New figures have underlined the popularity of the local greenway, with over 150,000 uses by pedestrians and cyclists recorded at the White Gates in Athlone during a six-month period this year.
Figures released to this newspaper by Westmeath County Council showed that pedestrians entered or exited the cycleway at the White Gates on 108,616 occasions between the beginning of March and the end of August. Cyclists used the amenity there on 45,600 occasions during the same period.
The cycleway is used by students of a number of schools in Athlone, and May was the busiest month of the year for both pedestrians and cyclists at the White Gates.
A counter which was put in place on the greenway in Moate recorded 46,061 uses by pedestrians, and 34,640 uses by cyclists between March 1 and August 31.
June was the busiest month for pedestrians on the greenway in Moate (16,076 uses) while July saw most cycling activity on the greenway there (7,584 uses).
At the White Gates in Athlone, the greenway was used by an average of 590 pedestrians and 248 cyclists each day during the six months, while an average of 250 pedestrians and 188 cyclists were using it in Moate on a daily basis.
The counters indicated that - in Moate - Saturday was the busiest day of the week for pedestrians on the greenway while Sundays were when the most cyclists were using it.
At the White Gates in Athlone, activity levels were fairly similar day-to-day but, on average, Tuesdays were the busiest days of the week.
The section of the greenway between Garrycastle and the White Gates in Athlone, which cost €580,000 to develop, has been in use since December and was officially opened by Transport Minister Shane Ross in April.