The new greenway project between Athlone and Mullingar will see the two towns joined by a €4 million project that will create an estimated 80 jobs in the region.
The cycleway is part of an overall Galway-Dublin route which will see the construction of a number of on- and off-road cycling routes designed to facilitate commuters and attract cycling and walking tourists to the country.
The centrepiece of the funding will be a €4million world-class greenway running over 40km between the towns of Athlone and Mullingar. The route will run along on a disused railway corridor that was previously a branch of the old Midlands Great Western Railway.
It will result in approximately 40 local construction jobs and will help retain or create an additional 40 jobs.
Announcing the news, Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly said: “Ireland can become one of the world’s greatest countries for cycling tourism. Developments like the Athlone-Mullingar Greenway will help attract tourists from all over the world. Between construction and increased tourism activity along the route - we estimate about an additional 80 jobs will come to the local economy. Two of Ireland’s key Midlands towns will be connected by bike for the first time and it is a terrific way to utilise old railway corridors.”
The Athlone-Mullingar Greenway will start at Garrycastle and pass through scenic landscape via Moate, Streamstown, Castletown and onto Grange south in Mullingar where it will link with the recently constructed Royal Canal greenway which extends to the Meath/Westmeath border.