Public consultation closes today on what is seen by some locals as a convoluted “Emerging Preferred Option” for the Great Western Greenway thought Newport village in Co Mayo.
The consultation can be accessed via consult.mayo.ie and closes at midnight tonight.
Currently the greenway ends on both sides of the town and people cycling have to merge into traffic on the N59 which goes through the village.
The tunnel route is seen to offer a more direct route into the village centre leading to a dramatic entrance to the town coming out of the tunnel and straight across the former railway bridge (see photo above).
(article continues below perfered route map)
But Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Mayo County Council have abandoned the idea of using the former railway tunnel which is now in private ownership.
However, the council also does not want to revisit its public realm plan for Newport, which means the greenway path is taking a convoluted route which crosses the busy main road twice in quick succession on the south side of the town.
The planned two crossing points are within a few hundred metres of each other — one just at the end of the bend in the road into the town from the Westport side and the other at the south end of the road bridge.
The route will circle around the park and playground on the bank of the river before ramping up to the former railway bridge which is at a significant height difference to the playground.