Scoil Aonghusa, one of the local schools which will benefit from funding under the Safe Routes to School programme.
Five local schools are among 170 schools around the country which have been notified today that they have been selected for inclusion in the first round of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programme to support walking and cycling infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools.
The scheme was announced in March of this year, with 932 schools (representing almost one in four schools in the state) expressing interest.
The schools selected were assessed against a range of criteria including school type, location and the school’s commitment to sustainable travel.
The programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA) and is supported by the Department of Education. An Taisce’s Green-Schools is co-ordinating the programme, while funding will be made available to local authorities which will play a key part in delivering the infrastructure along access routes and at the school gate.
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The Safe Routes to School programme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities.
Schools that have applied this year and who have not been included in the first round of funding will not be required to reapply as they will come into the programme on a rolling basis. There will be no additional call for schools to join the SRTS programme at this time.
Mayor of Drogheda Councillor James Byrne said he was delighted that Scoil Aonghusa, St Brigid’s and St Patrick’s National Schools, as well as Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara and Réalt Na Mara GNS in Donacarney, have all been successful in their applications.
“I wrote to every school in the area when this scheme opened in March encouraging them to apply and I would like to reassure those unsuccessful schools they will not be required to reapply as they will come into the programme on a rolling basis when more funding is made available.
Local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, said: “This is really positive news for the schools involved as the scheme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities.
“Precise details of the works to be undertaken in and around the individual schools will be determined after a detailed assessment has been carried out by the relevant local authority. The process of engagement between the schools, NTA and the local authorities is already under way.”
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