Greenway sceptics should note interest from local authorities and state agencies, says Cannon

An East Galway TD has welcomed confirmation that 22 applications have been received from local authorities and state agencies for Greenways all around the country.

Minister for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon has said that the high level of interest in creating greenways clearly demonstrates they are ‘no flash-in-pan economic phenomenon’ and that this interest should be taken note of by those sceptical of the benefits of this amenity.

“I`m very pleased to see the high level of interest in greenways from both local authorities and state agencies with confirmation from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTS ) confirming the receipt of 22 applications for funding,” said Minister Cannon.

“This clearly demonstrates the widespread and growing recognition that this kind of amenity in a county is not a flash-in-the-pan economic phenomenon but on the contrary, leads to enormous benefits to local communities through better health, sustainable transport, recreation and tourism.

“I would hope that greenway sceptics would take note of this high level of interest and also of the fact that last year, the Waterford Greenway attracted almost 250,000 visitors comprised of more than 105,000 walkers and in excess of 141,000 cyclists’.

“Furthermore, the Waterford Greenway Intercept Survey, which interviewed almost 1,200 greenway users, found that about 80 per cent of visitors from outside the county stayed in paid accommodation, spending over €100 per night in Waterford, 41 per cent spent money while using the trail, and of those who spent on food and drink, the average spend was €28.50’.

“It is more than a hope that we will one day soon have the same benefits filtering out to businesses in Athenry, Milltown and Tuam and the high level of applications for funding to the DTTAS shows that other regions have nothing holding them back,” Minister Cannon concluded.

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