DUBLIN BUS is being urged to organise its services to allow greater access to the Dublin Mountains as part of a new initiative to improve the recreation potential of public lands there.
Minister for Natural Resources Eamon Ryan said he would be asking the company to explore the issue as part of the Dublin Mountains Partnership, which he officially launched in Tibradden Woods yesterday.
The Dublin Mountains Partnership involves Coillte, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Dublin Mountains Initiative, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and South County Dublin County Council.
One of its first initiatives, the Minister said, was to establish a walking trail from Tallaght to Dún Laoghaire over the mountains. This trail was under construction, he said.
"I would like to see public transport linking into this so people could have more access to the mountains which are one of the greatest treasures of our city," he added.
"It would be wonderful to be able to get a bus into the mountains at Tallaght and be able to get one back from Dún Laoghaire at the end of a good day's walking."
The Minister said no other capital city he had ever lived in had a wonderful bay on one side and yet, within 30 minutes, one could be in the mountains.
Under a 10-year action plan, the partnership will develop access routes, new trails, signage, a website and a recreational user's maps of the area.
The partnership will also be bringing forward a recruitment campaign to develop a volunteer ranger scheme to support the work of the partnership and to have an "on the ground" presence especially at the weekends.
A recreation manager has also been appointed by the partnership which will be supporting a "leave no trace" programme to promote responsible behaviour by visitors.
More information is available at www.dublinmountains.ie
The Irish Times