Decision due on preferred route extension of cycleway from Athlone to Galway

Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan is pictured with Michael Kelly, Westmeath County Council Cycleway Project Co-ordinator and political party colleague, Minister Hildegarde Naughton at the recent turning of the sod on the Cycleway which will cross the River Shannon in the heart of Athlone

Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan is pictured with Michael Kelly, Westmeath County Council Cycleway Project Co-ordinator and political party colleague, Minister Hildegarde Naughton at the recent turning of the sod on the Cycleway which will cross the River Shannon in the heart of Athlone

Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, has confirmed that a decision on the preferred route corridor for the TII Athlone to Galway section of the cycleway is due to be announced through public consultation at end of November/start of December 2021

“It is wonderful to witness our cycleway progress as we await the decision on the preferred route corridor for the TII Athlone to Galway section of the cycleway which is due to be announced through public consultation at end of November/start of December 2021.

“So many groups and communities across East Galway on the routes through Ballinasloe have showcased the fantastic cycleway experiences through unique boglands and rural landscapes and the heritage, culture and sense of community for both our local families and visitors to the area.

“Public consultations were held in the Shearwater Hotel in 2020 and I also hosted two public zoom webinars during lockdown with the cycleway project team on the Green Route to Mountbellew and Athenry and Blue Route through Kilconnell and Woodlawn which had over 200 attendees.

“There were over 11,000 submissions across all five routes. The key to this successful project is working in consensus with landowners in the areas to achieve a cycleway which will transform our towns and villages and will give such a boost to communities - it brings life back to these regions of the country.

“I’d the opportunity to meet Chief Executive Peter Walsh of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ) who is a strong advocate for cycleways as well as Fáilte Ireland executives who are promoting the tourism spin-offs this will bring to local areas.

“Ballinasloe-based Ollie Kenny, Managing Director at Kenny Ltd construction, and his team were acknowledged for the construction of the 40km section of the cycleway project at ‘The Old Rail Trail’ from Mullingar to Athlone bringing people through Castletown and Moate right to the Marina in the heart of Athlone. This type of public infrastructure is a fantastic legacy for the company.

“Minister Hildegarde Naughton also highlighted how this is part of the EuroVelo 2 Capitals route creating a quality traffic free cycleway route from Moscow to Galway, capital of the West. Enthusiasts can start in Russia and make their way through Belarus, Poland, Germany, The Netherlands, UK and into Ireland,” Senator Dolan asserted.

Galway to Dublin Cycleway Project Co-ordinator, Michael Kelly stated an announcement pertaining to cycleway public consultation process number three was imminent.

“A lot of progress has been made in the last six months and the plan is to announce the preferred route corridor for the Athlone to Galway section of the cycleway towards the end of next month or early in December as part of public consultation process number three.

“Public Consultation number one was held in hotels across the county and then due to the lockdown, public consultation number two was held online with virtual consultation.

“We look forward to meeting communities again face to face to discuss the selected route at hotels in the area,” Mr Kelly concluded.

 

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