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Galway to Athlone Greenway

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  • #2


    Worth noting that the closing date for this is Monday 1st March, so only a couple of days to provide feedback.


  • #2


    Lots of info on the Red Route 5 here: https://redroute5.wordpress.com/

    I haven't found any additional details on the other routes other than what's on the main consultation website.
    If people are aware of anything please share.


  • #2


    Ranleth wrote: »
    Lots of info on the Red Route 5 here: https://redroute5.wordpress.com/

    I haven't found any additional details on the other routes other than what's on the main consultation website.
    If people are aware of anything please share.

    This route will be done regardless as part of the Atlantic route, so better off choosing one of the others

    It would also be bonkers for it not to go through Athenry given the linkup to the QMG greenway there


  • #2


    All routes except for 5 go through Athenry.

    Routes 1, 2 and 3 are boring for cycling , route 4,5 would have some excellent cycling on it as along the Shannon and then out of Portumna to Woodford and back into Loughrea or Gort so would have some nice stops on it.

    Id pick route 4 or 5 myself ,Id nearly pick 4 over 5 though for the better route, Ill do a vote now thanks OP as I suppose every vote counts.


  • #2


    DaCor wrote: »
    This route will be done regardless as part of the Atlantic route, so better off choosing one of the others

    It would also be bonkers for it not to go through Athenry given the linkup to the QMG greenway there

    No it won't. the primary purpose of this is to link up the EuroVelo routes.

    I think the complete opposite to you on this DaCor. This project is going to go ahead on one of those routes. IMO, the route should be one of the longer ones, encompassing either the north of the county or the south of the county. Motorways are designed to get from A to B as quickly as possible, cycleways are the opposite, and therefor it makes no sense taking a straight line to Athenry.

    If the red route is chosen, and it is the only route that incorporates any part of the coast, it would then leave Galway Co Co with only a small section from either Kilcolgan or Oranmore over to Athenry to link up with the QMG, although at the rate that project is going, the Athlone- Galway will be up and running long before it. Public Reps could then apply a lot of joint pressure on Galway CoCo to join the two. A stand alone red route will never be developed, as the council just couldn't afford to fund it.

    It's a red for me!!


  • #2


    ratracer wrote: »
    No it won't. the primary purpose of this is to link up the EuroVelo routes.

    I think the complete opposite to you on this DaCor. This project is going to go ahead on one of those routes. IMO, the route should be one of the longer ones, encompassing either the north of the county or the south of the county. Motorways are designed to get from A to B as quickly as possible, cycleways are the opposite, and therefor it makes no sense taking a straight line to Athenry.

    That very much depends on whether you are trying to get people out cycling just for recreation or you want them to actually leave their cars at home and cycle to the places they need to go like they are doing in NL with their high speed cycleways.

    Concentrating just on the former is rather myopic IMO and does little to move us away from our car-centric ways.


  • #2


    Duckjob wrote: »
    That very much depends on whether you are trying to get people out cycling just for recreation or you want them to actually leave their cars at home and cycle to the places they need to go like they are doing in NL with their high speed cycleways.

    Concentrating just on the former is rather myopic IMO and does little to move us away from our car-centric ways.

    It’s a good point, but again I’d refer back to my reasons for the red route......building it that way and then pushing the council to link this greenway with the QMG via Oranmore would open up commuter cycling to a much larger swathe of the population. As it is, I would imagine most cycle commuters ( although there aren’t that many) from Athenry would route via Derrydonnell to Oranmore, or else in the Monivea Road if heading for Parkmore. Current wishlists I’ve read from various parties have floated the idea of park’n’ride, or bike’n’ride from the airport, with cycle lanes developed along the route, so both of these routes could be possible.

    I don’t believe my idea is myopic, on the contrary, it’s looking at the bigger picture for long term development of realistic cycling infrastructure in the county. Believe me, I’ll be happy with whichever route is chosen, but for now I’m a firm advocate of the red route.


  • #2


    Fully agree Rat Racer! Route 5 has the most scenic diversity and it contributes to the Atlantic Route - its got the most to offer. There's no guarantee that the QMG will even go ahead so I think Athenry needs to focus on that first, then there's an easy link via Athenry to Oranmore - its bonkers to try and link up to a Greenway that's not there - so give people of Galway a good option to head out to Kinvara, Burren and Gort.
    Route 5 is alive!


