Cycling and tourism


Sir, – Activity tourism, including cycling, is an important part of Fáilte Ireland’s offering but during my recent attempt to follow one of the Fáilte Ireland signed routes in my native Wexford, I discovered that some routes are not particularly welcoming. In Co Wexford, we have three such waymarked routes that converge at the bridge in Wexford town.

On arrival at this point, there is absolutely no information as to what these routes are or indeed why one might wish to take Fáilte Ireland’s advice and follow one of them. Why, indeed, you might choose one over the other.

Could I bring the kids, is it low trafficked, is it hilly, does it follow a theme? Is there something unique, something historical, anything – but absolutely nothing to whet the appetite of a would-be rider in a county awash with beautiful beaches, great little villages, awesome vistas and often unrivalled history.

Despite this I set out on Route Three following the signage of this now mystery tour. The route signage lead me to a major roundabout where the signs ran out, leaving the next move up to guesswork.

Further back the road, I had indeed encountered a sign pointing the route straight ahead and also right. I had guessed right on that occasion but not this time.

On my return I visited the Discover Ireland website and I discovered that the map and the road signage didn’t match and that I should have taken a right turn – no, not that right turn as per previous paragraph, but one further back with no signage pointing it out!

I rarely see another cyclist on these routes, which is a shame for both local villages and for the potential cycle tourist looking for a quintessential Wexford experience.

A route marked with a “breadcrumb trail” is how routes such as these are mainly done overseas. It’s simple and easy to follow and, when combined with a simple information board, becomes enticing and instantly user-friendly. – Yours, etc,