KT

‘Postcard’ loop project to progress in stages

Plans: The proposed Lough Leane loop walk

Kerry County Council has been urged to advance the development of the long-promised Lough Leane loop walk and cycle path as people are getting very frustrated waiting for it, including some of the key landowners involved.

The matter was raised by Cllr Brendan Cronin who asked the local authority what progress has been made and if officials have secured agreements with landowners, particularly along the Gap of Dunloe road to Tomies.

”People have committed to supporting this project and a few critically important landowners are very frustrated.

“Can we put our cards on the table and get agreement before the mood changes,” Cllr Cronin said.

The rich woodlands on the slopes of the 735m Tomies mountain

“You couldn’t paint this loop – it’s postcard stuff,” he added.

The council said the development of the project can be divided into three sections – the Gap Cross to Tomies, from Tomies to Dinis and from Dinis to Torc – and the latter section is getting priority as it is being developed by Transport Infrastructure Ireland as an Active Travel project.

Kerry County Council has recently appointed technical consultants to investigate the feasibility of the 1.5km route and a report is expected by September.

“This project will complete the off-road cycleway around Muckross Lane,” a spokesperson said.

Cllr Brendan Cronin

The Tomies to Dinis section was deferred following the national park wildfire in 2021 to allow the National Parks and Wildlife Service to fully assess the impact of the blaze on the sensitive biodiverse area and to allow a recovery plan to be put in place.

The council stressed that agreement has not been secured with landowners along the Gap Road to Tomies section of the planned project but it is intended to seek funding and progress that element of the loop over the course of the next year.

Cllr Niall Kelleher said it was important not to risk losing the goodwill of the landowners.

“It could mean that we could fall at the last fence and we don’t want that to happen,” he said.

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