Cycleway generates €1.1m for community
A DEDICATED cycleway in the west of Ireland generates €1.1m for the local economy, a study from Trinity College Dublin has revealed.
The Great Western Greenway, which runs over 42km from Westport to Achill in Co Mayo, is used by more than 400 cyclists every day in August, dropping to 100 in December.
And researchers said the €5.7m cost to build the route, which is segregated from public roads, should be paid back within just six years given the high levels of tourist traffic.
The study found that similar cycleways could boost tourist numbers and have a real economic benefit.
"Not only are tourists using this facility, it is being used as a sustainable travel mode for locals," Dr Brian Caulfield from TCD said.
"Our analysis shows how successful the greenway has been and demonstrates a clear economic return on the €5.7m investment."
The greenway is the first part of a national cycle network, which aims to introduce segregated cycleways across the country. They are designed to attract both tourists and commuters.
Last September, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar announced plans for the first cross-country cycle route from Dublin to Galway, which could also be used by walkers.
The TCD report is part of a feasibility study into this route.