“Digging on the ground,” should begin on Kilbeggan’s version of the Greenway within the next 18 months, according to Dan Scally of Renew Kilbeggan.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Mr Scally, one of the founders of the community development organisation, says that plans are well under way for the group’s ambitious plans for a 26km cycleway linking the Dublin to Galway and the soon to be developed Offaly Cycleways.
“Our big thing is to link the Galway Dublin cycleway into Kilbeggan and along the stretch of the old canal to Ballycommon. That’s around a million euro project and the biggest thing in our Vision for Kilbeggan plan.
“We have the ownership issues sorted around the old canal; thanks to Waterways Ireland, an ecological study was done on it last year in preparation for a planning application and Westmeath County Council have agreed to lodge the planning application from Kilbeggan to Ballycommon this year. We are in the process of putting a fund together to do a feasibility study on the other stretch from the Dublin Galway cycle track to Kilbeggan.”
Mr Scally says that when the route is complete, the town will be able to tap into Ireland’s growing cycling tourism market.
“This would be a plank of Renew Kilbeggan that we would put in facilities that would attract people to stay for a while. When completed the cycleway will link Tullamore, Mullingar and Athlone offroad, which would make it a big attraction to locals. It’s actually creating several loops. It can be the midlands little Greenway.”