EXPANDING the benefits of the West Clare Railway across North Clare is the aim of a motion tabled by Councillor Joe Garrihy at the local municipal district earlier this month.
The Lisdoonvarna man called for plan to link Corofin, Carron, Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, Liscannor and Lahinch with a greater range of walking and cycle routes “to ensure these settlements and communities have appropriate attractive and safe linkage to the overall West Clare Greenway in progress and the Green Road to the Burren, Fanore and Ballyvaughan”.
Councillor Garrihy also asked that cycle and walking connectivity from from North Clare to County Galway through Bellharbour, New Quay to Kinvara and Boston/Tubber area to Gort be progressed.
“Cycling and walking amenities are among our most successful tourism offerings,” he told the meeting.
The motion was backed by Cathaoirleach, Councillor Cillian Murphy who agreed with the potential that connectivity to the West Clare Greenway offered.
Councillor Joe Killeen agreed with the huge benefits of linking the Green Road. “If you consider the popularity of cycle and walking tourism, there is huge potential in linking up other routes in North Clare,” he said.
“All that’s needed on many existing routes is a bit of an upgrade. These routes are already there. They could be a huge success if linked to the Greenway.”
A written response from John O’Malley, Senior Executive Office (SEO) said a number of upgrades to walking and cycling routes are being progressed under the Active Travel Fund. “The initial phase of this work focused on upgrading existing and new infrastructure within our towns and villages,” the response said.
“The focus is progressing in 2022 to linking up towns and villages including a number of the towns listed in the Motion. The Project Management Office also included for links from the proposed future Greenway in additional works under Active Travel.
“Further consideration will be given to linking the Green Road with a view to including in future phases of this Fund and other funding sources.
“The MD will also investigate with Councillor Garrihy the potential for connectivity with County Galway and work with our neighbouring Local Authority on this. Progress on this is dependent on available resources within the MD, Councils Physical Directorate and Contractors to complete the works.”
The 85km proposed Greenway is divided into four sections: Kilrush to Kilkee; Moyasta to Miltown Malbay; Miltown Malbay to Ennistymon and Ennistymon to Ennis. An opening date of 2025 is estimated.