Many of you will know about the developing European Cycle Network, known as EuroVelo. This was initiated by the European Cyclists’ Federation, of which Cyclist.ie is the member for Ireland.
In total there are 17 designated cycling routes criss-crossing the continent which, when completed, will be more than 90,000km in length. Ireland, on the periphery of Europe, is part of two of the 17 designated routes:
Eurovelo Route 1 (EV1), the Atlantic Coast Route, and
Eurovelo Route 2 (EV2) the Capitals Route
EV2 in Ireland extends from Dublin to Galway across the country. It is still under development, and will be mainly off-road.
EV1 winds its way from Rosslare Harbour in the south east around the south and west coasts of Ireland, and then across from Donegal to Belfast. It is a staggering 2,550km long, 2,300km of which is in the Republic! Most of this route is on-road and mixing with motor traffic, with a few short sections on busy roads, but the majority on quieter local roads. There are also three greenway sections with more to follow. You can find out more about the details of different sections of Ireland’s EV1 on this dedicated website. The route is fully signposted along its entire length.
On Thursday 18th May 2023, during National Bike Week, Colm Ryder, Mairéad Forsythe, and Tony Shanley from Cyclist.ie had the good fortune to be able to attend the formal ministerial launch of EuroVelo Route 1 in Ireland by Minister of State Jack Chambers. The launch took place in scenic Lady’s Island, in Wexford, which is also a pilgrim site with a long and chequered history, and well worth a visit in its own right!
Most of the counties along the EV1 route were also represented at the launch, and added testament to the fantastic work done by local authorities under the coordination of Sport Ireland’s Doug Corrie.
Eamonn Hore, Deputy Chief Executive of Wexford County Council hosted the proceedings and testified to a spend of over €1 million by Wexford Council alone in the past year to improve the road surfaces along the route, and to erecting hundreds of signposts. Cyclist.ie’s representatives can attest to a vast improvement in the road surface quality from that experienced back in 2017 at the original launch of the Wexford section of the route, although work still remains to be done. See photo below for previous route surface quality. Well done Wexford County Council!
Poor Local road surface condition on EuroVelo 1 in 2017, now much improved on most sections – see below.
Cyclist.ie’s representatives also got a chance to cycle with the Minister along a section of the route, and to talk about his new role in the Department of Transport.
Of course we also checked out a few of the features and signposts along the designated route, and some of these can be seen in the images below. The minister also posed for a photo with the Cyclist.ie reps.
We would urge Cyclist.ie members and all cyclists to check out the sections of the now fully signposted route close to them, and to report back to Cyclist.ie any positive or negative views on their experience. This of course also includes items such as reasonable stop-off eating and drinking facilities, toilet facilities, as well as accommodation. In this way we can continue to influence the overall improvement in cycling facilities nationwide, and in particular along this tourist targeted route, which should also benefit regular cyclists on many sections of it.
Cyclist.ie, Infrastructure Coordinator