Addressing the monthly meeting of Athlone Municipal District, Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, called for the potential development of a cycling/pedestrian bridge from Coosan Point to Killinure Point to be included in submissions as part of the National Framework 2040 plan.
The National Framework 2040 Plan is a development project which is aimed to meet the social, economic and cultural needs of a growing population.
“With €2bn available as part of the National Framework 2040 Plan, we need to identify infrastrusture projects which will be of social, cultural and economic benefit to our locality. We have to add to our tourism product here in Athlone. Such a bridge would be looped and approximately 250 metres in length. We need to be prepared and ready with our submission when the time arrives as other local authorities certainly will be,” Cllr. Keena noted.
Concurring with Cllr. Keena, Cllr. Tom Farrell stated that it was a ‘timely motion’ with Cllr. Michael O’Brien also acknowledging that it was a ‘very feasible idea.’
Noting the Mayor’s motion, Cllr. John Dolan queried if the new tourism brand ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ would be able to provide funding for an initial feasiblility study to be carried out in the area.
“If we are serious about our tourism brand here in Athlone, then this project fits right into that category,” Cllr. Dolan said.
Echoing Cllr. Keena’s thoughts that submissions must be ready ahead of the deadline date, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke also enthused about the potential development.
“The Government has challenged us, as have ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ to grow visitor attractions in the region. WE have to grow our tourism brand and a submission in this regard must be prepared with immediate effect,” Cllr. O’Rourke highlighted.