Speaking at the Athlone Municipal District meeting, Cllr. Paul Hogan called on the Council administration to carry out a survey of greenway users at various intervals between Athlone and Mullingar to determine reasons for the amenity’s usage.
“We don’t know who is using the greenway, why they are using it and where these people are staying. Are they locals or visitors? I actually met a US couple on the greenway who came specifically to Ireland to cycle along the facility. We have to carry out a social analysis of the greenway,” Cllr. Hogan stated.
The councillor commented that he had visited Dungarvan and noted how the greenway, which runs throught the County Waterford town is a major tourist asset.
“The greenway, superb in its design, weaves through the town and also incorporates a pedestrian bridge. I believe that Waterford County Council undertook a social study before implementing their greenway design and with that in mind, I feel that a trip by members of this Municipal District to Dungarvan would be worthy as there is so much we could learn from its design and flow,” Cllr. Hogan added.
Concurring with Cllr. Hogan, Cllr. John Dolan noted that there was a lot to be learned from fellow local authorities regarding the implentation of amenities.
“We have to learn from fellow towns and get the relevant local authorities views. It would be great to see their ideas first hand,” Cllr. Dolan said.
Cllr. Michael O’Brien also welcomed the idea of a field trip to Dungarvan.
“Personally, I live beside the greenway and I have seen a notable increase in tourists using the facility on a daily basis. I feel our local authority is sitting back on it for the moment but we need to promote, sustain and continue to enhance it,” Cllr. O’Brien highlighted.