The plan to combine three of Ireland’s most popular greenways could attract 1.5 million walkers and cyclists each year

THE south-east aims to become Ireland’s sprawling capital amid ambitious plans to combine three of the country’s most popular Greenway walking and cycling routes.

Aterford and Tipperary Councils are currently considering proposals to link the hugely popular Waterford Greenway to the Suir Blueway – while the new Cork Greenway is expected to open in late 2022/early 2023.

It will also be the focus of discussions about a future connection with the Waterford and Tipperary walking routes.

It is estimated that a connected walking and cycling route through Cork, Waterford, Tipperary and Wexford could have more than 1.5 million users each year.

A public consultation has now been launched to link the Waterford Greenway to the Tipperary/Suir Blueway.

The 46km Waterford Route is one of the most successful walking and cycling routes ever developed in Ireland – and is credited with massively boosting tourism across Waterford.

It is estimated that more than 250,000 people use the route every year.

Developed alongside the old Waterford-Dungarvan railway line, it has become immensely popular thanks to its coastal views and attractions such as railway tunnels and viaducts, as well as its proximity to famous beaches and historic sites.

Now Waterford City and County Council are working with Tipperary County Council to link the Greenway and Blueway routes between Carrick-on-Suir and Kilmeaden.

The public consultation runs between August 31 and October 7 – and the public is encouraged to provide input, recommendations and comments on the proposal.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) supported the consultation given the tremendous success of the Waterford Greenway – and a desire to expand similar walking and cycling routes across Ireland.

Waterford Mayor John O’Leary said it was a logical step given the success of the Greenway.

“We’ve seen firsthand the transformative effect of facilities like the Waterford Greenway,” he said.

“I am confident that this currently proposed project has significant potential to complement the existing greenway experience and to benefit the communities of Kilmeaden, Portlaw and Carrick-on-Suir in particular.”

Tipperary is also encouraging increased use of the St Declan’s Pilgrim Path, hailed by some as Ireland’s Camino de Santiago.

This walking route links Ardmore in west Waterford to Cashel in south Tipperary – and was developed along a path reportedly used by St Declan to meet St Patrick.

Cork’s Greenway, linking Midleton to Youghal along an old railway line, is currently in the final stages of construction.

It is scheduled to open shortly.

Waterford and Cork officials have already spoken of the attractiveness of connecting the two Greenway routes.

Wexford is developing its own greenway route which will run from New Ross to Waterford, also along an old railway line. The plan to combine three of Ireland’s most popular greenways could attract 1.5 million walkers and cyclists each year

Fry Electronics Team

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