Investment of €11 million in cycleways to boost tourism

Ring of Kerry cycling route will be ‘stunning’ and ‘spectacular’, says Minister

Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly said some € 3.4million of the money will go on developing a cycleway on the Ring of Kerry.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly said some € 3.4million of the money will go on developing a cycleway on the Ring of Kerry. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 13:11

The Government has today announced €11 million investment in cycling infrastructure around State which will help develop tourism and retain or create some 80 jobs.

Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly said some € 3.4million of the money will go on developing a cycleway on the Ring of Kerry.

Mr Kelly said the construction of the scenic greenway running along the old rail line from Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen would create one of the world’s most dramatic cycleways.

“The 26 kilometre route along the old Great Southern Railway from Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen over viaducts and through mountainous tunnels is spectacular,” he said.

“It offers views out over the Atlantic Ocean and some of the most stunning scenery on the Ring of Kerry,” said Mr Kelly as he made the announcement at Kells Post Office.

Mr Kelly predicted the new cycleway will bring cycling tourists from all over the world to the Ring of Kerry and contribute some 80 jobs between construction and tourism.

“The natural beauty combined with the history of the old railway tunnels and the viaduct will make this one of the most beautiful cycling holiday destinations in the world.

“We estimate it will bring in the region of 30 jobs during construction and will contribute as much as 70 jobs to the local economy over time,” he added.

Mr Kelly said that construction would take two years and on the jobs figures were based on what had happened with the creation of the Great Western Greenway in Mayo.

An economic assessment carried out on the Mayo project estimated that 40 jobs were created and another 50 retained in the local economy as a result of that investment.

Mr Kelly said the Ring of Kerry Greenway is one of three projects awarded funding under the Government’s National Cycle Network programme.

A further greenway will also be developed in Co Waterford, running from Clonea outside Dungarvan along the Gold Coast to Durrow near Stradbally, he added.