As the Deputy knows, and this is probably the reason he is asking, in the programme for Government, we committed that €360 million in cross-Government funding will be spent on walking and cycling infrastructure per annum over the lifetime of the Government. This investment will help to support the delivery of about 1,000 km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025 as well as additional investment in greenways. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that this year, we have seen a significant increase in funding in line with the Government's prioritisation of active travel and greenways. My Department provided approximately €287 million in funding this year to the National Transport Authority, NTA, for active travel projects. This allocation is enabling investment in the greater Dublin area and the regional cities along with an additional investment in projects in 19 other local authority areas. The latter funding stream constitutes the first ever major active travel investment programme for rural Ireland. A further €70 million was allocated to greenway projects.
The significant increase in funding requires additional capacity and resources to be made available in the local authorities to deliver the projects as planned. To this end, earlier this year, the Minister, Deputy Eamon Ryan, wrote to the County and City Management Association to advise that approximately 250 additional staff would be allocated to local authorities around the country to work on the delivery of active travel projects.
I understand the recruitment process is ongoing and I hope to see all the staff in place by early 2022. As we emerge from Covid, we have a major opportunity to change the way we travel in this country and I am pleased to say that, despite the challenges of Covid as well as the need to recruit additional staff in the local authorities, it is expected that 80% of the total active travel financial allocation will be spent by the end of this year.