Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, has welcomed the news that Castlebar has been designated one of Ireland’s Active Travel Towns. Active Travel is an initiative by Minister Ring’s Department to support people to switch their mode of travel away from cars and towards walking and cycling. A grant of more than €120,000 will go to Castlebar to link all existing cycle lanes in the town and for the provision of cycle links to the bus and train stations. One of the ambitions of the funding is to achieve a link to 60 per cent of residential areas to schools and GMIT either by a cycle route or a Greenway Route.
Minister Ring hailed the development as more great news for Castlebar. “County Mayo is one of the best counties for cycling infrastructure in the country. Even though times are tough, I am delighted that working in this Department I have been able to deliver for Mayo,” stated Minister Ring. “Great credit must go to local authority engineers for preparing such an excellent application which was supported by my Department. This will facilitate commuters, school-goers, and tourists alike. It’s about giving people alternatives to the car and is better for people’s health and the environment in general.” Castlebar now joins 11 other Irish towns in being designated an Active Travel Town and beat off stiff competition from towns throughout the country. The funding will be spent between 2012 and 2013.
“Mayo is becoming the cycling Mecca of the country and I am delighted to be able to support it from Government,” concluded Minister Ring.