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North West Greenway Network



29 September 2022 - Donegal County Council in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council is advancing two greenway projects as part of the wider North West Greenway Network (NWGN). The projects are being funded under the EU’s INTERREG  programme, administered by Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Read more


1 April 2022 - Part VIII planning process published for Lifford to Castlefin. Go to for more information


24 February 2022 - Muff section of Inishowen Greenway (linking to Derry) to be completed by April


23 February 2022 - preferred route corridor for Lifford to Castlefin announced. For more information on this announcement, please go to Lifford-Castlefin greenway route.


Historical project updates


8 December 2021 - project to consider possible extension from Lifford to Castlefin


Donegal County Council is now exploring the possibility of extending the new Lifford infrastructure to Castlefin. As part of this process, the Council has published route option documentation for the general public to consult and comment.



18 November 2021 - single-sheet drawing shows proposed route at a glance


The route selected in 2019 for the Buncrana-Derry greenway can now be viewed as one file. Click on Route 1: Derry to Buncrana and Newtowncunningham MAP to download the overall route. A more indepth and detailed map can be found under Route 1 from the 'Routes' section.


Donegal County Council is continuing to work on the project, and is on schedule to lodge its planning application in the coming weeks, in tandem with publishing the Compulsory Purchase Order schedule.



7 October 2021 - Derry section of route 1 approved by the Planning Committee of Derry City & Strabane District Council


The Derry section of route 1, which was submitted to planning by Derry City & Strabane District Council in June 2020, came before the Planning Committee last night. While the Planner's recommendation was to 'refuse', the Members debated the application for over one hour before voting to reject the Planner's recommendation. A subsequent vote (during the same sitting) saw the application approved.


The Council will now meet with the relevant authorities in the north to advance the project and we are confident that a contractor will be appointed in 2022 to construct the greenway.


Donegal County Council to publish Compulsory Purchase Order schedule


Donegal County Council is currently finalising the planning application for the section of greenway from Bridgend to Buncrana. As part of this application, an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) schedule are required. All landowners listed in this CPO schedule will be informed about the schedule in advance of the document being published. Over the last three years, the local authority has endeavoured to contact as many people as possible regarding the route corridor and lands relevant to the project. If you believe your land may be part of this project and the Council has not spoken with you about it prior to now, please email: [email protected].


1 July 2021 - Bridgend/Buncrana route update


In July 2019, the route corridor for the greenway linking Derry to Buncrana was published. Within the route corridor, particularly at Bridgend, Castletown/Fahan, Figary/Fahan and Magherabeg, localised design alignments were considered within the route corridor. These alignment options have now been finalised and the final alignment - within the route corridor - is now avaliable to view. Click on Route 1 - Buncrana to Derry greenway to download the file. 


14 June 2021: Donegal County Council has confirmed that the planning application for the Buncrana to Bridgend section of Route 1, Buncrana-Derry, is on schedule to be submitted in 2021. The route corridor mapping will be updated over the coming days. To read more, go to Media Release - Council confirm 2021 planning application date.


Construction on route 3, Lifford to Strabane, recommenced during summer 2020. This route is scheduled to be completed during Q3, 2021. Donegal County Council is confident of awarding the works contract for route 2 (Muff) in the coming weeks. The Council is confident that work will commence during the summer months. The section from Foyle Hospice to Coney Road, County Derry, received planning approval in April 2021. It is expected that the whole route - route 2, Derry to Muff - will be completed by Q4, 2022.


Work continues on route 1, Derry to Buncrana. The planning application for the section in Derry City linking towards Bridgend was submitted in June 2020. Preparatory work on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) required as part of the planning application for the Donegal section of the route, is also at an advanced stage.


Planning portal for Derry section of route 1:


Go to Consultation process event route 1 for details on the emerging route for Buncrana to Derry and recent contact with An Bord Pleanála


North West Greenway_Project Update_Spring 2019


In 2015 Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) in partnership with Donegal County Council (DCC), Transport NI (TNI) and SustransNI, formally established the Active & Sustainable Travel Forum (ASTF).


