Public urged to submit views on Connemara Greenway


The Connemara Greenway Alliance has been actively campaigning for the completion of a circa 76km devoted off-road biking and strolling connection throughout the world-renowned Connemara panorama since 2012.

Within the first few years, the position of the Alliance was to advertise consciousness of and to encourage help for a Greenway. Thereafter it was to offer voice to what grew to become an amazing pro-Greenway public opinion in the direction of having in place this important piece of infrastructure and to immediate supportive motion from our native and nationwide authorities representatives.

Ten years on, a number of guarantees, funding bulletins and requests to “maintain our tongue” have made it an oftentimes irritating, extra instances disappointing course of. However right here we’re, and after many false begins now we have made it to the second spherical of public session, wherein a route for the greenway is to be chosen. The query as to the very best route is to be answered by the general public, and particularly those that presently stay, work, research and play alongside the route, and people who will achieve this sooner or later.

The Alliance provides due reward to Galway Metropolis Council and Galway County Council, together with Transport Infrastructure Eire and consultants AECOM, for getting us to this stage. The checklist of potential routes can be found right here: https://galwayto oughterardgreenway.ie/second-public-consultation/ As an organisation now we have reviewed all seven choices and are asking members of the general public to submit their views earlier than the deadline of July 15 (tomorrow ) on the above net tackle. Filling out the web questionnaire type solely takes a couple of minutes.

Our start line has at all times been to stick to the universally subscribed definition of a greenway. In accordance with UNESCO a greenway is an off-road devoted strolling and biking route. The Irish authorities goes additional and defines it as “a leisure or pedestrian hall for non-motorised journeys, developed in an built-in method which reinforces each the setting and high quality of lifetime of the encircling space”.

We see the potential of greenways as a lot larger. Our imaginative and prescient is that the Connemara Greenway provides a viable various to automobile transport for the 70,000+ those that stay inside the research space. We see it as contributing to the bodily and psychological well-being of the folks of Galway and in serving to to forge stronger neighborhood ties for locations alongside the route. We additionally recognise the extremely ‘instragrammable’ nature of the panorama and contemplate this greenway including lustre to an current jewel within the crown of the West’s tourism choices.

In our selection of the very best route now we have additionally thought-about the next of main significance:

– Greenways don’t share or run instantly alongside public roads. Greenways are for all ages and skills; if it’s not protected sufficient for a 5 yr outdated to cycle on, it’s not a greenway.

– Greenways ought to provide a chance for the best quantity of use. Due to this fact accessibility and integration are key. Whereas there is no such thing as a doubting the untapped demand for tourism, the Greenway may also help Galway’s site visitors downside and act as a priceless contribution in serving to Eire attain its local weather targets. The Connemara Greenway should present simple and protected entry to the villages of Moycullen and Oughterard and as direct a route as is feasible to Galway metropolis. Although circuitous routes may be tremendous for vacation makers, nonetheless for this greenway to realize its potential, it should join the primary populations centres in probably the most direct approach.

– Lastly, we have to make sure that in constructing this greenway, that in any respect phases of growth, biodiversity should be protected and enhanced. Greenways provide enormous potential as biodiversity habitats and wildlife corridors. Cautious consideration should be given to the ecology alongside the greenway route consistent with pointers revealed by the Nationwide Biodiversity Knowledge Centre (https://pollinators.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Transport-Corridors_actions-to-help-pollinators-2019-WEB.pdf ). The greenway itself should be local weather resilient.

With the above in thoughts, and having campaigned for this important piece of infrastructure for the previous decade, now we have alighted on the accompanying graphic to assist the general public make their choice.

The Alliance is totally impartial. We’re a set of volunteers from a range of backgrounds and occupations, a few of us are biking lovers, a few of us are strolling lovers. We’ve been introduced collectively by the dream of a protected, stunning, devoted strolling and cycle approach in Connemara, one which will likely be a present to generations to come back. It’s going to deliver with it apparent financial advantages (estimated at as much as €17 million within the first yr alone ). However we recognise additionally that larger advantages lie in connecting folks and locations, serving to them recognize one another and their setting in new, extra significant and imaginative methods.

Having obtained this far it’s now essential that an applicable Greenway compliant route is chosen as speedily as attainable. We’ve waited lengthy sufficient and have watched in frustration as many different elements of the nation put in place greenways while Connemara appears to have been forgotten.

So we urge you to hitch us in submitting these sentiments to these accountable for the supply of this challenge and thereby giving us all the chance to cease and have a chat within the stunning surrounds of our majestic panorama.





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