Ireland’s EuroVelo Cycling Route Launched
Minister of State Jack Chambers has opened the Irish segment of the recreational EuroVelo 1 Cycling Route at an event in Our Lady’s Island, County Wexford. The Irish segment is 2,350 km and passes through eleven counties – Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal as well as crossing into Northern Ireland for a further 250km. Overall EuroVelo 1, also known as the Atlantic Coast Route, is 11,150km long and runs through Norway, UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.
EuroVelo is the European cycle route network – comprising of 17 long distance cycle routes passing through and connecting 42 countries. The network is coordinated by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) in cooperation with the individual countries through which the route passes.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Chambers said, “the Atlantic Coast Route travels through some of our most iconic landscapes passing through Counties Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. This EuroVelo 1 Cycling Route showcases the very best of our coastline and represents a valuable tourism product in attracting both overseas visitors as well as in encouraging domestic visitors to explore our Atlantic Coast.”
The Department of Transport has invested approximately €800,000 in the EuroVelo 1 Cycle Route. The route has been inspected to ensure high quality directional signage. While some of the 40 sections of the route are on off-road ‘Greenway’ infrastructure, the Department of Transport recognises the value in supporting and promoting a cycling route that primarily relies on our existing quiet, low traffic volume road infrastructure.
This allocation has also been used to fund the development of a dedicated EuroVelo 1 Ireland website which provides navigational and recreational information relating to the 40 sections of the Irish segment of the route. This website will assist in promoting the route to interested cyclists. Sport Ireland had been tasked as the delivery partner for this project with relevant stakeholders including Failte Ireland and the eleven local authorities. This website can be accessed at: https://eurovelo1ireland.ie.
George Lawlor, Cathaoirleach, Wexford County Council said, “I am delighted that County Wexford is a key part of the EuroVelo. The nature of this 2,300 km 17 route project, and the fact that a section of it goes across Northern Ireland starting/finishing in Belfast, make it a truly all Ireland venture which will offer domestic and international visitors alike the opportunity to cycle in safety some of the most scenic and welcoming parts of our Island. Wexford Co. Council are proud to be a part of the EuroVelo team.”
Lisa McDonald, Cathaoirleach, Rosslare Municipal District said, “we are very proud to host the national launch of the Euro Velo cycle route in Our Lady’s Island, Wexford. We hope it is the beginning of our ambition to be the cycling capital of Ireland with our milder weather and flatter terrain along the beautiful south Wexford coastline. We look forward to the success of this project on a local national and European level.”
Dr. Una May, CEO of Sport Ireland welcomed the launch of the route, stating, “we are thrilled to have been involved as a delivery partner for the Irish segment of the EuroVelo 1 Cycling Route project. This initiative not only showcases the natural beauty and scenic landscapes of Ireland but also promotes and encourages physical activity. Cycling is a fantastic way to stay active and improve overall fitness while enjoying the stunning surroundings. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Department of Transport, Failte Ireland, and the eleven local authorities for their collaboration and support in making this project a success.”