The Drogheda Cycling group has been campaigning for more cycle lanes for the past 2/3 years. This photo taken on the Dublin Road during one of their outings last week, amply illustrates the need for cycling infrastructure in Drogheda.
Cycling and walking infrastructure projects in Louth and Meath are to receive Active Travel Investment Grants to the tune of €19m (€5,285,000 in Louth and €14,135,000 in Meath) it was announced today.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, has confirmed that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has allocated €290m in funding to Ireland’s local authorities for the provision of walking and cycling infrastructure in 2023.
This substantial 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.
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In total, the 2023 fund allocation for Active Travel will allow for the progression of 387 projects worth almost €60m in the Greater Dublin Area, 250 across other regional cities and a further 502 projects across rural Ireland.
Minister Ryan said: “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 liveable, 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.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “2023 is going to be an important year 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.”
Welcoming this morning’s announcement, local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, said “This will be a key year in developing the active travel projects as a number of projects will be moving from the design phase to construction.
“Many of the local projects announced today will provide greater connectivity, reduce carbon footprints and provide more sustainable transport options into the future to local residents whilst greatly improving road safety at many of our schools” he added.
“Reducing unnecessary traffic from our roads is key to providing a better future for all.”
The full list of projects included in today’s announcement can be seen HERE