Minister Ciarán Cannon has welcomed the granting of planning permission for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge crossing the River Shannon in Athlone.
The decision to grant permission has been issued by An Bord Pleanala and it now paves the way for an onwards connection to Galway city and Clifden.
Minister Cannon said; “This is a critical element of the jigsaw in building the Dublin to Galway greenway which is part of the longer Moscow to Clifden Eurovelo route. The granting of planning permission for a new cycle bridge across the Shannon obliges all of us to refocus our efforts in delivering the final connection to Galway, in recognition of the massive benefits that this development will bring to every community along the way.”
Development of the final leg of the Dublin to Galway greenway was paused by the then minister for transport, Paschal Donohoe, in October of 2015 because of major opposition to the planned route.
Minister Cannon added; “A new national greenway strategy is now being developed by our current Minister Shane Ross which I hope will provide for a far more effective and meaningful engagement with landowners from Athlone to Clifden. I expect that it will also focus on the use of State owned lands as the primary opportunity in developing greenways nationwide.
“This strategy will be published shortly and we then need to roll our sleeves up and get to work in finally connecting Dublin to Galway and also Athenry to Sligo. We have to finally recognise that it is only through collaboration with our landowners that we can put in place these vital pieces of our national infrastructure.”