Great Southern Greenway in Limerick, Source:

EUR 240m funding boost for Ireland’s sustainable transport infrastructure

EUR 240m funding boost for Ireland’s sustainable transport infrastructure

NTA supports 468 projects for top-class walking and cycling facilities across the country

The National Transport Authority of the Republic of Ireland announced on Thursday allocations totalling EUR 240m in support of sustainable transport projects across the country. Compared to last year’s funding, the fresh financial support marks an increase of just over EUR 130m, allowing 233 new projects to be added to the state agency’s investment programme in 2021.

Fair share

Major projects scheduled for construction this year include the Clontarf to City Centre route in Dublin, the Mahon to Marina Greenway in Cork, the Castletroy Greenway in Limerick, Parkmore Improvement Works in Galway and the Bilberry to City Centre route in Waterford.

General projects in the scheme envisage reallocation of overall road space to make room for segregated cycling lanes and widened footpaths, bike parking places, raised pedestrian crossings and crossing points with reduced road width, among other improvements. NTA will be supervising all projects to ensure that the planned transport facilities will be accessible and convenient for people of all ages and abilities.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said, quoted by the agency’s website: “Today’s allocation increase marks a huge step forward in providing green sustainable mobility options to our cities, suburbs and hinterlands. During COVID we’ve reconnected with our local areas and can all see why and where improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure are needed. The projects that the NTA are funding will make a real difference to commuters and leisure seekers alike. Improving infrastructure for cycling and walking will make our cities, towns and villages more accessible and attractive for everyone. That’s good news for communities, and good news for the economy.”

Local councils welcome funding

Local councils have given the thumbs up to the new state funding scheme. Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh said, quoted by the municipal page: "This significant [EUR 29.6 million] investment in the city’s infrastructure will help make cycling, walking and public transport more accessible by upgrading and developing new infrastructure in the city centre, suburbs and towns.  I am delighted to see the Government delivering for the city by investing in these new facilities which will not only improve our infrastructure but our quality of life.”

Chief Executive of Cork City Council, Ann Doherty, added: “The National Planning Framework 2040 envisages that Cork will become the fastest growing city region in the country with a projected 50%-60% increase in population in the next 20 years. This demonstrates unprecedented confidence in Cork and its future but such significant projected growth means that we need more sustainable transport options so that the increased numbers living, working and visiting our city can move around easily and sustainably."

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