Status of the Royal Canal Way/Greenway
Work on the Royal Canal Way (Royal Canal Greenway) is practically completed from Maynooth to Longford. Full completion is envisaged for 2019 and will offer a first-class multi-purpose off-road walking and cycling link from the river Liffey in Dublin, through Counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Longford to Cloondara on the River Shannon. Currently the route is passable from Maynooth to Longford with only 2 sections remaining to be fully surfaced (about 2km from blackwater aquaduck to Moyvalley and about 5km from Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge).
Two spur lines, one from Mullingar to Loch Owel, and the other running from south of Killashee to the town of Longford, are also part of the Royal Canal Way. See Longford to Cloondara and for Westmeath see Interactive Map.
Competed sections of the Royal Canal Way
- Dublin Phase I: Guild St. to Upper Sheriff St. 0.5 Km
- Fingal: Ashtown, 10th lock to 12th at Castleknock; 2.5 km.
- Kildare: Maynooth Harbour (west side) to Ferrans Lock
- Meath: Cloncurry Bridge to Westmeath border
- Westmeath: Meath / Westmeath border to Longford Bridge; 60 km
- Longford: Longford/Westmeath border to Clondra 32km (including spur to Longford Town via Killashee)
Work in progress
- Phase 2; Upper sheriff St. to North Strand.
- Phase 3; North Strand to Phibsborough
- Phase 4; Phibsborough to Ashtown.
- Blanchardstown to Fingal/Meath Border at Confey. Work on these four sections is in the planning stage and was due to start in 2016-17, see; Royal Canal Way Part 8 (May 2016). However, in September 2016 the upgrade was put on hold. Apparently the money earmarked for these section was diverted to fund work on the Luas, see; RTE (3 Sept 2016). As of September 2017 no new progress
Kildare and Meath:
- Confey to east side of Maynooth Harbour; (Feb 2018). (8 Km). Work on this section is due to start in the first quarter of 2018 and should be completed mid 2018.
- Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (July 2018). Planning in progress and route expected to be completed march 2019 (grassy towpath is open to cyclists/walkers)
- Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (July 2018).
- Blackwater Aquaduct to Moyvalley (Fureys Public House) (July 2018): Kildare County Council and Waterways Ireland are working on this and this work is sixty per cent complete but the section cannot be completed until spring 2019.
Dublin to Galway East-West Link & Euro Velo Rout 2:
Ninety kilometres of the Royal Canal Way, running from Dublin city through Fingal, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath to Mullingar will form part of the proposed Dublin to Galway East-West Link.
Mullingar to Athlone: Just west of Mullingar the Royal Canal Way joins the East-West Link. This 40 Km walking and cycling route runs along a disused rail line to Athlone, where it was planned to cross the Shannon into Counties Roscommon and Galway. The Westmeath section was officially opened in Moate on Sunday 18th October 2015. See Irish Independent (11 October 15).
Athlone to Galway: This section, through Counties Roscommon and Galway was planned to be completed in 2019 and would have provided an off-road walking / cycling route from Athlone to Galway city (140 km). However, due to unresolved concerns by landowners along the proposed route this project was shelved in October 2015. See; Galway Independent (30 Oct. 2015).
EuroVelo Route 2:
The planed Dublin to Galway east West Link also forms part of a Pan-European walking and cycling route, the EuroVelo 2 Capitals Route linking Galway to Moscow. However, at this stage it looks like it will run from Athlone to Dublin. Then having crossed the Irish Sea to North Wales it will wind its way south to Bristol. From Bristol the route will run via London to Harwich from where it will cross the North Sea to Holland. In Europe, the EuroVelo will run from The Hague through Holland Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia to Moscow.
Euro Velo Rout 2 is one of fifteen walking and cycling routes that span Europe, two of which run through Ireland. The other, the Wild Atlantic Way forms part of EuroVelo Route 1 which runs along the Atlantic Coast from Norway through Ireland to Portugal.