West Clare Railway Greenway Funding for Ennis Lees Road Link
06/21/2013

Clare County Council confirmed today (Thursday, 20 June 2013) that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has approved €50,000 in seed-funding for the advance planning stage of a Greenway along the route of the old West Clare Railway between Ennis and Ennistymon.

Online PR News – 21-June-2013 – Ennis, Clare, IRELAND – Clare County Council confirmed today (Thursday, 20 June 2013) that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has approved €50,000 in seed-funding for the advance planning stage of a Greenway along the route of the old West Clare Railway between Ennis and Ennistymon.

The West Clare Railway Greenway is an exciting proposal 40-kilometre in length linking Ennis to the Atlantic Coast at Lahinch via Corofin and Ennistymon and along the route of the dismantled world famous ‘West Clare Railway’ via for the most part an off road low gradient track.

Phase one of the four phase project will see a cycle and walking track link Ennis town to the Lees Road Sports and Amenity Park in Drumcliffe along the route of the old West Clare Railway, which closed in 1961. This is the link that will be concentrated on initially in detail with background work being done on the other phases.

The Phase one element of the Greenway will include cycle lanes via rededication of existing roadway, off road cycle track, foot and cycle bridge crossings of the River Fergus and a terminus point at Lees Road Sports and Amenity Park which is set in 134 acres of wood and park land and consists of playing pitches, a skateboard park, an active trail, an athletics track and cross country running tracks as well as eight dressing rooms, storage facilities, staff facilities and car parking.

The funding received this week by Clare County Council is drawn from the Department’s €250,000 Seed Funding Competition for World Class Cycling projects for which there was stiff competition.

Outgoing Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly commented: “The approval of funds for the initial stage of this proposed Greenway project is excellent news as it enables the Council to progress the project through the advance planning stage.”

“The proposed track will serve as an important piece of recreational infrastructure for the people of Ennis and surrounding areas, as well as a tourism attraction for those who visit the town. I want to acknowledge the Council for its work in progressing what would be, once completed, a fantastic world-class off-road recreational path similar to the ‘Great Western Greenway’ in Mayo,” added Cllr. Daly.

According to Ian Chaplin, Clare Sustainable Travel Officer: “This allocation of funding from the Department is recognition that on our doorstep in County Clare we have an existing jewel in the crown in the old West Clare Railway, which is known worldwide and with the proposed Greenway we have a project which has the potential to be world class when completed and will be a multifunctional route helping to attract tourism but also serving as a commuter route and recreational route for the people of County Clare.

The Seed Funding is very welcome and will help the Council to progress the project via planning and design to a point where we may receive more funding for development on the ground. Hopefully the people of Clare can get behind this project and support it as it will generate significant income for the County when completed.’

-ENDS-

CONTACTS:
- Cllr. Pat Daly (0086-1099312), Ian Chaplin (087-6224485)