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€5.3m Westport Smarter Travel plan detailed

€5 million spend to transform town into maze of walking and cycling lanes

Michael Duffy

IT will still be Westport, but not as we know it. A €5.3 million spending spree is to begin in the coming weeks that will transform the west Mayo town into a model town that highlights the advantages of sustainable and environmentally friendly travel.
The programme of works for the five years was put before councillors at last week’s meeting of Westport Town Council, works which Cathaoirleach of the council, Cllr Christy Hyland said, will make Westport, ‘the finest small town in Europe’.
€1.4 million is set to be spent in 2012, quickly followed by another €1.7 million in 2013, and another €1.5 million in 2014. Works will be completed when a further €800,000 is spent in 2015/2016. The funding was granted after Westport was chosen as a winner in a national Smarter Travel competition.
Westport town engineer Patrick Corcoran went through the project earmarked for each year for councillors at the meeting (see table). Town Manager Martin Keating said it was clear that this was indeed ‘an ambitious programme of works’ and that it would have some implications on the resources and staff available to the council.
However, he said it was an exciting time for the town and it was the intention of the council to hold a public meeting in the near future which would clearly layout for the public what is to take place.
“To get all this work done, there will be a lot of Part 8s, so we need to actively engage with the public. There will be some inconvenience but overall the developments are good for Westport and we will do our best to have an update on the progress at every monthly meeting,” said Mr Keating.
Cllr Christy Hyland, Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, said he felt this was ‘a most fantastic project for Westport’.
“We all must insure that we make the most of this €5 million. It is clear that some people will be discommoded now and then, but as I always say, without some pain, there will be no gain. This money will turn Westport into the finest small town in Europe,” he said.
All of the councillors in attendance were glowing in their praise for the plan, with Cllr Martin Keane pleading that local people be employed to carry out some of the manual work in the plan.
Cllr Brendan

Smarter travel Westport The five year plan

Cycle Lanes and Tracks
Ballinrobe Rd
Castlebar St
Altamont St
Allergan Rd
Altamont Street cycle / Mill Road

Public Realm

Footpath improvements / extensions

Traffic Calming

Raised Street Junctions (18 No)
Road Ramps (12 No)
Toucon Crossing

Northern Greenway (1.3km)
Extension of GW Greenway to IDA Business Park
Westport Greenway Link to Knockranny (Castlebar Road)
Westport Greenway Link to Westpoint/Tesco
Green links between estates
Public Lighting of routes
Viaduct Cycleway safety

Sustainable Travel Facilities
Bus Drop off point at Scoil Padraig
Stands and Shelters
Sustainable Travel Signage

Public Realm

Raised Pedestrian Junction Mall-Newport Road
Raised Pedestrian Junction Mall-Bridge St
Raised Pedestrian Junction Fairgreen
Raised Pedestrian Junction Castlecourt Junction
James Street
Footpath Improvements & Extensions
Coast Road Footpath

Extension of GW Greenway to Newport Road Ind Estate, Westport
Road Network

Sustainable Travel Facilities
Improved Bus Facilities at Mill St/High St Carpark

Public Realm

Castlebar St (Angelus Park/Allergan Rd)
Distillery Rd
Footpath Improvements & Extensions

Leisure Centre Bridge
Riverside Greenway (1.7km)
Quay Village Cycleway
Pound Rd to Willow Lane
Northern Greenway/Horkans Hill

Sustainable Travel Facilities
Information Displays
Sustainable Travel Signage
Smarter Travel Pavillion

Cycle Tracks

Castlebar Rd

Riverside Greenway (extension to Ballinrobe Road)

Sustainable Travel Facilities
Smarter Travel Pavillion

Public Realm

Mulroy, Fianna Fáil, said credit was due to Minister of State, Michael Ring, who was influential in getting the Smarter Travel prize awarded to Westport and he said it was important to make sure that those areas on the outskirts of the town were also aware of the plan for the next five years.
Cllr Myles Staunton said the schools in the town had been very influential in the initial Smarter Travel application.
“The schools played a huge role and I think it would only be appropriate that we make sure they are now fully aware of what will happen in the town over the next five years,” said Cllr Staunton.

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