‘More Than Half a Million Visits’ to Royal Canal Greenway in First Year of Operation

New analysis from Waterways Ireland has discovered that greater than 640,000 journeys have been taken on the Royal Canal Greenway because it opened in March 2021.

The €12m, 130km amenity crosses Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, and Longford and is a joint initiative between Waterways Eire and the native authorities in these areas.

It’s the longest greenway in Eire, operating from Maynooth in Co Kildare to Clondra in Co Longford alongside a former towpath for barges on the inland waterway.

The greenway options 90 bridges, 33 locks, 17 harbours and 4 aqueducts alongside its route. Excessive-profile sights embody Carton Home in Maynooth, Corlea Trackway Customer Centre — one of many largest prehistoric roads in Europe — and Heart Parcs in Longford. The 165km self-guided Nationwide Famine Approach additionally travels largely alongside the greenway.

The Royal Canal Greenway additionally varieties a part of EuroVelo 2, a 5,000km “Capitals Route” that passes by Eire, the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia.

Guests can select to finish the whole 130km flat, off-road path in a single go, or discover the shorter designated routes between the 14 connecting entry factors and cities, which vary from 6km to 15km.

Waterways Eire appointed Tracsis in 2021 to undertake a validation train on the info from bodily counters in place alongside the Greenway and to undertake a client survey.

The analysis discovered that the amenity has returned a dividend of €17.2m to the enterprise neighborhood in its first yr of operation, returning the funding within the mission in eight months. The financial dividend was primarily based on a weighted common customer spend of €27.

The analysis additionally discovered that throughout the 4 counties concerned, 17 new companies have opened and 13 confirmed that they’ve pivoted or expanded to offer for greenway prospects.

Waterways Eire chief govt John McDonagh stated: “We’re delighted that the Royal Canal Greenway has been an excellent success in its first yr.

“We acknowledge the dedication of our companions in Longford, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath county councils in delivering this greenway and that of native communities and companies, which have helped to make it a hit by creating new tourist and leisure alternatives.

“We stay up for welcoming extra home and worldwide guests within the coming years.”

Performing chief govt of Kildare County Council, Sonya Kavanagh famous: “Within the first half of 2021, individuals’s actions had been restricted by COVID measures and so it was very fortuitous that we had been in a position to open the Royal Canal Greenway throughout this time.

“Native communities now use the greenway for normal off-road accessible recreation, and it continues to draw new and return guests.”

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