Members of the public are being encouraged to make submissions in relation to the route options for the Galway to Athlone cycleway. Aisling Dolan, Senator for Roscommon-Galway is backing two routes of the five Corridor Options being circulated by the Galway to Athlone Project Team – the Green Route and the Blue Route. Both of those routes come close to Ballinasloe and will be going through Roscommon potentially along by the Shannon towards Shannonbridge.
The proposed Green Route Number1, along North County Galway would allow cyclists to go from Athlone to Galway via Cornafulla, West of Shannonbridge, Kylemore, Lismany, Ballinasloe, Ahascragh, Caltra, Castleblakeney, Mountbellew, Monivea, Athenry and Oranmore.
It is, according to Senator Aisling Dolan, a very scenic route with highlights such as along the Grand Canal into Ballinasloe, Beara Breifne Trail in Killure, the recently restored Clonbrock House and Gardens along with the planned McAllister Whiskey & Gin Distillery in Ahascragh, Mountbellew Forest Trail and other beautiful landmarks.
Albert Dolan, Monivea based Galway County Councillor said the Green Route would have positive benefits for his area of Monivea and there is so much history locally.
“When the route arrives at the Monivea woods it presents a great utilisation of public lands coming through the forest trail. Not only is it a great use of public lands, but it would highlight the historical sites in the area, from the Ffrench estate Mausoleum to the old bleaching greens of Monivea village.”
The Blue Route or Central Route Corridor Number Three would connect Athlone to Galway via Cornafulla, West of Shannonbridge, Kylemore, Lismany, Ballinasloe, Aughrim, Kilconnell, Woodlawn, New Inn, Attymon, Athenry and Oranmore. Senator Dolan noted ‘The Blue Route also gives a fantastic experience to walkers and cyclists coming through Co. Galway via Ballinasloe and onto the historical village of Aughrim and to visit the Franciscan Abbey in Kilconnell and the magnificent Woodlawn House’
Transforming communities by concensus
Senator Aisling Dolan is backing the Green and Blue Route and calling on the public to make submissions before March 1. “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our communities working together by consensus - safe places to walk and cycle. Thanks to everyone who put in submissions so far and please have your say – this is your chance to ensure the route comes near where you live, which will have a positive impact on towns such as Mountbellew or Kilconnell for example, if a route was chosen to go near those towns.”
Cllr Albert Dolan said the Green Route would allow many rural parishes in East Galway to kickstart and thrive into the future; “The community in Colmanstown United Soccer Club are getting excited to support this project and in particular, the green route as this is an area which has not seen the same inward investment as some of the other areas in recent years. This piece of infrastructure could act as a massive economic booster to the area. I believe if the green route is to be successful it is of paramount importance that we tell our story. A story of rich heritage and history.”
Maura Hannon is a member of Galway Telework Co-Operative Society Limited, a community organisation in Mountbellew. She said it offers a wealth of history to visitors and the Green Route would allow visitors to indulge in this; “Mountbellew offers visitors a wide range of appealing diversions, historical, cultural, genealogical as well as scenic. It has a unique feature as within short walking distance of its wonderful woods and rural pathways are plentiful cafes, bars and historical attractions which belies its small population – a worthwhile visit and a Ceád Mile Failte awaits.”
Senator Dolan will host public meetings on the Green and Blue routes via Zoom next week. People can join these meetings by logging in online or can also dial in by phone. Details are below.
· Green Route No.1 Public Zoom Meeting - Tuesday 16th February at 7pm
Log onto www.zoom.com & enter ID: 874 1255 0603
or dial freephone 01 536 9320 & enter 874 1255 0603
· Blue Route No.3 Public Zoom Meeting - Wednesday 17th February at 7pm
Log onto www.zoom.com & enter ID: 846 2167 4801
or dial freephone 01 536 9320 & enter 846 2167 4801
Details of how to log on via zoom can be viewed on aislingdolan.org Senator Dolan is urging members of the public to make their views heard. A Facebook page for each route has been set up – see www.facebook.com/Green-Route-Number-1-Galway-to-Athlone-Cycleway or www.facebook.com/Blue-Route-Number-3-Galway-to-Athlone-Cycleway The consultation material can be viewed online in the Virtual Consultation Room which is live on the project website www.galwaytoathlonecycleway.com before the deadline for submissions on March 1 2021. Interested parties will be able to meet with the project team by arrangement to discuss any issues of interest to them, either by phone or by video appointment.
“The purpose of this consultation is to examine and receive feedback on the options developed, and to assist in the process of identifying a Preferred Route Corridor,” explained Senator Dolan. “The red areas on the maps indicate public consultation and can be a few kilometres wide. If you’re a landowner, resident, business within or adjacent to these areas, do contact the team with your opinion on the cycleway. By working together by consensus, we can make our towns and villages come alive for our families and communities”
They can be contacted through the online virtual consultation on the website, where you may book an appointment to talk to the project team, or by calling the Cycleway Project Office in Ballinasloe at 091 509267. Project Liaison Officers will be available to meet by appointment, in compliance with the applicable COVID-19 protocols. Further information and updates on the project is available on www.galwaytoathlonecycleway.com You can make submissions or observations by: Email: [email protected]