The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD confirmed that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has allocated funds to Ireland’s local authorities with a view to spending €290m on walking and cycling infrastructure in 2023. €123.8m is being made available in 2023 towards the delivery of Active Travel schemes across Dublin.
The national investment will fund approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects, contributing to the development of almost 1,000km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure across the country by 2025. This includes the development of segregated cycle lanes and widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges, and new pedestrian crossings.
In total, the 2023 fund allocation for Active Travel will allow for the progression of 387 projects in the Greater Dublin Area, 250 across other regional cities and a further 502 projects across rural Ireland.
Among the Active Travel projects receiving funding in Dublin are:
|Dodder Greenway Herbert Park||Dublin City Council||€3,700,000|
|Killinarden Park and Greenway Scheme||South Dublin County Council||€2,000,000|
|Harry Reynolds Road Cycleway in Balbriggan||Fingal County Council||€1,700,000|
|Stillorgan Park Road Active Travel Scheme||Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council||€3,000,000|
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “Continuous and substantial funding for active travel across the vountry is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and a cornerstone of our Transport Strategies. Last year, all of the money allocated was drawn down by local authorities and I am confident that the same will happen this year. This will mean that communities across the country will be better connected with safe and people friendly corridors to visit friends, go to the shops, or cycle or walk to school, sports training or other activities.”
People very often think that Greenways, cycle-ways or walkways are primarily tourism amenities. Of course, they serve that purpose really well, but first and foremost they are about local people and improving local life, connecting suburbs, local villages or townlands that have often become disconnected from one another because of busy and dangerous roads.
The benefits of this investment are immense, locally and nationally. Not only are we making our cities, towns and villages greener and more livable, we are also helping to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions. In transport, we have a significant challenge to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030. To achieve this, we have to encourage more people to choose sustainable ways of travelling. However, as we have seen already with the greenways, walk and cycle ways, once we build them, they become instantly popular and we don’t really have to do much to encourage people to make the sustainable switch.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers T.D said: “I am happy to confirm that part of this funding will be allocated to the Safe Routes to School Programme. €20m was recently announced for round 2 of the programme which will see over 37,000 students across Ireland benefit from safer infrastructure and encourage them to cycle, walk and wheel to school. In conjunction with Safe Routes to School, funding will also be committed to continuing the good work of the Cycle Right Training programme, which in 2022 saw over 30,000 students trained in cycle safety.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “2023 is going to be an important for active travel. With a growing number of active travel schemes moving from design into construction and delivery, we can encourage more people across the country to walk or cycle within and beyond their local community. The funding being announced today will allow the NTA to continue to work alongside local authorities as we accelerate the delivery of improved cycling and walking infrastructure.
“From new segregated cycle lanes and footpaths, to dedicated pedestrian and cycling bridges, the active travel projects receiving funding will make it easier and safer for people to choose active travel modes. The extensive work being undertaken in partnership with Active Travel teams within Councils nationwide will help improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and make them more accessible and attractive for everyone.”
The full list of Active Travel projects receiving funding can be found on: https://www.nationaltransport.ie/publications/active-travel-investment-grants-2023-allocations/.