Councillors approve Newport improvement plans

Cllr Brendan Mulroy

Cllr Brendan Mulroy

The elected members of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District have given their go-ahead for a series of improvement works planned by the council for the town of Newport.

Cathaoirleach of the district, Fianna Fáil councillor Brendan Mulroy, welcomed the plans and thanked all of the groups and members of the public who contributed to the plans during the planning process, where a number of compromises were made.

The issue of parking was one of the main issues raised, but the proposal for extra parking for users of the Great Western Greenway was not able to be agreed on during the completion of the plan.

Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Catherine McConnell, thanked all of those who worked on the plan but admitted disappointment that they were unable to get the extra parking spaces over the line – she said there were sensitive issues behind that, and she would not be speaking in public on it, but the council will continue to pursue it.

Achill based Fianna Fáil councillor, Paul McNamara, said that it would be important that parking was addressed in the future, but he was confident that the plan as it stands would improve Newport. He told the meeting that: “Newport is a unique town and has been starved of funding, a lot of the businesses there are family-owned and it is great to see those businesses going strong and a plan that will see Newport punching with the heavyweight towns in the county.”

Speaking during the item, Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn asked that the council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ) explore the possibility of opening the old railway tunnels on the Westport side of Newport and include them as part of the Greenway.

Cllr Flynn said that they would add a spectacular element to the route, he also called for the council to look again at improving the safety of cyclists who must travel through the town if they are using the Greenway.


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