  • #2


    The red route would also have the advantage of joining up with the Grand Canal greenway which will reach the Shannon at Shannon Harbour/Banagher. That would seem to be an obvious advantage but the excellent red route site doesn't seem to pick up on it. That would mean an easy and quick linkage to Tullamore and onward to the South East


  • #2


    ratracer wrote: »
    It’s a good point, but again I’d refer back to my reasons for the red route......building it that way and then pushing the council to link this greenway with the QMG via Oranmore would open up commuter cycling to a much larger swathe of the population. As it is, I would imagine most cycle commuters ( although there aren’t that many) from Athenry would route via Derrydonnell to Oranmore, or else in the Monivea Road if heading for Parkmore. Current wishlists I’ve read from various parties have floated the idea of park’n’ride, or bike’n’ride from the airport, with cycle lanes developed along the route, so both of these routes could be possible.

    I don’t believe my idea is myopic, on the contrary, it’s looking at the bigger picture for long term development of realistic cycling infrastructure in the county. Believe me, I’ll be happy with whichever route is chosen, but for now I’m a firm advocate of the red route.


    I hear what you're saying. The problem with all of this though (and this is where our planners thinking really hasnt yet caught up) is that a cycle paths aren't just single purpose.

    You can build a lovely 50km route that goes from A to B. People will come out and walk and cycle on it. The problem is, if it's a greenway then it's completley unusable for somebody who lives in A, works in B and wants to get from A to B as quickly and safely as possible.

    People out walking and cycling with their young kids aren't going to appreciate somebody flying by at 30kph+ , and people wanting the utility of a fast route are going to appreciate having to go slow all the time to avoid pissing people off.


  • #2


    nilhg wrote: »
    The red route would also have the advantage of joining up with the Grand Canal greenway which will reach the Shannon at Shannon Harbour/Banagher. That would seem to be an obvious advantage but the excellent red route site doesn't seem to pick up on it. That would mean an easy and quick linkage to Tullamore and onward to the South East

    Thanks Nilhg : Very good advice - this was just added to the Red Route Website (under Route 5 is Strategic) :


  • #2


    In my opinion route 5 has way more to offer than the other routes. It’s much more scenic and diverse. From mountains, to rivers, lakes, the burren and the coast. It has it all. It will easily link in with the Wild Atlantic way, Eurovelo routes 1&2, and east Clare way.
    People seem to assume this route will get built anyway, but that’s quite frankly not true. There are currently no plans to make a greenway/cycleway along the coast, from Galway city to the Burren, and to make assumptions this will be built at some point is the future is flawed.
    This is our chance to have our say. We can make this happen! If you like route 5 please submit your vote on the link below. It takes about 30 seconds and every vote counts!!
    https://redroute5.wordpress.com/support-route-5/


  • #2


    Sharon mc wrote: »
    In my opinion route 5 has way more to offer than the other routes. It’s much more scenic and diverse. From mountains, to rivers, lakes, the burren and the coast. It has it all. It will easily link in with the Wild Atlantic way, Eurovelo routes 1&2, and east Clare way.
    People seem to assume this route will get built anyway, but that’s quite frankly not true. There are currently no plans to make a greenway/cycleway along the coast, from Galway city to the Burren, and to make assumptions this will be built at some point is the future is flawed.
    This is our chance to have our say. We can make this happen! If you like route 5 please submit your vote on the link below. It takes about 30 seconds and every vote counts!!
    https://redroute5.wordpress.com/support-route-5/

    By the way, if you genuinely support route 5, I wouldn't use a boilerplate email to submit your feedback. It will just get lumped in with all the matching emails.

    Take the time to draft your own feedback, even if it's just a one or two. The more detailed the reasoning the better though.

    Route 5 looks excellent, but for me this first project is about getting from A-B and the most direct wins. I did submit that all routes should eventually be built for a network that is attractive to all types of cyclist.


  • #2


    The boiler plate is better for ease of use than none at all! If people click on 2nd option they can provide they’re own opinion. We’ve had disadvantages where route 5 was seen as an offshoot. Even on the mapping it was all yellow until Woodford, whereas it should have been both yellow and red! This has caused great confusion and enabled some communities to think route 4 was their only option...
    At the end of the day, from our website to FB page I think we’ve done a remarkable job in the short timeframe! The people of south Galway are hungry and whether our route gets chosen or not it won’t be from lack of trying!


