€4m Athlone-Mullingar Greenway to create 80 new jobs

The new greenway project between Athlone and Mullingar will see the two towns joined by a €4 million project that will create an estimated 80 jobs in the region. The cycleway is part of an overall Galway-Dublin route which will see the construction of a number of on- and off-road cycling routes designed to facilitate commuters and attract cycling and walking tourists to the country. The centrepiece of the funding will be a €4million world-class greenway running over 40km between the towns of Athlone and Mullingar. The route will run along on a disused railway corridor that was previously a branch of the old Midlands Great Western Railway. It will result in approximately 40 local construction jobs and will help retain or create an additional 40 jobs. Announcing the news, Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly said: “Ireland can become one of the world’s greatest countries for cycling tourism. Developments like the Athlone-Mullingar Greenway will help attract tourists from all over the world. Between construction and increased tourism activity along the route - we estimate about an additional 80 jobs will come to the local economy. Two of Ireland’s key Midlands towns will be connected by bike for the first time and it is a terrific way to utilise old railway corridors.” The Athlone-Mullingar Greenway will start at Garrycastle and pass through scenic landscape via Moate, Streamstown, Castletown and onto Grange south in Mullingar where it will link with the recently constructed Royal Canal greenway which extends to the Meath/Westmeath border. It forms part of a €10 million national package for greenway development announced as part of a €200 million national infrastructure package. This funding will go towards other cycling developments linking Clonmel with Carrick-on-Suir, Glenbeigh to Reenard Point in Kerry, and phase one of the West Clare Greenway going from Ennis to Ballymaquiggan. There will also be an allocation to develop a cycling link between the town of Boyle and Lough Key Forest park in Roscommon. “A €10 million investment programme demonstrates the commitment of Government to cycling infrastructure and greenway development. Cycling tourism is big business globally and we have seen the positive impact that the Mayo greenway has had on the local economy. It stimulates economic activity, much of which is in rural areas. Ireland is swiftly becoming a cycling nation and we are promoting this strongly as a Government,” added Minister Kelly.

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