Feasibility Study On Quiet Man Greenway Begins This Week

Article from Tuam Herald by Jacqueline Hogge 28/09/21

The long awaited feasibility study on the Quiet Man Greenway begins this week finally. A consultant had been appointed by Galway County Council to conduct the study into the development, which has caused much controversy in the local authority in recent years, with attempts to secure funding blocked, by those members who favour the reinstatement of services along the closed rail line.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan included the Quiet Man Greenway in funding of €4.5M for 26 Greenway projects around the country in 2020. A grant of €75K is being used to carry out a concept and feasibility design and project appraisal plan for the facility that is proposed for the closed railway route. An independent review by EY Consulting of possible rail services along the route, found there was no financial case for restoring rail along the route.

Director of services Derek Pender told the September meeting of Galway County Council that a letter of acceptance was to be issued to the consultant which would mark the beginning of the feasibility study process. The overall objective of the feasibility study and route options assessment is to determine if there are viable Greenway route options that can provide fully accessible foot and cycleways between Athenry town and Tuam / Milltown and other key locations in between.

Scope Of The Feasibility Study

The consultant has been tasked with identifying a list of potential Greenway route corridor options that would link key locations and other secondary areas along its route and would require the least land purchase and acquisition. Other considerations that need to be taken into account include linkages and connectivity for other greenway routes, as well as identifying a fully accessible route that would not present any significant gradient challenges. The route identified must also provide opportunity for additional links and spurs along with encompassing key amenities and scenic locations.

Both Athenry-Oranmore and Tuam Municipal District councils will be presented with a programme on the feasibility study at their October meetings.

Ciaran Cannon TDFine Gael TD and prominent Greenway campaigner Ciaran Cannon described the appointment of a consultant as a “major milestone” in the development of the Quiet Man Greenway. This appointment coincides with the appointment of consultants to design the county Sligo section of Greenway on the same disused rail line. There is now the potential to connect Athenry to Enniskillen with No CPO’s necessary, simply by using the long abandoned rail line.

Mr Cannon went on to say, “This is a major opportunity waiting to happen for the west and I’m actively encouraging the Dublin to Galway Greenway design team to ensure that Athenry becomes the hub connecting the two national Greenways. By linking Dublin to Galway and Athenry to Enniskillen we can maximise the benefit to East Galway from both developments.”

Western Rail Trail Map

Athenry to Enniskillen Greenway.