The new Programme for Government – Our Shared Future sets out an ambitious and wide-ranging set of commitments in relation to walking and cycling, supported by an increased multi-annual budgetary allocation amounting to some €1.8 billion over the lifetime of the Government.
I recognise that in the area of active travel a key constraint in recent years has been the lack of sufficient resources to oversee and deliver the design and roll-out of new infrastructure, particularly within local authorities, and this constraint must be addressed if the significantly enhanced funding levels announced are to deliver the desired outcomes. Indeed the Programme for Government – Our Shared Future commits toward an expansion and enhancement of dedicated expertise on active travel across our local authority system, and indeed within the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Regional Design Offices.
The NTA has been working with local authorities in considering the resources required to deliver upon Government’s ambition in the area of active travel. I am committed to working with local authorities in relation to securing those resources and have recently written to the County and City Management Association (CCMA) indicting my support for the proposals developed thus far, committing to funding those proposals and requesting the CCMA consider the proposals as appropriate to ensure the issue is progressed.
I look forward to working with the CCMA and local authorities in this regard as we look to fundamentally change the nature of transport in Ireland and roll out high-quality, safe and segregated active travel infrastructure in urban and rural Ireland.