  • #2


    The reason for the boiler plate emails also, is because every vote counts. We’ve been underdogs from the start and needed a way to get people to vote. It’s better than no vote is how we see it ��


  • #2


    Route 5 is the clear winner if they go down the scenic route of taking in attractions and linking places for people to visit. Particularly with the current emphasis on A Just Transition to the climate crises it focuses on areas of disadvantage that have been affected by the closure of Bord na Mona power plant.
    My worry is that route 3 through Ballinasloe will have significantly more numbers advocativg for it in their area, but it is pretty much a route A to B as quick as you can option. And even with that, its not connecting villages and towns tocities close enough to actually encourage a shift from driving to work to cycling. The purpose of this cycleway is not to just get some wokers to start cycling to work, it has a much broader remit than that.

    Millions have already been spent on the Meelick Weir renovation (it's brand new and absolutely stunning, everyone should check it out at least once) and it makes sense to link with this in some way to encourage tourism in the area.


  • #2


    Yes, most of route 5 is in disadvantaged clar areas, which would help these communities a lot. The Meelick weir is included in this route


  • #2


    Reports again yesterday of the Guards checking people going into leisure areas for compliance with the 5km rule, a sure sign that there aren't enough of these facilities countrywide, that's why I think it's important that whichever of the routes are eventually chosen and built for the Athlone to Galway greenway that the areas that miss out keep working away to get their version done as well.

    The red route website makes a very strong case for it as a standalone with linkages out even if it isn't the official A to B route.


  • #2


    Duckjob wrote: »
    People out walking and cycling with their young kids aren't going to appreciate somebody flying by at 30kph+ , and people wanting the utility of a fast route are going to appreciate having to go slow all the time to avoid pissing people off.

    I think that assumes reasonably intensive use of a Greenway and that those potentially conflicting uses would be happening at the same time. In practice, even on the busy Clontarf section of the S2S, you rarely get commuters and family groups at the same time.

    Regarding the optimum route from Athlone to Galway, if it is to attract long distance touring cyclists heading to the WAW, it would need to be a bit more direct than the red route.


  • #2


    Regarding the optimum route from Athlone to Galway, if it is to attract long distance touring cyclists heading to the WAW, it would need to be a bit more direct than the red route.
    Or we could have a bit of ambition and do both the direct route and the scenic route, with whichever one is chosen now being done first and a clear commitment to do the other one whenever the next round of funding comes up.


  • #2


    I think that assumes reasonably intensive use of a Greenway and that those potentially conflicting uses would be happening at the same time. In practice, even on the busy Clontarf section of the S2S, you rarely get commuters and family groups at the same time.

    I'd say its safe to say most folk on here would love to see a mass shift away from cars. You're not going to get that unless you provide friction free infrastructure that caters for a high-volume take-up of walking and cycling.

    People's travel choices are heavily influenced by the travel options available to them. Therefore you need to make provision for the travel patterns you want, not the travel patterns you currently have.


  • #2


    Any idea when an update will be provided on final decision?


  • #2


    So the 2nd report is out, with the results/findings of the Public Consultation process.

    Interestingly, the Red Route received the most public submissions. I don't know how much merit that gets in the overall final route selection, I presume the consultations with land owners on all routes will weigh heavily on this.

    https://www.galwaytoathlonecycleway.com/media/download_gallery/2nd%20Public%20Consultation%20Report.pdf



  • #2


    Maybe if the Galway ring road gets canned we can ask for this (in black)

    Because no matter what route is chosen, Galway will remain bereft of bike infrastructure throughout the whole county.



