Bid to lure paddlers onto waters of Kildare Blueway route

Economic benefits: Boost for Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy

Senan Hogan

Reporter:

Senan Hogan

Email:

senan.hogan@iconicnews.ie

Bid to lure paddlers onto waters of Kildare Blueway route

File photo

Kildare County Council aims to attract paddlers in canoes to use the new Barrow Blueway when it is completed in 2022.

The 46km Blueway will run from Lowtown near Robertstown through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy.

The multi-use public space and leisure route is expected to deliver economic benefits to local towns by improving access for walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs users and families.

The council said it is part of a sub steering group looking specifically at marketing and promotion.

Cllr Mark Stafford said that information signs spelling out local history and heritage along the route as well as furniture such as benches and picnic tables.

He referred to the significance of local writers such as Maura Laverty and William A Byrne who had strong links with the Barrow.

A council spokesperson said: “The Barrow Blueway Marketing and Promotion group include officials from Kildare County Council, Laois County Council, Waterways Ireland, LEADER and LEO organizations, and are working together to deliver 46km of stand-out, multi-activity trails on and alongside the idyllic canal banks of the Barrow, with the understanding that the ‘visitor experience’ is of central importance to the success of the Barrow Blueway.

“The Barrow Blueway Marketing and Promotion Group has commissioned a paddling feasibility study which is being undertaken by Canoeing Ireland to determine the requirements and shortfalls, along the route.

“The Blueway concept is based upon activation of trails, not only providing opportunities for cyclists and walkers but for paddlers also.

The Blueway Experience not only aims to support the experienced paddler but also aims to support the novice to participate through the provision of equipment and supervision. By working closely with the tourism sector in the locality, including service providers, the Blueway can drive economic benefit.

“The packaging of experiences is of great importance along with convenience for the consumer.”