Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €8.1m to construct the new greenway cycle bridge over the River Shannon and progress the route design from Athlone Castle to Spanish Arch in Galway City.
“This investment is a significant boost to deliver this vital tourism project from Athlone through Ballinasloe and on to Galway City, which will be a major attraction for international visitors,” said Denis Naughten.
“While this project through East Galway is at an early stage of planning I hope, in the short term, that Athlone Castle and the Battle Site at Aughrim can be linked using both on-road and off-road sections to create a Siege Cycleway linking both historic sites. I believe this would enhance the local tourism offering as well as attract visitors to Aughrim, which was the bloodiest battlefield in Irish history.
“It is important that local communities let the consultants working on the project know what local areas have to offer and to also express their support, in principle, for a cycleway linking Athlone to Ballinasloe to Athenry and right through to Galway City.
“However, the bridge over the Shannon and the link to Ballinasloe, also provides an opportunity to develop safe routes for children in South Westmeath, South Roscommon and East Galway to cycle to school as well as reducing their carbon footprint.
“I hope the local communities and Councils can now work together to provide a new safe cycling opportunity for school children and families,” concluded Denis Naughten.