'Pathfinder Projects' include cycle route through Mullingar centre
A cycle route through the centre of Mullingar is among the 35 transport projects to be delivered by local authorities and agencies around the country within the next three years.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD launched the Pathfinder Programme this morning, and said the projects were selected following his call to local authorities over the summer to submit their most innovative, transformative plans for public transport, walking and cycling in their areas – the projects that could make the greatest difference to people living in their counties.
Among the proposals is a ‘Mullingar Cycle Corridor with links to Dublin-Galway Greenway’.
Documents from the Dept of Transport released this morning include this information: 'This Westmeath County Council project involves the provision of a walking and cycling route from the west to the east side of the town to bring cyclists into the core of the town, linking into the Dublin Galway Greenway/ Royal Canal Blueway and incorporating improved public realm aspects.
‘The walking and cycling facilities along this route will service key destinations including business, retail, residential, educational and leisure.
The cycle corridor will complement the existing bike hire scheme in the town, which launched at the end of April 2022. It is intended that the provision of improved infrastructure will facilitate further expansion of the scheme.’
Also included is an ‘Athlone Cycle Corridor, linking TU with Centre’; Westmeath County Council will provide an Active Travel route from Baylough on the west side of the town (county boundary with Roscommon County Council) along the Old Galway Road/ Old Dublin Road to Creggan on the eastern extremity of the town.
‘It will build in connectivity with the Dublin Galway Greenway at multiple locations which will benefit a core area through the town, providing walking and cycling facilities to key destinations including business, retail, residential, educational and leisure and linking with the pedestrian/ cycle bridge currently under construction across the River Shannon as part of the Dublin Galway Greenway.
‘The cycle corridor will also encompass the Technological University of the Shannon – Midlands (TUS), which has a significant student population, and which will be a hub location for Athlone’s new bike hire scheme.’
Minister Ryan said: “I was delighted with the response to my call to local authorities to participate in the Pathfinder Programme. This first selected list shows clearly that there is a real appetite for change across the country.
"Shortlisted projects, while all unique, have three key things in common. They are innovative. They are ambitious. And critically, they will be delivered at speed. The Leadership Group through this Pathfinder Programme will continue to engage with all local authorities to ensure momentum and that the lessons and experience of the shortlisted projects are shared for everyone’s benefit.”