An image showing part of the route option through Shannonbridge.

Final call to back Shannonbridge cycleway bid as deadline nears

Local groups are urging people to show their support for an Athlone to Galway cycleway route through the village of Shannonbridge, ahead of a deadline this Monday (March 1) for the public to make submissions on the project.

There are five potential route corridors the cycleway could follow in order to get from Athlone to Galway, but only one of these (Route 4) takes in Offaly by passing through Shannonbridge.

With the current five-week public consultation period on the project now almost over, the Shannonbridge Action Group and Offaly's Ógra Fianna Fáil organisation have issued a final call for people to make their views known in favour of Route 4.

"Attracting a national cycleway into the main street of the village would have huge benefits for us, in terms of the visitor numbers and attractions that we can offer," said Vincent D'Arcy of Shannonbridge Action Group.

Meanwhile, Offaly Ógra Fianna Fáil said Shannonbridge had been dealt "a hammer blow" by the job losses in the ESB and Bord na Móna, and it argued that the cycleway project could help to "unleash the tourism potential" of West Offaly.

"I strongly believe that a cycleway coming through Shannonbridge would have seriously positive effects on the local economy," said the Offaly Ógra Cathaoirleach, and native of Shannonbridge, Jack Ryan.

"I feel this would help job creation as well as enterprise. It is also important to acknowledge the positive effects it would have on the county of Offaly as a whole. We ask the people of Offaly to get behind this proposal that would help attract tourism to the Faithful county."

People can make a submission on the proposed route corridors online at: tinyurl.com/3y3pav8u/

A preferred route corridor for the cycleway project is expected to be decided by the middle of this year.

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