LIMERICK Greenway has welcomed over 500,000 visits to the 40km scenic off-road walking and cycling route since it reopened in July last year, following a €10 million investment by Limerick City and County Council.
Winding through the beautiful rural countryside of West Limerick — through Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale — visitors pass through the 115m Barnagh Train Tunnel and cross the cast-iron Ferguson’s Viaduct, both restored relics of the 19th century train line.
Mayor Daniel Butler said it was remarkable to see half a million visits to Limerick Greenway in the first 10 months since it reopened after a major investment.
“This is a testament to its popularity among local communities and visitors, both nationally and overseas. These walkers, runners, cyclists, and wheelchair users have all enjoyed the Greenway, which has flourished since the first phase of its ambitious redevelopment was completed last summer.
“A lot has been done to-date and we are delighted to commit further with additional works in the pipeline that will assist in extending tourism in Limerick beyond its urban centre and into the towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale and their surrounding areas.” he said.
The recreational amenity, on the former Limerick to Tralee train line, will see further improvement works over the coming year.
The Railway Goods Shed at Rathkeale is to be restored to supply services to Greenway users and will form part of a Greenway Hub that will also include upgraded car parking facilities. Limerick City and County Council has also confirmed that it will commence work on a new Greenway car park at Station Road, Newcastle West, later in the year.
In addition, design/master planning will advance in 2022 on Greenway Hubs at the Ardagh Station house site and Abbeyfeale Railway Goods Shed and car park. These projects will build on the first-class network of visitor facilities already in place along the Limerick Greenway.
Council Director of Service Gordon Daly added: “Limerick Greenway is an important piece of economic infrastructure for the region and will be a major boost for tourism this summer and beyond.
“Already, since its reopening last year, we have seen the amenity linked to the creation of local jobs and the support of local communities. We are delighted to reach a milestone of 500,000 visits and look forward now to growing this figure.
“We encourage people to try all, or part of, the 40km route, to see just how beautiful and welcoming this part of the country is.” he added.
Limerick City and County Council has also commenced works on cattle under and over passes on the section of Greenway from Abbeyfeale to the Limerick/Kerry border.
The works are to be completed by the end of July and the construction of additional cattle under and overpasses will be undertaken later in 2022.
More information, including bike hire, amenities and itineraries at limerickgreenway.ie.