The Government’s Strategy for the Development of National and Regional Greenways sets out the process that all projects must follow, before a route is selected and planning consent is sought from An Bord Pleanála.
Four stages of public consultation will be held on the new Galway to Athlone Cycleway to inform the public and discuss the project before it is submitted to An Bord Pleanála.
After each stage of public consultation, a report will be published outlining what feedback was received and how that feedback can be incorporated into the development of the project design. The stages of public consultation for this Cycleway are:
Public Information Events, March 2023
Preferred Route Published
Since March 2022, the project team has been working to identify the preferred route within or close to the emerging preferred route corridor. This has involved engagement with landowners across the route corridor to identify a route that meets the overall objectives of the scheme, creates a continuous route from Galway to Athlone and minimises severance of landholdings by following field and ownership boundaries. This is consistent with the fourth public consultation process which involves individual meetings and discussions with affected landowners.
The preferred route was chosen as it offers a highly scenic route from Galway to Athlone, with lots to see and do on the way. It travels through a wide variety of landscapes, from the edge of Galway Bay, the Burren Low Lands, the Slieve Aughty mountains, the river Shannon and the midlands bogs, and will be attractive to domestic and international users. It visits Ballyloughane Beach, Oranmore, Rinville, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Kinvara, Coole Park, Gort, Woodford, Portumna, Meelick, Clonfert, Ballinasloe, Shannonbridge and Athlone Castle, linking places of interest, established tourism centres, public parks and outdoor spaces.
Maps showing the preferred route are available to view in our Virtual Consultation Room.
Everybody is welcome to the Public Information Events to view the preferred route and meet the project team:
Oranmore: Oranmore Lodge Hotel, Tuesday 28th March at 3-8pm
Gort: Lady Gregory Hotel, Wednesday 29th March at 3-8pm
Portumna: Town Hall, Thursday 30th March at 3-8pm
Ballinasloe: Shearwater Hotel, Friday 31st March at 3-8pm
Meet with the Project Team
The cycleway project team is available to answer any questions and provide information to assist you with your submission.
The project team can be contacted during office hours at 091 509267 (Weekdays 9am-5pm) and at email@example.com.
If you would like to arrange an online consultation with a member of the project team, please contact us by phone or email.
The Government of Ireland has published a Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenway Projects (2021). The Code sets out the process for the delivery and management of Greenways and provides information on the acquisition of privately owned lands for the Greenway. The published document is available at the link below:
Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways (2021).
A preferred route is now being chosen within or close to the emerging preferred route corridor. The preferred route takes advantage of the significant state-owned lands within the corridor, such as Coillte forestry tracks, Bord na Móna railways, and ESB lands close to the River Shannon.
However, it will be necessary to build some of the Cycleway on land that is privately owned. Direct engagement with individual landowners commenced in early 2022 and will continue during the development of the project. In the majority of locations is has been possible to route the Cycleway around the perimeter of landholdings and following established field boundaries.
In accordance with the Code of Best Practice, a Greenway Sustainability Payment will be made to those landowners who participate in the Voluntary Land Acquisition Agreement process. Details on this process are set out in the Code of Best Practice.
During the development of a preferred route within the corridor, landowners may engage their own agronomist/property adviser to advise them during the design of the Cycleway. This agronomist/property adviser will be paid for by the project promoters. We will work with the landowner and their agronomist/property advisor to pick the least disruptive route possible, likely to be along the property boundary.
There are a number of dedicated Project Liaison Officers (PLOs) from the Local Authorities and Consultants. A PLO will be available to meet with landowners either on their property or in the Project Office by appointment. PLOs are also available to talk on the phone or by online virtual meeting.
These PLOs will be the main point of contact for the landowner, and will ensure that the landowners interests and concerns are considered in all decisions.
The goodwill and cooperation of the farming community is important to make the Cycleway a success. Real and open engagement with the landowners and community will be central to everything we do.