10th February 2015
I keep reading how everyone intends to put Castlebar "on the map" by encouraging businesses to "invest in the west" and promises of improved infrastructure with the roads, the importance of Knock airport etc. Why would a business move to somewhere that outside of the County of Mayo when Castlebar doesn't appear to exist at all?
I recently had reason to go to Dublin. No problem getting there, as you would expect, quite rightly being our country's capital. However what very much surprised me was the difficulty I encountered on the return trip to my adopted home town. I have to say I was absolutely appalled with the lack of signage for Castlebar - the capital of County Mayo.
From the centre of Dublin it is signposted to Westport - this stays the same for a long time and I kept thinking to myself a sign for Castlebar must appear soon - it is the capital of County Mayo - but no - what comes next (eventually) is Ballina, Sligo - not until you enter County Mayo does a sign appear for Castlebar, then Swinford, Foxford Woollen Mills, Charlestown and eventually Knock Airport - also poorly signposted and you could easily miss the entrance to the airport.
I cannot understand why this issue has not been addressed already and I cannot be the only one to be concerned about it and feel sure it must have been raised by other business owners. As a local business owner I find this frustrating. It must be damaging to the town as many tourists who are making their way from the capital and who may not have determined their route are not encouraged at all the come to Castlebar as the signage is so focussed on Westport and the bypass road does not encourage them to come into Castlebar either, making it even more invisible.
So again I ask why would companies invest in a town that is clearly not "on the map"?
Can anyone tell me what - if anything is being done to address this?