New group calls on council to revive abandoned Barna Greenway plan

Galway Urban Greenway Alliance says greenway can become major recreational facility and boost road safety

Silverstrand. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Silverstrand. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

If City Hall is “serious about getting people out of their cars”, as stated in the Galway Transportation Strategy then the local authority must revive its plan to build the Barna Greenway.

This is the view of the Galway Urban Greenway Alliance, which is calling on the Galway City Council to reactivate the stalled plan to build a greenway from the city centre to Barna. The recently launched advocacy group said “much of the infrastructure is already there” and that the project’s realisation would “match the aims” of the local authority’s own Galway Transportation Strategy.

A full design for a segregated walking and cycling path, running from the city, through Salthill, and on to Barna was completed in 2016. It was proposed to link this with the planned Connemara Greenway through Dangan and Moycullen, creating a 23km long greenway. However the Barna Greenway was postponed at an advanced planning stage.

The GUGA is urging City Hall to revive the Barna Greenway, arguing it will become a major recreational and amenity facility for the city, and also be a major boost to road safety.

“When constructed, a safe cycling route from Barna to the city will reduce rush-hour congestion on the traffic-choked Barna/Spiddal road, and allow children the chance to travel to and from the many schools along the route safely and healthily by bike,” said a spokesperson for the group. “It will also provide a safe and healthy recreation space for individuals and families. The quality of life and health benefits of such a simple and relatively cheap project are difficult to exaggerate.”

“The route itself would be a world class greenway, following the footsteps of the Mayo and Waterford greenways,” the spokesperson said. “Galway finds itself in the bizarre situation where cycling is encouraged at either end of the Prom – at Southpark and west of Blackrock - but there is nowhere safe and legal for cyclists, especially children, in between.”

GUGA is asking members of the public who support its campaign to sign an online petition supporting the construction of the Barna Greenway: https://www.change.org/p/galway-city-council-barna-greenway. For more information on the group email [email protected].

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