Thursday 15th May
Athlone and Mullingar to be connected by bike with greenway developed on old rail line bring an estimated 80 jobs to the region
Public Transport Minister, Alan Kelly, has today announced details of a €10 million investment package to develop greenways and cycling routes across the country.
The funding will see the construction of a number of on and off-road cycling routes designed to facilitate commuters and attract cycling tourists to the country. About 80 direct jobs will be created and many more indirectly.
The centre-piece of the funding will be a €4million world-class greenway running over forty kilometres between the towns of Athlone and Mullingar. The route will run along a disused railway corridor that was previously a branch of the old Midlands Great Western Railway.
The route will form a key part of a long-term vision to develop a continuous off-road greenway from Dublin to Galway. It will result in approximately forty local construction jobs and will help retain or create an additional forty jobs.
Announcing the news, Minister Alan Kelly said:
“Ireland can become one of the world’s greatest countries for cycling tourism. Developments like the Athlone-Mullingar Greenway will help attract tourists from all over the world. Between construction and increased tourism activity along the route – we estimate about an additional eighty jobs will come to the local economy. Two of Ireland’s key midland towns will be connected by bike for the first time and it is a terrific way to utilise old railway corridors,”
The Athlone-Mullingar greenway will start at Garrycastle and pass through scenic landscape via Moate, Streamstown, Castletown and onto Grange south in Mullingar where it will link with the recently constructed Royal Canal greenway which extends to the Meath/Westmeath border.
It forms part of a €10 million national package for greenway development announced as part of a €200 million national infrastructure package. This funding will go towards other cycling developments linking Clonmel with Carrick-on-Suir, Glenbeigh to Reenard Point in Kerry and phase one of the West Clare Greenway going from Ennis to Ballymaquiggan. There will also be an allocation to develop a cycling link between the town of Boyle and Lough Key Forest park in Roscommon.
“A €10 million investment programme demonstrates the commitment of Government to cycling infrastructure and greenway development. Cycling tourism is big business globally and we have seen the positive impact that the Mayo greenway has had on the local economy. It stimulates economic activity, much of which is in rural areas. Ireland is swiftly becoming a cycling nation and we are promoting this strongly as a Government,”
For further information contact Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport on 01 -6041087/1090 or Jim McGrath on 087-2558866
Details of projects:
Westmeath - Athlone to Mullingar €4million
40km section of the proposed 277km Galway to Dublin Greenway. The project will commence at Garrycastle, Athlone and run along the disused railway corridor through scenic landscapes passing Moate, Streamstown and Castletown and onto Grange South in Mullingar where it links onto the recently constructed greenway along the Royal Canal from Westmeath to the Meath border. This proposal links with proposals submitted by Meath and Kildare Co Councils for the Meath border to Maynooth section of the Dublin to Galway Greenway.
Waterford – Kilmeaden to Bilberry - €1,100,000 9.6Kilometres
Proposal is for an off road greenway from Kilmeaden to Bilberry which forms part of the overall Dungarvan to Waterford City 41km off road greenway on a disused railway corridor up to the Suir Valley. The proposed section predominantly follows along the significant and valuable scenic River Suir. Other places of interest are the ruin of Kilmeaden Castle; the house and gardens of Mount Congreve, the archaeological treasure at Woodstown and modern skyline capturing cable stay bridge on the new Waterford Bypass.
Kerry - Cahersiveen to Reenard Point Fertha Greenway – €450,000
Cahersiveen-Reenard Point (5.75km) also known as the Fertha Greenway. This section will link the population centres of Cahersiveen and Valentia Island where a ferry link between the mainland at Reenard Point and Valentia Island (Knightstown) exists creating an innovative loop involving the Fertha Greenway and the Valentia and Cahersiveen Marinas
Tipperary – Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir - €1,900,000
The construction of 20 Kilometre a greenway along the existing River Suir towpath. The greenway would connect the towns of Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir
West Clare Greenway – Phase 1 Ennis-Ballymacquiggan - €400,000
The project proposes an approx 5km link between Ennis Town Centre and Ballymaquiggan, a towland in the environs of Ennis. The route proposed will establish an important link on the NCN and start progress towards the Atlantic coast with the aim of connecting Ennis and Lahinch.
Monasteries of the Moy - €250,000
Proposal will commence the development of a 14km off road walking and cycling greenway between Ballina and Killala towns. The greenway will pass the rich ecclesiastical Monasteries of the Moy and along the North Mayo Coast which offers some of the most spectacular views in Ireland. The proposed greenway would provide a high quality facility and would be multifunctional serving daily school and work travel needs, local recreational and cycling visitors. This allocation is for seed funding and not for full construction.
Kerry Tralee – Fenit phase 1 Rock Street to Casement Station, Tralee €345,000
420m amenity cycleway and walkway along the old railway line between Casement Railway Station to Rock Street ,Tralee
Kildare - Arthurs Way –- €311,000
Leixlip to Oughterard via Celbridge/Castletown. Arthur's Way is the name of a linear walking heritage trail which link Leixlip, Celbridge and Oughterard - places closely associated with Arthur Guinness. This project is for a standalone cycle trail to complement the walking trail. The route will traverse parklands (5km); quiet local locals (9.1km); and canal towpaths (6.6km). Mixture of both on and off road over 25 Kilometres.
Patrickswell to Limerick City - €420,000
The proposal will connect the satellite village of Patrickswell with the Raheen/Dooradoyle Southern Environs of Limerick City. The majority of the route (4.14km) lies between two roundabouts, namely Raheen Roundabout and Patrickswell Roundabout at the eastern end of Patrickswell village. The proposal will create connectivity between the existing cycle routes, It will also connect Patrickswell to Limerick, the Raheen Ind Estate, the Regional Hospital, the Crescent Centre at Dooradoyle and to a number of large housing estates in the Southern environs.
Boyle to Lough Key Forest Park - €400,000
Funding is being provided to provide a cycle link between Lough Key Forest Park and the town of Boyle.
Westmeath - Coolnahay to Co. Boundary
This project could see the development of a 14.4km cycleway along the Royal Canal Tow Path from Coolnahay Harbour, via Ballynacarrigy Village to the Longford Boundary. If delivered this would complete the upgrading of the full 46 km length of Royal Canal towpath through County Westmeath. The estimated total cost of delivering the project is €900k and would take 6 months to deliver.