Fine Gael Deputy Ciaran Cannon has welcomed the announcement of a new series of public consultation events on the development of a new greenway from Athlone to Galway city.
The project once delivered will connect Dublin city to Galway city, with the Dublin to Athlone section having been recently completed. A new project office for the delivery of the Athlone to Galway section has been opened in Ballinasloe with a team of engineers preparing to work with local stakeholders in designing the greenway route.
Deputy Cannon met with members of the design team this week to discuss the development of the greenway route and was pleased to hear that they are intent on starting with what they describe as a “blank canvas”, intent on designing a new route in partnership with local stakeholders.
“This is a critically important piece of national infrastructure that will transform so many communities across East Galway, it is vital that we get it right from the very beginning. The last attempt at designing a route failed abysmally and the project had to be abandoned. This time around we need to get it right, we need to start with a completely blank canvas and we need to bring landowners and other stakeholders into the heart of the design process.
In addition we need to focus on the use of state owned lands in delivering a successful route and minimising to the greatest possible extent the use of privately owned land. The design team in Ballinasloe have assured me that this will be exactly their approach, that they are in fact starting with a blank canvas and are intent on actively engaging with all stakeholders”, said Deputy Cannon.
The Galway to Athlone Greenway Project Office will hold a series of public engagement events in early August to give members of the public a first opportunity to discuss the greenway design with members of the design team.
The event details are as follows; Shamrock Lodge Hotel Athlone - Monday 10th August, Shearwater Hotel Ballinasloe - Tuesday 11th August, Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry - Wednesday 12th August, Loughrea Hotel - Thursday 13th August, Maldron Hotel, Oranmore - Friday 14th August. All of the events will take place from 11am - 8pm on each day, offering ample opportunity for the public to participate.
“These public engagement events are a crucially important element of the design process and I’m pleased that so much time is being given to that engagement from the very beginning. In addition, members of the public can make submissions by emailing the team at [email protected] and members of the design team are available to meet by appointment at the Ballinasloe Project Office.
“I am totally committed to the delivery of this section of greenway from Athlone to Galway, as I am to the delivery of the Quiet Man Greenway from Athenry to Milltown. To me, it also makes absolute sense that these two greenways would be connected and that connection must be factored into the design process. I’m encouraging all members of the public and in particular, local landowners, to attend the upcoming public engagement events and to make submissions to the design team so that all of our voices can be heard and we can have a sense of genuine ownership of this crucial project from the very beginning”, concluded Deputy Cannon.