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Long-awaited Greenway improvements approved

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Long-awaited Greenway improvements approved


Edwin McGreal

An Bord Pleanála have given approval for a roadworks scheme which will make the Greenway safer for cyclists along a dangerous stretch between Mulranny and Achill.
For close to a mile at Owenduff and Tonragee, Achill cyclists must leave the Greenway and cycle along a dangerous stretch of the main road.
There have been repeated calls for improvements and earlier this year Mayo County Council approved funding of €450,000 to include cycle lanes just off the main road.
However the matter was referred to An Bord Pleanála in March of this year because the planned development is located close to a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
An Bord Pleanála had initially indicated it would be September before there would be a decision from them on this matter, leading one councillor to accuse them of putting cyclists’ lives in danger during the height of the tourist season with hundreds of cyclists using that stretch of roadway daily.
Director of Services for Mayo County Council for Belmullet Electoral Area, Martin Keating said the council had stressed the urgency of the situation to ABP on a number of occasions, and that it was told that a decision is due in September.
He added that the council will get working on the project ‘as quickly as we can’.
Yesterday (Monday) Cllr Micheál McNamara welcomed the news that An Bord Pleanála had finally approved the project.  
“I am pleased that this work has finally got the go ahead, it is essential for road safety that work here commences in the near future. Locals living along this section of road will have to be consulted and I would like to see this consultation occur soon. When this work is finally completed it will greatly add to the already very successful Greenway project and make it’s use much safer,” he said.