€10m to be invested in 'greenway' paths for cyclists
MORE than 120kms of dedicated 'greenway' cycle paths will be built across eight counties.
The Government has announced a €10m funding package for the schemes, which will be available for tourists and commuters cycling to work and school.
The largest scheme is between Athlone and Mullingar, which will run for 40km and cost €4m to implement, creating 40 construction jobs.
It will run along a disused railway corridor that was once a branch of the old Midlands Great Western Railway, and is part of a grand plan to build a continuous off-road greenway between Dublin and Galway.
Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly said the schemes would help "Ireland become one of the world's greatest countries for cycling tourism".
Other projects being funded include:
* The 9.6km Waterford – Kilmeaden to Bilberry scheme, which will cost €1m. It follows the River Suir, Kilmeadan Castle and an archaeological site at Woodstown and is part of the 41km Dungarvan to Waterford City greenway
* The €450,000 Cahersiveen to Reenard Point greenway in Kerry, which links Cahersiveen and Valentia Island
* Construction of a 20km route in Tipperary between Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir, which will cost €1.9m
* The first phase of the West Clare Greenway, a 5km link between Ennis and Ballymacquiggan, which will cost €400,000
* The 14km Monasteries of the Moy project, a €250,000 scheme to develop a 14km off-road walking and cycling greenway between Ballina and Killala towns
* €311,000 for the 'Arthurs Day' trail, linking Leixlip to Oughterard via Celbridge/Castletown
* Another €420,000 for a project between Patrickswell to Limerick City
* €400,000 for a link between Boyle and Lough Key Forest Park
* €900,000 for a 14.4km scheme became Coolnahay and the Longford border along the Royal Canal Tow Path from Coolnahay Harbour, via Ballynacarrigy Village to the Longford Boundary.