Greenway plan for old portumnaroscrea rail line
A plan is being hatched to transform the old rail line between Roscrea and Portumna into a scenic greenway for use by walkers and cyclists.
The committee behind the plan says it will provide a major tourism boost for the south midland if the project comes to fruition.
The Tipperary and Offaly Greenway Committee have already secured agreement from the majority of landowners along the route to carry out a feasibility study on their project. The railway line from Roscrea to Portumna closed in the 1960s and few would have thought that it might one day have a new use – until now.
The committee’s ambition is to create a greenway that is equal or better to the Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo, an amenity which is currently used by over 300,000 cyclists and walkers annually.
Should the Roscrea-Portumna greenway become a reality, the trail could then join up with the Grand Canal Greenway plan currently being investigated by Offaly County Council.
“This project will go some way to bringing tourists into the Midlands to counteract the current doughnut effect where the visitors to Ireland are being pulled to the coastal counties and leaving an area in the Midlands that sees little tourism,” said the committee in a statement.
The committee have commenced the consultative process with landowners along the route and report that well over 80% have agreed to a feasibility study. The statement added: “The committee will meet the remainder of land owners over the coming weeks. This process is to engage with the landowners and work out solutions to the landowners concerns, because it is with the co-operation of all involved that the project can progress to the next stage.”
Chairman of the Roscrea Enhancement Committee Brian King praised the great work of a sub-committee that he said was “working round the clock” to deliver on the project. He said Tipperary County Council had been extremely supportive.
Addressing a meeting of Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce, Mr King said that the project offered boundless opportunities for Roscrea from both an economic and social viewpoint, and no doubt the people of Birr and Portumna saw the same opportunities. Mr King said that Cathal McNicholas and the team behind the greenway project were doing Trojan work to deliver upon what was “one of the most exciting projects that the Enhancement Committee has engaged with”.