LOCAL Fine Gael TD Derek Keating has proposed the inclusion of an off-road cycle route to Lucan as part of the Dublin to Galway cross-country cycle route that is currently under consideration.
The route has been proposed by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, and, according to Deputy Keating, could have significant tourism potential and bring in millions of euro in revenue for Lucan and its businesses.
It is based on a design similar to the successful Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo, and can be used by both cyclists and walkers.
Deputy Keating has written to Minister Varadkar to propose that the route should go through Lucan Liffey Valley, in order to attract more tourism to the area and, in turn, benefit local traders.
He said: “This is an exciting new project that the Minister for Transport has initiated. It would be Ireland’s first ever cross-country cycle route.
“I see this as a wonderful opportunity for the community in Lucan, and that’s why I’ve written to the Minister asking him that Lucan and the Liffey Valley would be incorporated in this.
“Lucan village is a beautiful village. Like many other areas, it suffered because of the economic downturn over the past couple of years, and I think that this is something that would help to enhance the economic development and would economically benefit Lucan.
“It would have a positive spin-off in terms of tourism, and that itself would help to promote, to enhance and to benefit employment in the Lucan area,” said Deputy Keating.
“[The route is] a way of embracing the Lucan Liffey Valley, but it would also be of economic benefit to Lucan and, most especially in this particular case, Lucan village.
“One must remember there are many, many people being employed in Lucan village … and this is a way of benefiting that and enhancing that in the future,” he said.
Minister Varadkar has instructed the National Roads Authority to look at possible routes for an off-road cycle path from Maynooth to Galway.
Within Dublin, the National Transport Authority is already funding detailed design work for sections along the Royal Canal.
The Minister said: “Cycling holidays are already hugely popular in Europe. If we can secure necessary levels of funding, I would love to see this project being completed within the next few years.
“It has the potential to bring in at least €15 million per annum, much of that going straight into local businesses along the route.”