Great Western Greenway
|Great Western Greenway|
|Length||42 km (26 mi)|
|Location||County Mayo, Ireland|
|Use||Cycling and Walking|
|Surface||Tarmac / gravel|
The Great Western Greenway (Irish: Bealach Mór an Iarthair) is a greenway rail trail in County Mayo, Ireland. It is 42 kilometres (26 miles) long and begins in Westport and ends in Achill, passing through the towns of Newport and Mulranny as it runs along the coast of Clew Bay. It is an off-road trail intended for use by cyclists and walkers. It follows the route of the former Achill extension of the Westport railway line, which was constructed in the 1890s and closed in 1937. An estimated 300 people cycle and walk the trail each day, which was constructed at a cost of €3 million. The first section, from Newport to Mulranny, was opened in April 2010. It was named as the 2011 Irish winner of the European Destinations of Excellence award. The full route was opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T. D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, T. D., on 29 July 2011.
Although most of the Greenway is off-road, there is a 3-kilometre (2-mile) section at Kilbride where cyclists and walkers must share space with cars on the N59 road and local representatives have raised concerns about public safety on this stretch. Similar concerns have been raised about a 2-kilometre (1-mile) section on the road between Newport and Burrishoole. There are plans to install a segregated cycle and pedestrian lane in 2012, at a cost of €2 million. In addition, funding totalling €1.8 million has been made available to extend the greenway to Castlebar and Croagh Patrick.
- "Trail Map". Great Western Greenway. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "Greenway". Great Western Greenway. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "History". Great Western Greenway. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Shiel, Tom (30 July 2011). "Rail line becomes cycling track". The Irish Times (Dublin). Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "Greenway funding is boost for Mayo tourism". Mayo Advertiser. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "Western trail wins tourism award". RTÉ News. RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Quinn, Trevor (9 August 2011). "Greenway "a disaster waiting to happen"". The Mayo News (Westport).
- "€6.6m funding for outdoor tourism announced". Irish Examiner. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.