  • #2


    Not necessarily. Based on the 40 km between Athlone to Mullingar , you will have at least 32-35 km of cycleway to be able to flat out , only needing to slow down at the annoying gates and 2-3 km on either side of built up areas (which, yes, is infuriating ) this said route , the go slow (15 Km/h) is in Athlone and Moate and about 2-3 km leading into Mullingar . The rest of it is pretty deserted most days , bar the odd cyclist and Walker . Very few walk that far out of the built up areas .

    more or less the same case with the canal between Mullingar to Longford and Mullingar to Maynooth (though there are more busy areas on the later)



  • #2


    Lads , the point of the Route is to get people from Dublin to Galway in a reasonably quick fashion on the bikes . The locals then get to take advantage of the amenities


    you are tripping if you think the cycling tourists are going to want to spend more than 13 hours cutting through the back arse of Galway , when they can get to Galway in a shorter time by avoiding most of the south Galway routes (Dublin to Galway is completely doable in a day )


    reality is m it’s going to be close enough to either the motorway or rail line . People won’t want to be too far from access to public transport in case hey have mishaps . They need to be close to the bigger towns in case they need to do pit stops to the bike shop , not villages and towns where time has forgotten and where there are more sheep than people


    the bigger towns, due to political bases are going to get it, hence why Ballinasloe will be the next town after Athlone, whether via Shannonbridge (needless extra kilometres, but it’s close to Clonmacnoise and does provide a natural loop back to Athlone and they can go through thr bogs and up the disused canal) or closer to either the motorway , R446 or the rail line


    id be surprised if Portumna gets considered. Banagher ? Good grief why ? More money to fix the bridge ? No chance . From a Dublin to Galway point of view, that would be ridiculous


    sorry, folks, but the way ye are talking ye would swear that the country lanes and regional roads are not suitable for cycling . That is simply not true. Many of them are almost deserted at the weekend bar a few motors bringing home the turf . The vast majority of the country lanes and back roads including the R446 itself , from Ballinasloe to Loughrea, Portumna and up to Ballyforan , Ballygar , Mountbellew, Kilkerrin , Mount Mary , Creggs, Glenamaddy/Dunmore and into Roscommon are safe and very very rideable . Many of them are even down as cycling loops (especially around Ballyforan Ballgar )


    I make no comment about areas of Galway past Loughrea as I’m not familiar with these routes


    bear in mind, a reason why Athlone to Galway has been delayed is due to landowners objections , so there’s a lot of wishful thinking, I’m afraid .


    The State ain’t going to be able to justify paying off all the landowners , even if, it makes sense tourist wise , to run through every half decent town with a place of interest .

    it’s going to have to be up to the county councils to build their own add on routes thereafter , like places like Kilbeggan intend to do (link it to Athlone Mullingar to the Canal route that goes through Tullamore)

    these are all routes that I know really well, support and would love to see get expanded, especially around Aughrim, Killimor, Portumna and loops around Lough Derg or part thereof …. But it ain’t going to happen …

    it makes total sense to have Clonfert, Clonmacnoise , drum/Moore/Clonown (Roscommon side of Athlone) , Portumna and Aughrim all connected due to the monasteries and the military history of Aughrim n Athlone (1690/91) but when you take into account the Dublin to Galway nature of this route…. that’s an awful way out . Thankfully the majority of those roads , whether regional or local are perfectly safe to ride

    Shannonbridge to clonfert is an awful pain in the arse as it’s a longish road cycle when there is already a bog trial and bridge ready and waiting to be upgraded and only a hop over the Shannon, probably knock of 10km off what would be needed if you go by road … but it will be costly and with the floods around those areas in the winter ….…

    a more significant issue are the floods plans around the Shannon and River Suck . We want to be able to use the cycleway all year round so many areas around the shores of the Shannon and Suck are out , as these areas have seen floods every year

    Post edited by Randy Archer on


  • #2


    I should add, if they were that concerned about scenery etc, they wouldn’t have used the Athlone to Mullingar rail line with embankments which block most of the view … but they did because it was State land. Great surface and safe and silent and access to great scenic rounds around lakes and tourist spots no more than 10km away, but boring as F



  • #2


    It's interesting that you think the point of the greenway is to get people from Dublin to Galway or vice versa as quickly as possible, my thinking would be that there will be very few using it that way, my own personal opinion is that apart form the very touristy areas that 90% of the use of them is local people out for their daily exercise in very safe conditions. Having watched the Nationwide program on the Royal canal, I didn't see anything to change my mind.


    I think it would be preferable if the Athlone-Galway route is relatively direct but I wouldn't see it as a deal breaker.



  • #2


    Lads , the point of the Route is to get people from Dublin to Galway in a reasonably quick fashion on the bikes .

