A research team from Civil Engineering at NUI Galway has launched a survey of the Great Western Greenway to aid the design of similar cycling routes nationwide. The greenway, which runs from Westport to Achill Sound, has proven a major success since the full length of track was opened two years ago. Recent studies have shown that 400 people use the greenway every day during the summer and the route contributes €1.1 million to the local economy each year.
There are plans to create a 2,000km National Cycle Network, to replicate the success of the Great Western Greenway around the country. To create the best design, the NUI Galway survey asks a series of questions about users’ impressions of the Mayo greenway design and provision of facilities. Other questions request feedback on how the greenway could be improved and how cycling can be promoted.
PhD student in Civil Engineering, Richard Manton, said: “The Great Western Greenway is the first of its kind in Ireland and is a great resource for commuting, recreation and tourism. To encourage more people to walk and cycle, we need many more of these routes nationwide. Our survey will estimate the economic and environmental impact of the greenway and provide design guidance for other greenways up and down the country.”
Dr Eoghan Clifford, lecturer in Civil Engineering and a member of the Ryan Institue at NUI Galway, said: “Cycling and walking are key components of national and international transport, tourism, health and environmental strategies. This research at NUI Galway is developing new tools that enable national and local governments develop sustainable and cost effective infrastructure and maximise active forms of transport and increase ‘green’ tourism.”
The survey has been launched following the very successful Bike Week 2013, which encouraged people to cycle to work, to school and for recreation.
The greenway survey is available online at SurveyMonkey.com/s/mayogreenway and hardcopies are available in most bike shops and hotels along the route. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org