An emerging preferred route for the Galway to Athlone cycleway will use publicly owned lands as much as possible, according to the project team.

The scheme being developed by Galway City Council and Galway, Roscommon and Westmeath County Councils aims to complete the 330km car-free corridor from Galway to Dublin for both cyclists and walkers.

Last year, Galway-based consultants RPS was appointed to revive the project, after a five-year pause.


The earmarked cycleway route, selected for its scenic and amenity value, would bring users from the shores of Galway Bay, by the Burren Lowlands, the Slieve Aughty mountains, the River Shannon and the midlands bogs.

A proposal is also being examined to link the cycleway to Ballinasloe.

The developers said that the emerging preferred corridor will use publicly owned lands “as far as possible”, including Bord Na Móna railways, Coillte forest roads and ESB lands.


The project developers said engagement will continue with landowners in 2022, where private land is needed for the cycleway.

Landowners will be able to seek the views of an agronomist or property advisor to select the route that will cause the least disruption.

Jim Cullen, chief executive of Galway County Council, said they will “explore where a route can be progressed, through voluntary acquisition of land, and along a farm boundary”.

“The overwhelming support for this cycleway is hugely encouraging and will no doubt inform future decisions by our local authorities when developing additional greenways in Galway, Roscommon, and Westmeath,” Cullen added.

Once the project team feels the route can be delivered with the agreement of the majority of landowners, the preferred route will then be selected.

The developers are hopeful that a planning application could be lodged with An Bord Pleanála in 2023.

The public’s views are also being sought on the emerging preferred route, with submissions being accepted until January 31, 2022.

Maps, a public consultation portal and other information is available at: