Clooney greenway delay costing primary school £10K

CREDIT: This story was first seen in BBC News

A Londonderry headmaster has said a delayed greenway project that would let his pupils walk to school could save thousands of pounds per year, BBC News reports.

Ebrington primary school principal Nigel Dougherty said the completion of the Clooney Greenway would slash his £10,000 bus bill.

The greenway would link Ebrington Primary School and neighbouring Foyle College to the city’s Waterside.

But it cannot be completed due to “budget uncertainties”.

Mr Dougherty said the delay is partly responsible for the school’s £10,000 bus bill.

“That shouldn’t really be happening. This project should be up and running, it has to be seen as a priority,” he said.

The Department for Communities (DfC), the Stormont department responsible for the greenway’s funding, said it would “wish to be in a position to secure funding for this important project”.

“Unfortunately, due to budget uncertainties, the department is not currently in a position to confirm the availability of capital funding at this time,” a spokesperson said.

“The department will be reviewing capital priorities for 2018/19 in the coming months in the context of whatever final capital allocations the department receives from the dudget exercise.”

Mr Dougherty said the greenway would take a “huge amount of traffic off the road, would give children better life choices and would certainly cut down on my bill.”

Ebrington and Foyle College both recently moved to a new site on Derry’s Limavady Road.

“Everybody knew that part and parcel of the two schools was the greenway,” Mr Dougherty added.

“People realised the importance of it, not just to the two schools but to the Waterside in general.

“It’s so important now, that a financial decision is made now, sooner rather than later.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council said their business case and funding application is currently being assessed by the DfC.

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“In recent correspondence the department reaffirmed its commitment to the delivery of this key capital development, however, stressed that any funding decisions are contingent on having an executive in place,” a council spokesperson said.

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