The proposed route of the Greenway
THE preferred route for the new Athlone to Galway Greenway will go through Offaly at Shannonbridge, and will come in close contact with Offaly again at Meelick Weir and also passes close to Banagher.
The strong link of the Greenway with Offaly aligns closely to the Offaly County Council's ‘Midlands Cycling Destination – Offaly’. Offaly can significantly gain from the presence of the Athlone-Galway greenway, in particular by having local cycling and walking routes linking to it.
Clare Claffey, Social Democrats councillor for the Birr MD, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the new Athlone to Galway greenway will take in the Shannon area including Shannonbridge. This is a very scenic area with fantastic heritage and I’m so proud of all the local people who worked so hard to make sure that Shannonbridge would be recognised as a major location on the new route.
"I’m delighted to see the East Galway area included too, with the cycleway passing just over the bridge from Banagher and on to Meelick and Portumna, which again will bring much needed visitors to Banagher, as well as providing wonderful family friendly cycling infrastructure for the people of West Offaly.
"The number of submissions – I believe there were over 10,000 – shows the massive public interest in this project and it will bring prosperity to a region where its badly needed. It's absolutely crucial now that a full cycle and walking network is delivered for the entire region and I look forward to that happening soon”.
Offaly County Council made a strong submission at the last stage of the public consultation and has welcomed the outcome. The Council will make a further detailed submission to this round of consultation.
Subject to various assessment and design, the project team hopes that construction would commence in 2024.
The closing date for the next round of consultation is January 31st 2022.
Cllr Claffey said: “There is still a lot of work to be done on the detail of the route and of course consultation with landowners and communities is vital. I'd encourage everyone to get involved in the public consultation before the end of January, the details are at galwaytoathlonecycleway.com”.
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