Mullingar included in major new national cycling network plan

Plans for formal cycle links between Mullingar and other major towns across the midlands have been included in the ambitious National Cycle Network Plan published this week.

The plan, costed at between €1.4bn and €1.9bn, aims to link over 200 cities and towns, via 3,500 kilometres of safe cycling routes.

It includes a route corridor between Tullamore and Mullingar via the existing Grand Canal Greenway, as well as links to Longford and Navan (via Trim).

Also planned is a cycleway connecting Tullamore and Athlone, again incorporating the Grand Canal Greenway, and between Edenderry and Mullingar, linking existing Royal and Grand Canal greenways.

Nationally, over 1,300 kilometres of the planned cycleway network is already either in place or at the planning stage. The plan is set to implemented in four phases up to 2040.

Minister of State Pippa Hackett has welcomed the plan, describing it as “part of wider policy to make cycling safe and more attractive for commuters and leisure cyclists alike”.

“The network strategy route is currently indicative and to be confirmed but it takes account of existing routes, including greenways and plans that are currently in development - in the case of the midlands there are exciting plans and further potential for trails and tourism destinations.

The plan is part of the government’s commitment to expand the Active Travel and greenway infrastructure network. It was commissioned by the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to link cities and towns of over 5,000 people through a network of cycling corridors. It also represents a key initiative in helping to achieve a 51% reduction in transport emissions by 2030, as mandated in the Climate Action Plan.