Greening of Westport takes another step forward

Plans to make Westport a model town when it comes to environmentally friendly transport took another big step forward on Monday.

Elected members of the West Mayo Municipal District and planners have given the go-ahead for a new section of greenway for the town.

The new Colonels Wood greenway will start at the viaduct on the Ballinrobe Road, taking in a scenic route along the river, involving two pedestrian bridges and incorporating a 300 metre woodland section.

The project is being developed under the €5.2 million ‘Smarter Travel’ plan for Westport, which aims to make the town a model example of a pedestrian and cyclist friendly urban environment.

The project plans went to public consultation and a number of residents in the vicinity raised concerns during that process about the potential for anti-social behaviour at certain sites along the proposed route and increased traffic during the construction phase.

At a meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District on Monday afternoon, Councillor Brendan Mulroy (FF ) said he supported the project but certain provisions needed to be put in place to address the concerns of residents.

He said CCTV and lighting must be installed and traffic calming measures developed at Knockranny village.

Councillor Teresa McGuire (FG ) seconded these proposals.

“There are some concerns among residents and it is important these are taken into account and addressed,” she said.

Ann Moore, administrative officer with Mayo County Council, said the proposed greenway would not cause the loss of any trees in the wooded sections.

She said that in the council’s past experience with other greenway projects, the increased circulation of cyclists and pedestrians along such routes acts as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour.

An eco assessment is also to be carried out and the proposed lighting will comply with bat conservation measures.

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