Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy has criticised the Government for failing to prevent the shelving of a proposed cycleway between Athlone and Galway.
Deputy Troy pointed out that the decision will undermine the potential of the highly successful cycleway between Mullingar and Athlone.
“It’s bitterly disappointing that the Government has failed to prioritise the proposed cycleway between Athlone and Galway. This project was an integral part of the Dublin – Galway cycleway and the decision to shelve the project will make it more difficult to achieve our tourism targets here in Westmeath,” said Deputy Troy.
“The Government is saying that the reason the cycleway is being put on hold is because they have been unable to negotiate with landowners along the route. You have to question how hard Fine Gael and Labour actually tried to achieve an agreement when you consider the previous Fianna Fáil Government was able to build a motorway between Dublin and Galway.
“The cycleway between Mullingar and Athlone which opened recently has been a huge success to date. However the failure to develop the overall route will limit its overall success and puts a ceiling on the number of tourists that the project will be able to attract into Westmeath.
“I’m calling on the Government to re-commit to this project and ensure the cycleway between Athlone and Galway is completed in full. Athlone has already lost out on smarter travel funding under Minister Alan Kelly. The Minister previously ignored expert advice by providing funding to projects in his own constituency of Tipperary, despite an independent panel having outlined that towns such as Ahtlone were much more in need of funding.”