The Galway Greenway Group which is campaigning for a greenway route which is fair to landowners, walkers and cyclists, has asked the public to make their feeling known before tomorrow’s (Friday ) deadline for the receipt of submissions.
The group says that the greenway will see hundreds of thousands of Galwegians, domestic, and foreign tourists cycling and walking the greenway on a yearly basis, based on the success of the The Great Western Greenway in Mayo which had 275,000 users in 2015. A study commissioned by Failte Ireland on the Great Western Greenway in Mayo in 2011, showed that it contributed €7.2 million to the local economy. This was in 2011 with 144,000 visitors.
It is believed the impact in Galway could be even greater, given the improved transport links through the motorway, train, and bus services.
A Galway Greenway Group spokesperson said; “Imagine cycling from Galway city to Moycullen, taking in the beautiful views of Lough Corrib and then stopping for a coffee and cake. You brush the crumbs off and keep on cycling through native forests on your way to Oughterard, then having a bite to lunch. You then peddle past the Twelve Bens, stopping for a dip in Derryclare Lough, with Clifden your final destination. All of this should be a reality and we are being left behind, as many other areas have their Greenways up and running.”
They feel however that an agreement must be fair to landowners along the route and they are hoping that the consultation process with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will identify issues and lead to their resolution.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is currently undertaking a public consultation on the draft of the Dublin to Galway Greenway plan.
People looking to share their opinions can email [email protected]. The deadline is January 27.
The spokesperson for the group said that local businesses will benefit in the form of hotels, pubs, cafes, B&Bs, new bike shops and shops in Galway, Moycullen, Rosscahill, Oughterard, Mamm, Recess, and Clifden. An excellent example of the power to revitalise a town through the greenway is Newport in Mayo.
“Before the greenway it was in economic decline, with many closed shops and boarded up windows. With the increased footfall the village was transformed with new footpaths, parking and businesses starting up including bike shops, cafes and restaurants. One hotelier in Mulranny said that the greenway extended the tourist season by six weeks. This could be the boost that the Galway towns and villages along the route need.”
“It is beneficial for whole communities as they get active and connected again, and it actually reduces the sense of rural isolation. It also provides safe routes for families, young and old, to get some exercise in a traffic free environment. When completed this will be a priceless legacy for future generations.”
Galway Greenway Group is asking members of the public to sign their petition on change.org, which can be found by searching on that site for Galway Greenway.
For further information on the Galway Greenway Group, email [email protected], or find it on Facebook.