Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1643)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1643. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided for cycling; and the percentage this represents of overall transport funding. [36710/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Deputy will acknowledge the significantly enhanced funding Project Ireland 2040 provides to improve active travel infrastructure and other supporting measures that will benefit both walkers and cyclists across the country.

Under the Climate Action Plan 2019 Government has committed to a number of important actions in relation to cycling, specifically Actions 91, 95 and 97. As part of Action 97 Government has committed to revise current transport infrastructure programmes to achieve at least 10% expenditure on facilitating cycling. That commitment is required to be fulfilled by Q4 2020 and my Department is currently examining the Action and its implementation in line with that timeline.

In relation to the current position, funding for active travel, including cycling, is provided under a number of different programmes across both my Department and indeed wider Government.

My Department supports cycling through a number of different programmes –

- The cycling/walking programme, with funding administered by the National Transport Authority (NTA);

- The sustainable urban transport programme, with funding administered by the NTA;

- BusConnects with funding administered by the NTA; 

- The greenways strategy, with funding administered by my Department; andThe roads programme, with funding administered by my Department and by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Funding allocated in 2019 under the cycling/walking and the sustainable urban transport programmes alone equates to approximately €48million (almost 18% of the NTA's proposed capital investment programme for the year). In 2018 funding for these two programmes equated to approximately 15% of the NTA's capital investment programme.

Beyond my Department’s funding programmes there are three additional and important funding programmes available to support active travel, and/or leisure orientated walking and cycling, -

- Project Ireland 2040’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, with funding administered by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government;

- Project Ireland 2040’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, with funding administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development; and

- The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, with funding administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development with supplementary supports available through Fáilte Ireland, an agency under the aegis of my Department.

In addition to the above, further funding is also available at a European level through the European Structural and Investment Funds Programme and the INTERREG programme which complement funding made available under these national programmes referred to above.

While finally, cycling is also supported through the fiscal incentives available through the Bike to Work Scheme which has proven very successful.

The totality of this taxpayer support for active travel, including cycling, is an important consideration and it is one my Department will be examining as part of the implementation of Action 97 of the Climate Action Plan 2019.