Mayo Greenway Scoops Top European Accolade
Published on Sep 16 2013 2:57 PM in General Industry
The Great Western Greenway has been awarded 1st prize in the Exemplary Initiatives category at the 6th European Greenways Awards Ceremony in Portugal beating off stiff competition from Murcia, Spain (2nd) and the Two Tunnels Greenway, UK (3rd). Organized by the European Greenways Association, the awards promote examples of best practice in greenway development across Europe. 157,000 trips have been recorded along the route so far this year. The busiest day so far this year was Saturday, 3 August, clocking up 1,015 people. 2013 looks set to surpass the 177,000 users that visited in 2012 with current projections at 200,000. In 2011, 144,000 visitors cycled or walked along the Greenway. Fiona Monaghan, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the West, believes the Greenway is a great example of how tourism can regenerate a local economy. “The Greenway is a classic example of taking an underused local asset, looking at it in a new way and exploiting its full potential for the betterment of the local community and economy," said Ms Monaghan. “Being recognised at such a high level internationally is a much deserved achievement for this project," she added. The Great Western Greenway (Westport-Newport-Mulranny-Achill) is a traffic-free cycling and walking facility spanning 42 km that primarily follows the line of the old Great Western Railway, which closed in 1937.