    That doesn't figure anywhere in any documentation as a justification for the route @Randy Archer. Love to know where you are getting it from

    you are tripping if you think the cycling tourists are going to want to spend more than 13 hours cutting through the back arse of Galway , when they can get to Galway in a shorter time by avoiding most of the south Galway routes (Dublin to Galway is completely doable in a day )

    I'm not sure you understand the point of proper walking/cycling infrastructure. A primary driver is significant segregation from road traffic to allow for relaxing and safe travel.

    I and many others, have travelled along a lot of the current greenways and at no point did the length of the route come into my thought when getting from A to B. If its 20km from A to B or 30 km from A to B, I'm still going to travel from A to B regardless

    reality is m it’s going to be close enough to either the motorway or rail line . People won’t want to be too far from access to public transport in case hey have mishaps . They need to be close to the bigger towns in case they need to do pit stops to the bike shop , not villages and towns where time has forgotten and where there are more sheep than people


    the bigger towns, due to political bases are going to get it, hence why Ballinasloe will be the next town after Athlone, whether via Shannonbridge (needless extra kilometres, but it’s close to Clonmacnoise and does provide a natural loop back to Athlone and they can go through thr bogs and up the disused canal) or closer to either the motorway , R446 or the rail line


    id be surprised if Portumna gets considered. Banagher ? Good grief why ? More money to fix the bridge ? No chance . From a Dublin to Galway point of view, that would be ridiculous

    Reality is actually that nothing is decided yet on the route. The preferred route will be released shortly.


    sorry, folks, but the way ye are talking ye would swear that the country lanes and regional roads are not suitable for cycling . That is simply not true. Many of them are almost deserted at the weekend bar a few motors bringing home the turf . The vast majority of the country lanes and back roads from Ballinasloe to Loughrea, Portumna and up to Ballyforan , Ballygar , Mountbellew, Kilkerrin , Mount Mary , Creggs, Glenamaddy/Dunmore and into Roscommon are safe and very very rideable . Many of them are even down as cycling loops .

    Of course they are suitable, thats why they are so heavily trafficked at the moment with thousands of families going out for spins....oh wait no they're not. Hmm, I wonder why

    bear in mind, a reason why Athlone to Galway has been delayed is due to landowners objections , so there’s a lot of wishful thinking, I’m afraid . The State ain’t going to be able to justify paying off all the landowners , even if, it makes sense tourist wise , to run through every half decent town with a place of interest . it’s going to have to be up to the county councils to build their own add on routes thereafter , as places like Kilbeggan intend to do (link it to Athlone Mullingar to the Canal route that goes through Tullamore)

    Kerry has shown there is a way to do it using CPO. Its already planned to use CPO for this route. There is a significant amount of discussions ongoing with landowners along the route.

    a more significantly, the floods plans around the Shannon. We want to be able to use the cycleway all year round so many areas around the shores of the Shannon are out , as these areas have seen floods every year

    There are flood maps for the small area where this would be a concern



  • #2


    You do realise the sole purpose of this cross county project , right ? You aware of what Euro Velo is ?

    considering tourists have never had next to no interest in visited many of these towns that time has forgot / aka more sheep than people, what on earth makes ye think that long distance cycling tourists want to go to these spots , completely out of the way, before getting into Galway City- they certainly ain’t appealing (the quite roads are prefect to get lost and to train , I don’t want to diss them because I use them )

    Its the gombeen politicians that seek to ensure their fiefdom gets included . It certainly wouldn’t happen without the EU money . The Dublin - Athlone - Galway route falls under the “EV2 Capitals Route” . The original design was due to go through the Roscommon / Galway side of Co Galway and never intended to touch South Galway

    anyway, once the county councils see what it’s going to cost, don’t expect the route being interesting . The locals , particularly the walkers get a nice extra ( most of these routes are actually deserted most of the time ,not heavily trafficked with cyclists doing long distances)

    but yes ! It will be mostly the locals using these . the walkers ruin it actually with their idiotic behaviour . Unless you are willing to cycle out a few kilometres outside the built up areas, forget about using the greenways if you want to do training

    Athlone to Mullingar is not really used . Bar Garrycastle, Moate, and Mullingar and occasionally Castletown Georghegan, you WILL be able to count on one hand the amount of cyclists that you shall pass once outside these built up areas if you do the full length



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