€475k for 20km route between Athlone & Ballinasloe
Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the approval by the Minister for Transport & Tourism of an application by Roscommon County Council to develop a cycle way along the old Dublin-Galway road between Athlone and Ballinasloe.
“Activity holidays are growing in popularity as is the number of people who are getting active and this cycle way is an ideal way to capitalise on this demand and bring much needed tourism to local businesses which have struggled since the opening of the new motorway,” stated Denis Naughten.
“In County Roscommon we have the Green Heartlands Cycle Route and the Suck Valley Way that tie-in directly with the N6 and this new project can now be used to bring tourists to other parts of County Roscommon.
“When I proposed the old N6 be developed for such a purpose to Minister Varadkar I suggested that this route be developed along the whole of the old N4/N6 between Dublin and Galway – creating Ireland’s first inter-urban cycle/walk way.
“This announcement is a major step forward in achieving this objective, with approval being granted for a further section between Tullamore & Moate providing the potential to extend this to Athlone either along the old N6 or the old Mullingar rail line.”
Denis Naughten continued: “I also want to acknowledge the work of Roscommon County Council and its officials in bringing this project to fruition.
“Last year over 700,000 tourists participated in hiking and cross country walking, with many more cycling on Ireland’s road network. We also see the way Mayo’s Great Western Greenway cycle route has developed and a Dublin-Galway route would be an ideal pilot project to bring new life to communities throughout the centre of the country.
“Tourism during the boom years ignored inland counties and novel projects like this. With the vast majority of the infrastructure already in place projects like this have the potential to stimulate tourism in the less developed areas,” concluded Denis Naughten.