Minister for Disability and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has welcomed the allocation of €3 million to Galway County Council for developing walking and cycling infrastructure in 2023.
A total of 22 Active Travel projects are being funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA), which includes:
- the development of segregated cycle lanes and widened footpaths
- new walking and new pedestrian crossings
- the designs of a number of travel schemes in towns across the county.
Galway City Council has also received an allocation of €12.1 million for similar schemes.
The investments form part of a national investment of €290m for 1,200 Active Travel projects around the country announced by Government today, which will contribute to the development of almost 1,000km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure across the country by 2025.
Included in the projects being funded today in Galway is the provision of safer cycling and walking facilities for many more schools across the county. Construction is expected throughout 2023.
Minister Rabbitte commented:
Today’s investment of €3 million in Active Travel projects across county Galway, as well as over €12 million in Galway City, is a major boost for walking and cycling infrastructure across the county.
Last year, all of the money allocated was drawn down by local authorities and I’m confident that the same will happen this year.
This money will see communities across Galway 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.
We’ve also ensured substantial investment in the design of new travel schemes in towns across the county, including Tuam, Loughrea, Athenry and Ballinasloe, as well as €100,000 each for ‘safe routes to school’ initiatives for schools in Oughterard, Athenry, and Moycullen, which aims to create new and safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviating congestion at the school gates and increasing the number of students who walk or cycle to school.
and she continued:
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 villages or town-lands that have often become disconnected from one another because of busy or dangerous roads.
and she continued:
The extensive work being undertaken in partnership with Active Travel teams within the Council will help improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and make them more accessible and attractive for everyone.
- A full list of Project Expenditure on and delivery of Active Travel, as funded by the Department of Transport, has increased substantially, from circa €45 million in 2019 to an expected €290 million in 2023.
- The Safe Routes to School Programme is included within this year’s Active Travel allocation. This Programme commenced in 2021 and aims to create new and safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviating congestion at the school gates and increasing the number of students who walk or cycle to school. 170 Schools around the country were selected in the first phase with a further 108 schools announced as part of Round 2. The Safe Routes to School team in the NTA and An Taisce will begin engaging with Round 2 schools in early 2023 while work will continue on delivering projects at Round 1 schools.
- In addition, €63m will be made available to TII for the development of Greenways.