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Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport, Alan Kelly TD, today officially opened a 4km cycleway between Ennistymon and Lahinch in County Clare.
The Ennistymon–Lahinch Cycleway Project connects two of North Clare’s busiest towns and is expected to deliver a significant boost to the County’s growing leisure tourism sector.
The €400k off-road, shared-use cycle path project was delivered by Clare County Council and funded under the Government’s National Cycle Network 2012/2013 programme.
Welcoming the official opening of the cycle path, Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly stated: “This cycle path has huge potential to further increase the numbers of leisure tourists visiting County Clare in recent years. The cycleway also serves as an important piece of recreational infrastructure for the people of the local community. For example, the track will serve as a conveyor for many different types of user including pedestrians, commuter cyclists, leisure cyclists and tourist cyclists. Furthermore, schoolchildren will be able to avail of this new infrastructure which by virtue of the segregation will make the journey safer.”
Ian Chaplin, Clare Sustainable Travel Officer commented: “Clare County Council is firmly committed to the ‘Smarter Travel’ ethos and the promotion of cycling and walking through the installation of top class facilities. We are anxious to build on the solid foundations already laid from a Smarter Travel point of view with this Ennistymon to Lahinch link.”
Commenting on plans to expand Clare’s cycleway network, Mr. Chaplin said: “The new cycle link constitutes an integral part of the National Cycle Network in Clare and will hopefully lead to future expansion of cycling facilities in the County. The Shannon to Ennis segregated cycle link is already in place and a coastal route from Lahinch to Galway has already been identified. The only section that will then remain to be completed is the Ennis to Ennistymon link. This route is coincident with the path of the old world famous ‘West Clare Railway’ and it is hoped that the possibility of utilising this existing old infrastructure will be explored in the near future with the aim of turning it into a fantastic world class off road recreational path similar to the ‘Great Western Greenway’ in Mayo.”
Today’s official opening was also attended by members of the local community, officials from Clare County Council, Ennistymon Area Councillors and Clare Oireachtas Members.