Westmeath County Council with the local Sports Partnership and Waterways Ireland have announced the completion of the first “Bike Start” training, by 65 primary level students and 20 secondary level students, under the “Active Travel - Mullingar” Project. The schools involved to date are: Presentation Senior, All Saints, St. Colman’s and Loreto College.
Mullingar became a nationally recognised Cycling Hub Town in 2009, when Westmeath County Council in conjunction with Waterways Ireland and Failte Ireland launched 117km of cycle routes on three defined routes around Mullingar, 6 km of which linked Mullingar to Ballinea along the Royal Canal.
In October 2009, the Mullingar Cycle Network project secured grant funding from the Gateways and Hubs European Regional Development Fund, to create 20km of high quality cycle lanes around the town of Mullingar.
In January of this year, the Council, in association with Westmeath Sports Partnership and Waterways Ireland, secured grant funding from the Department of Transport to deliver an additional cycling and walking project in Mullingar, involving upgrading works to specific lengths of the Royal Canal towpaths, installation of bike stands and bike shelters at strategic locations and information and education campaigns in schools and communities in Mullingar.
“Bike Start” training will also be delivered to a variety of adult groups including active retirement groups and disability groups and will also be aimed at workplaces, particularly those participating in the “Cycle To Work” Scheme.
This educational strand of the “Active Travel Mullingar” project is being delivered through Westmeath Sports Partnership and aims to give children and adults the competencies to cycle on our roads safely and with confidence.