The Forum’s North West Greenways Action Plan


The Forum’s plan forms the basis of a strategic and co-ordinated strategy for the development of a network of greenways throughout the North West. To date approximately 80km of traffic-free routes have been delivered, including 30km classed as greenway. The partnership’s strategic vision is set within the context of the North West Greenway Action Plan:


“To develop a cross border network of greenways that link people with places locally, regionally and nationally- bringing social, economic & environmental wellbeing to all.”


About the North West Greenway Network project


In December 2016 Derry and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Department for Infrastructure (NI) and Sustrans (the UK-based cycling and walking charity), were awarded €14.8 million funding from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme, administered by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), to construct 46.5kms of cross-border greenway. Match-funding has been provided by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland.


These routes link Derry to Buncrana via Bridgend; Muff to Derry via Culmore; and Lifford to Strabane. Once completed, this will result in a greenway network of approximately 126.5km in the North West, of which 76.5km will be classified as high quality greenway.


Our Vision and Objectives


To develop a cross border network of greenways that link people with places locally,

regionally and nationally – bringing social, economic and environmental well-being to all


  • To construct 46.5kms of greenway and cycling/walking routes
  • Encourage a minimum of 500 people to cycle or walk to school, work or college by 2022
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions entering our atmosphere by over 300 carbon tonnes per annum by 2023
  • Encourage more people to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine
  • Invest in the wider economic and social infrastructure in the North West Region


This project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).


National and International policy context


This is a non-exhaustive list of European, National and local policy documents which place cycling and walking within the context of policy development, encouraging people to be more active for a multitude of reasons: to assit with carbon emission reduction; reduce congestion; improve the general health of the population; and increase business and employment opportunities in the 'green' economy.

Europe 2020 – A Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth: puts forward three mutually reinforcing priorities for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Sustainable transport strategy is set out under the “sustainable growth” priority, through flagship Initiative: “Resource efficient Europe”, which supports a shift towards a resource efficient and low carbon economy.


TEN-T - Connecting Europe Policy (2014): highlights the potential for long distance walking and cycling routes.


NI Regional Development Strategy 2035: Building a Better Future 2010- Regional Guidance Policy 9: 'reduce our carbon footprint and facilitate mitigation and adaptation to climate change whilst improving air quality- ‘This will include reducing the need to use the car,’ and Regional Guidance Policy 11 through enhancing the amenity value of natural and cultural heritage assets by providing linkages to green infrastructure.


Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan 2017-2032 (Our Community Plan) - Derry City & Strabane District Council:

Community Planning is a statutory duty placed on Councils as part of local government reform. Sustainable travel initiatives support multiple outcomes including ‘Social Wellbeing’, ‘Encourage physical activity’, ‘Live and work sustainably, protecting the environment’


Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework and National Development Plan 2018-2027: National Policy Objective #46 includes the enhancement of “transport connectivity between Ireland and Northern Ireland, to include cross-border road and rail, cycling and walking routes, as well as blueways, Greenways and peatways.”


Donegal County Council Development Plan 2018 – 2024:


  • T-P-11: It is a policy of the Council to facilitate the appropriate development of affordable, multi-modal transport solutions that offer communities and future generations real transport choices such as park and ride; pedestrian and cycling; bus and taxi services; and ancillary infrastructure
  • T-P-24: It is a policy of the Council to protect established/historic railway corridors throughout the County primarily for strategic infrastructure provision (such as rail/road projects) and secondly for recreational development. Along these corridors other uses shall not be considered. Where these corridors have already been compromised by development, adjacent lands which could provide opportunities to bypass such an impediment and reconnect these routes for amenity purposes (walking/cycling) shall be protected for this purpose. However, in all instances, the over-riding objective shall be the provision of strategic infrastructure.




Last updated: 6 April 2022