Station and at the Community Centre. Also, the provision of seating is important for resting and socialising on route. We are very pleased to learn that Fingal County Council has set up a new Department of Environment, Climate Action and Active Travel under the directorship of David Storey. It is a very progressive initiative and augers well for all groups and individuals interested in walking, running and cycling as modes of transport. We look forward to the new projects that will take place with this new direction. If you are interested in Slí na Sláinte routes on the Peninsula, please contact any of the groups involved.