Sunday 4 December 2016

On Yer Bike: First stretch of Waterford Greenway opens to public

Cycling the sunny southeast

Published 23/09/2016 | 16:06

Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Jacqui, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne

The first phase of the much-anticipated Waterford Greenway has opened to the public this week.

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The 23km section, running along the disused rail corridor from Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan opens on Friday, September 23.

This is the first phase of a dedicated, multi-million euro walking and cycling path that will ultimately stretch 46km from Waterford City to Dungarvan.

The complete route will be launched in spring of 2017.

Irish greenways have exploded in popularity since the widely-lauded success of the Great Western Greenway, a 42km trail which links Wesport and Achill Island along the path of a former rail line in Co. Mayo.

Similar, off-road walk and cycleways are now flourishing between Athlone and Mullingar and Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale, among other routes.

The Waterford Greenway (newly opened section in red)
The Waterford Greenway (newly opened section in red)

Fáilte Ireland recently announced €896,000 in funding for a section of the Connemara Greenway from Cloonbeg to Athry, as party of its Capital Grants Allocation for 2016. Its estimated completion date is May 2017.

The development is part of a wider plan for connecting greenways that will ultimately stretch 78km from Clifden to Galway City.

"The Greenway is a terrific facility, not just for the people of Waterford, but for the whole country and for international visitors,” said Lar Power, Director of Services at Waterford City & County Council.

“The route is safe and fully accessible for everyone, including cyclists, walkers, families with children, and both young and old," he added.

Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Jacqui, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne

The Waterford Greenway is being developed by Waterford City & County Council with the co-operation of local property owners and communities, and supporting funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Greenway users are urged to follow a ‘code of respect’, keeping to their left, passing others on the right and bringing all litter home with them.

Cyclists are asked to ring their bells and cycle at a safe speed.

Dogs should be kept on a short lead, and dog owners are asked to clean up after their pets. Motorised vehicles and horses are not permitted.

For more details, see visitwaterfordgreenway.com.

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