An agreement in principle has been reached between Athlone Municipal District Council and CIE regarding the proposed purchase of the Railway Field.
Director of services, Barry Kehoe, and a CIE representation met late last week along with Independent Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
A revised traffic design proposed by the council regarding exiting from the station appears to have satisfied the transport officials, with approval in principle being agreed.
The council wants to purchase the field from Iarnród Éireann and use it to develop a link road between the Crescent junction and back towards St Vincent’s Care Centre.
Longford-Westmeath Independent Deputy, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, described the agreement as “excellent news”.
“The station field has been a long-running saga stretching back many years and its purchase is essential to the future development needs of Athlone. The importance of the Railway Field to Athlone cannot be over-stated and there now exists the opportunity to resolve the issue once and for all,” he added.
Mayor of Athlone, John Dolan, said: “I want to acknowledge the work Barry Kehoe has put into this. I know he met with CIE last week. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing regarding the design and what was acceptable to CIE. In terms of alleviating traffic congestion in the town in the future, this is absolutely vital.
“The purchase of the field in principle is the first step. The second step is to agree a price and the third and most important step is to get funding from the Department to do the work.”