In March, I was delighted to launch the Safe Routes to School Programme which will support Active Travel infrastructure for selected schools around the country. The Programme will see approximately €15 million of funding this year to support walking, scooting and cycling to primary and post-primary schools.
As the Deputy is likely aware, 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 the necessary infrastructure.
All schools were eligible to apply to the programme and information was circulated from the Departments of Education and Transport to schools nationwide. The closing date for expressions of interest was 16 April 2021 and there was a fantastic response with over 900 expressions of interest received. At least one expression of interest was received from every county, including Donegal.
The Safe Routes to School Programme team is currently making good progress in assessing applications and is due to report a final recommended list of schools to be included in this year’s programme in the coming weeks.
The Programme will select a number of schools for participation this year, with further opportunities for schools that are not successful in their application to reapply at a later date.