Leddin welcomes plan to put Limerick at the heart of Irish cycle tourism

Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin.

A NEW plan that will put Limerick at the heart of cycling tourism in Ireland has been welcomed by local Green Party TD Brian Leddin.

A new National Cycle Network (NCN) plan that aims to link cities and towns of over 5,000 inhabitants with a safe, connected, and inviting cycle network was launched last week by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

The NCN plan proposes a cycle network of approximately 3,500km, connecting more than 200 settlements and 2.8 million people nationally. It will also link to destinations such as transport hubs, centres of education, employment, leisure, and tourist destinations.

The network will facilitate increased cycling and walking opportunities for leisure users, tourists, and commuters alike.

The National Cycling Network.

According to Green Party TD Brian Leddin, it is now planned to build out a network of safe, segregated cycleways and greenways, such that one can arrive into Shannon Airport and set off in all directions on a cycling holiday for a week or two weeks uninterrupted.

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“In the future, cycle tourism will be a major part of Shannon Airport’s business and Limerick is going to be a very important part of this network. Quite a few routes are converging on Limerick City and in the years ahead it’s going to become a major hub for cycle tourism,” Deputy Leddin commented.

“Great progress is being made with many projects in the planning process already, like linking Shannon Airport into the city; linking the city with the existing Limerick Greenway at Rathkeale, which will take cycle tours out towards Listowel and Kerry; linking Limerick with east Clare through Scariff; and other project towards Nenagh and Thurles, all the way down towards the existing Suir Blueway and Cahir and Clonmel, which brings the tourists all the way to Waterford. Another project is linking Limerick City with Charleville and Mallow, which will take cycle tours on to Cork.”

Deputy Leddin believes the plans bring a real opportunity to maximise the potential of cycle tourism in Ireland.

“The greenways in various parts of the country are very successful in their own right and really good work has been done across the country, and particularly in Limerick, to develop the greenways as a tourist attraction,” he said.

“But unless you have a network connecting them all together, the country is a less attractive proposition for cycle tourism than countries that do have these kinds of networks.

“It really is a very significant plan for our part of the country and I believe we are going to see cycle tourism take off in a major way as this network is built out in the years ahead.”