DEAR EDITOR: Westmeath County Council has confirmed that RPS, the engineering company which tendered for and was successful in its bid for the Athlone to Galway greenway project, is stepping away.
This is “due to the complexity and scale of the 200km preferred route together with upward market pressures in recent years” – a direct quote from the statement.
We believe now is the time to call a halt to the whole project. It is simply not viable. Based on what we believe is questionable data that we have been denied access to and insufficient clarification provided on how said data was analysed, the method of selecting the longest option with the second highest number of private landowners affected simply boggles the mind.
Second time around, Roscommon and Galway County Councils, under the control of Westmeath County Council, still can’t manage this project. As pointed out, it was much too complex a route in the first place.
We are currently seeking full visibility on the fixed price agreed with RPS in 2019 for the project, together with how much has been paid thus far and what, if any, work has been completed by RPS.
Now is the time to revisit the whole concept.
Meandering greenways that destroy livelihoods and ecosystems cannot be justified for the odd tourists that may or may not come to Ireland to cycle in the wind and the rain, and who use major polluters to get here
Is a greenway the most appropriate way to spend this money? Surely, there are other ‘green’ options, which will benefit both the communities and tourists alike, that are much more viable, for example:
The latter two options can obviously also be used by tourists. In our own local communities alone, there has been much media coverage about public transport schedules/space being insufficient into Galway city and the lack of bus places.
Meandering greenways that destroy livelihoods and ecosystems cannot be justified for the odd tourists that may or may not come to Ireland to cycle in the wind and the rain, and who use major polluters (ie planes) to get here. And it certainly cannot be justified for domestic tourists who only get out during the odd days of fine weather we get each year.
We urge that common sense is now used to make Galway work for everyone, whilst still taking a ‘green’, tourist-friendly approach.