Claremorris was selected this week as one of nine towns in the country that will become an Active Travel Town. The initiative has seen each of the towns get funding for local cycling and walking strategies, including new cycle-lanes, the provision of walkways, and behavioural change initiatives in local schools and workplaces to encourage people to switch their transport mode.
Claremorris was granted €431,000 from a national fund of €6.5 million.
The investment in Claremorris will see the installation of a traffic calming scheme in Claremorris town centre and the construction of a safe route to school, with a segregated walking/cycle path along Colman’s Road. A footpath will be constructed from the Knock road to Mount Saint Michael secondary school along the L1519. There will also be bike parking facilities installed at 10 locations in the town centre, including at all schools, shopping centres, Mayo County Council offices, HSE offices, and local sporting facilities.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, announcing the funding this week, said: “This represents a major investment in Claremorris and is great news for the town. In the first instance, jobs will be created during the construction of this infrastructure. Secondly, it will significantly improve cycling facilities for commuters and families alike. Cycling has a huge role to play in people’s quality of life and I am delighted to be able to announce this funding for Claremorris.”
He went on to say: “We have moved away from just funding piecemeal projects to try to get a combined planned approach to walking and cycling and linking it to a town as a whole strategy. This will combine infrastructure improvements with behavioural change measures to encourage people to use the new infrastructure and to leave the car at home. There is huge scope for change and this needs to be driven locally.”
Jimmy Flynn, from Claremorris Chamber of Commerce said, “This is fantastic news for the town. It comes hot on the heels of another breakthrough - our new status as Ireland's 'first fibre town' offering 250MB broadband to small business."
He concluded by saying: “Our quality of life in Claremorris is second to none. This makes it first-class. It adds to our wonderful family-friendly facilities including McMahon Park and the new tartan running track. Anyone thinking about basing their business in Claremorris has top quality broadband and top quality of life to look forward to."