May 2010: Key section of “flagship” Smarter Travel cycle route may not have provision for cyclists.

An Oranmore-to-Barna coastal cycling route is a central feature of the Galway Metropolitan Area’s bid for the Smarter Travel Areas fund. This scheme is also mentioned in the current Programme for Government.

A key component of the route is the section between Blackrock in Salthill and Silver strand in Barna. It was raised at a meeting earlier this year between the Galway Cycling Campaign and the Galway County Council.

If the coastal cycle route is to reach Barna via the coast, then works will be needed to bring it across the mouth of Rusheen bay, which is a conservation area, to Silver strand. The county council staff involved in the Smarter Travel bid saw this as the key challenge in linking with the rest of the proposed route.

Subsequently, in the City Tribune of 14 May 2010, it was revealed that the City Council is working on a plan for coastal protection works in the same area. According to the Tribune, these works will include a boardwalk to cater for the extension of the Promenade walkway to Silver strand. The same article, however, explicitly states that the new structure will “not include a cycle path”. Subsequently in a conversation with Senator Niall Ó Brolcháin at the 8th June city community forum meeting he confirmed that it is also his understanding that there is no provision for cycling in the plans for this section of the route.






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