Sir, – David Dolan (February 22nd) suggests that the proposal to repair and resurface a strip of the Barrow towpath to make it accessible for cyclists, walkers, wheelchair users and families with buggies is somehow a bad thing. He advises people to go for a walk or a cycle on the overgrown towpath before Waterways Ireland "destroys" it.
The Barrow towpath is not a natural feature; it is a hard-surfaced track that has become grassy and overgrown because of neglect. Going for a walk or a cycle on many sections of the path is challenging for people who are fit and active, but impossible for many families and people with disabilities. Far from “destroying” this publicly owned asset, the Waterways Ireland project will help preserve the heritage of the Barrow navigation and make it accessible to everybody.
As for his concerns about what he claims are the dangers of cycling beside a waterway, this has not proved to be a problem anywhere else, and cycling or walking on a peaceful riverside trail is certainly a more appealing option for families, leisure-users and tourists compared to sharing main roads with speeding trucks. – Yours, etc,