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Greenways Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (87)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

87. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport if he will provide funding for the south Kerry greenway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53433/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The South Kerry Greenway has the potential to become one of the most iconic Greenways in Europe. This Government has given an unprecedented level of support for Active Travel including Greenways, firstly in the Programme for Government and more recently in the National Development Plan. Funding is not a challenge in relation to bringing Active Travel and Greenway projects through to construction. Projects, such as this, that have achieved planning permission are very well placed to attract the funding required.

As Minister for Transport, Minister Ryan has responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to Greenways. The planning, design and construction of individual Greenways is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

I should state, at the outset, that this project is still the subject of a live legal challenge and whilst I welcome the recent decision to disallow the Judicial Review, that decision is still subject to further legal appeal.

The requirements of the Public Spending Code will, of course, have to be adhered to in terms of any additional funding for the construction of the South Kerry Greenway. There will also need to be a solution found to the two sections of the Greenway that were not granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála. I understand that Kerry County Council is working on solutions and I am confident they will be found prior to a request for construction funding being submitted.

Any request for future funding for the South Kerry Greenway will be submitted to TII rather than the Department as TII are, since September 20th, the "Approving Authority" for rural Greenways. TII will bring their strong track record of delivery to Greenways and I am confident that they will fully consider all relevant information including the potential benefits that will accrue to County Kerry from this project when considering the application from the local authority.

With regard to this specific Greenway, the views across Dingle Bay, the tunnels and bridges that form part of the route, and the traditional Kerry welcome will all contribute to making a strong business case that stands up to scrutiny. It will also, of course, provide great opportunities for those based locally to cycle and walk to work, to school and for leisure purposes. I would hope that it will transform Cahirciveen in much the same way that Kilmacthomas was transformed by the Waterford Greenway.

Question No. 88 answered orally.
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