Proposals for a greenway allowing people to cycle or walk from Westport to Ballina via Castlebar or vice versa took a step forward this week, with the allocation of Government funding for a concept and feasibility study for a 60km route linking the three towns.
The success of the Great Western Greenway which links Westport to Achill has been one of the great tourism success stories in the country over the last decade and has seen similar projects constructed in other areas around the country.
The linking up of three of Mayo's major towns via an inter-urban greenway was welcomed by Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary, who said: "Funding of €95,000 will support Mayo County Council to prepare the greenway project to be ready for construction funding in the coming years. This project will support our local communities, bring tourism to the county and help create employment opportunities."
Deputy Michael Ring said: "Here in Mayo, our greenways have proven to play a vital role in supporting local communities, creating jobs and bringing visitors to our county.
"They are also a hugely important infrastructure for local people to safely get out into nature and avail of the stunning scenery in Mayo. This funding will support the Greenways Strategy and help Mayo County Council prepare greenway projects to be ready for construction funding in the coming years."
Deputy Alan Dillon also welcomed the study, saying: "This 60km link from Westport via Castlebar to Ballina plays an important role in supporting local communities to create jobs and brings visitors to our area. As we have seen over the course of the lockdown, people are eager to get out into nature and avail of the stunning scenery in our country.
"Our local greenway will encourage tourism in the future, and will also provide a safe, segregated space for people walking and cycling."