Supporting Local News

Successful walking and cycle track needs to be stepped up a gear

One of the busiest and most successful walking-cycle tracks in the county – alongside a five-mile stretch of the N63 road at Ballyglunin – now needs to be taken ‘to the next stage’ with the provision of public lighting, bus shelters and charging points, according to local residents.

Community representatives from the Laraghmore and Ballyglunin Station areas outlined their case to Minister of State at the Dept of Transport, Jack Chambers, when he made a recent visit to the area.

The five-kilometre walkway – linking Abbeyknockmoy village to the roundabout close to Brooklodge Church – which opened in 2017 is now used by hundreds of people every day including children, joggers and cyclists.

Local East Galway FF TD and Minister of State at the Dept. of Health, Anne Rabbitte – who accompanied Minister Chambers on his recent tour of Ballyglunin – said that there was now a really great opportunity to build on what was a real success story for the area.

“We had advocated very strongly back in early 2017 – when the second phase of this N63 project was about to start – that provision should have been made for the introduction of public lighting at a later stage.

“At the time, this would have involved the putting in place of the ducting which certainly wouldn’t have been a big job when the other work was being undertaken, but the transport authorities turned this down.

“What we are now pressing for along this section of roadway is that public lighting be put in place as well as two bus shelters at the stops near Finn’s Cross in addition to the provision of a charging points for cars in the village of Abbeyknockmoy,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

She added that the community wanted to be involved in the improvement works which could still be carried out at a reasonable cost and which would further enhance the walkway and also encourage people to use public transport.

Deputy Rabbitte also said that a new speed limit as well as a pedestrian crossing facility was needed at Crumlin NS where parents and children were very enthusiastic about walking and cycling to and from the school.

“These two community focal points – Ballyglunin and Laraghmore – deserve to be given village status and that’s a case that we’ll be pressing very strongly too,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

Mark Gibson, on behalf of the local residents, said that the Ballyglunin area was a very good place to live but added that the recently refurbished ‘Quiet Man’ station facility needed to be properly funded and staffed in order to make it more of a community focal point.

Minister of State, Jack Chambers, told the residents’ representatives that he would take on board their calls for improvement works to be carried out in the area.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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