19 JANUARY 2017

ICSA was part of a delegation that today (19 January) met with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan. The meeting was scheduled to discuss a pathway forward for the Athlone to Galway portion of the National Cycle Network. The delegation, which also included members of the Galway Cycling campaign group, argued for a complete rethink of the strategy for developing the cycle route.

Speaking following the meeting ICSA Galway representative Adrian Kelly said “The group got a really good hearing and the Ministers have agreed the only way forward is to have a proper consultation process. The case for an agreed route was made very strongly. The cycleway could include a mixture of secondary public roads and other public lands rather than just cutting across family farms. The group made a strong case for a consultative committee involving the local stakeholders and insisted that the threat of CPOs must be taken off the table. All of this was taken on board by the Ministers,” according to Mr Kelly.

ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch added “ICSA has had numerous meetings in Galway and Roscommon on this issue and it is clear that the top down approach which ignores the feelings of local landowners and local communities has been a failure. What was presented to the Minister today does not involve expensive consultant reports. In fact, using a consultative process where the solution includes more use of public lands and infrastructure will turn out to be a much lower cost solution.”

ICSA would like to thank Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice for facilitating the meeting and Minister Sean Canney and Deputy Ciaran Cannon who were also present at the meeting.