Connemara is missing out on “attracting thousands” of cycling enthusiasts as a 16km mountain bike trail in Derroura Forest remains undeveloped to its full potential.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Connemara candidate Noel Thomas who is calling on the Galway County Council and the Government to act on the recent feasibility study which “shows what potential this trail has”.
The mountain bike trail was developed in 2007 by Coillte at Derroura Forest, outside Oughterard, and with the support of Fáilte Ireland, but Mr Thomas believes more trails, to suit all cycling levels, need to be added, to maximise its potential usage.
He points to Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail in Limerick which attracts 50,000 visitors each year and is estimated to be worth more than €3 million a year to the region
“It has been shown at other trails throughout the country that if you have the proper infrastructure in place the tourists will use the facility,” Mr Thomas said. “This is one of the fastest growing activities in this sector and is exactly the kind of enterprise that can be a stimulus for the hard hit tourist industry in the area.”