The need for a build of the greenway to come through the town has been well received by locals from the start. Over 120 people attended the first round of public consultation in the Shearwater Hotel, one of five public consultations in Co. Galway.
Community groups, schools, clubs, business associations, advocacy groups including Athlone to Ballinasloe Greenway Group and the Town Team, all made submissions before the deadline of September 7. The submission was to collect views as to why folks believe the Greenway, (safe road/walkway/cycleway, no motor vehicles, available to be used by cyclists, walkers, runners, strollers, wheelchair users, day dreamers and all else), should go through the town.
Senator Aisling Dolan noted “Over 220 people also made the effort to pop into my office on Society St to make a submission and tell the project team why we want to see a Greenway come through Ballinasloe. Thank you to everyone including our volunteers in the office; making a difference".
The Greenway will reinvigorate the towns and villages with tourism & spin off benefits. With no public park access in Ballinasloe – there's a need to have a safe place off-road to walk & cycle for families, people with prams, wheelchair users. The Dublin-Galway national cycleway will transform the town working together with communities in surrounding areas by consensus.
Councillor Evelyn Parsons as well as seeing health and wellbeing benefits believes that the Greenway can accelerate development of outdoor park space . “The residents currently have no public park proportionate to the size of population. This was painfully evident during the very restricted pandemic phase, when exercise distances of 2 and 5km were imposed - no accessible parkland development was available to within those distances in which to walk, exercise, socially distance safely. I favour the development of a Heartland Park with access off the Greenway and accessible from the M6. Working from home will lead to increased need for accessible active outdoor leisure facilities, and this is set to increase with development of remote working hubs. It is crucial that we are located on its route as the Hosting and Healing Town of the Heartlands which plays to our heritage, our history both in healthcare and in hospitality“ states Evelyn.
The next steps will see project team engagement with landowners and potentially 4-5 routes for consideration from the study area map, scheduled for December or early January.
Geraldine Healy, a member of the Greenway project team based in the new library , noted the team are heartened by the turn-out at public consultations and numbers of submissions received and are happy to meet by appointment taking public health guidelines into account. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: (091) 509267.
Fintan O’Meara, Project Engineer Co-ordinator with Galway County Council, is set to occupy the office above the library with staff to plan the investment. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions the office remains closed but he can be contacted by emailing him on fomeara@galwaycoco. To keep up to date with the greenway group, check out their Facebook page below.
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