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Cycling Facilities

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 June 2022

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Ceisteanna (114)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

114. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the roll-out of safer cycling infrastructure in rural areas, particularly safe connections for young children who are cycling to rural schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30660/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Programme for Government has committed to Exchequer spending of approximately €360 million per annum on walking and cycling over the lifetime of the Government, equivalent to 20% of the 2020 transport capital budget. This investment will help support the planned delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025 as well as additional investment in Greenways.

2021 saw the first ever major Active Travel investment programme for rural Ireland. €72.8m was allocated to 19 local authorities to support the delivery of 340 sustainable transport projects. It should be noted this allocation was more than the entire Active Travel budget for 2019.

This year has seen another increase in my Department's overall funding for cycling and walking, in line with the Government’s prioritisation of Active Travel and Greenways. As well as an increased allocation of €289 million administered through the National Transport Authority (NTA) to Active Travel, I was delighted to also announce funding of €60 million for investment in our Greenways.

The overall increase in funding across urban and rural Ireland will not only support the construction and improvement of safe and connected walking and cycling infrastructure, but also the deployment of almost 250 dedicated Active Travel staff in local authorities around the country.

In addition to the increased funding for walking and cycling infrastructure, a number of smaller-scale initiatives are being progressed by my Department to support and promote efforts to increase safe Active Travel. The Department of Transport funds the delivery of CycleRight training through Cycling Ireland, which delivers cycling training to school-children around the country and equips them with the skills to cycle safely.

In partnership with the Department of Education we also launched the Safe Routes to Schools Programme last year, which aims to accelerate the delivery of safe walking, scooting and cycling infrastructure on key access routes to schools. It has had a great response, with applications received from schools in every county in Ireland.

The step-change in funding and the introduction of various innovative measures to encourage safe and connected Active Travel is proof of the Government's commitment to this area, and I look forward to the delivery of the numerous projects and programmes around the country, including in rural areas.

Furthermore, TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) are developing a National Cycle Network that will identify routes for development all around the country that will work with the Regional and Local Cycle Networks being developed by the NTA.

Question No. 115 answered with Question No. 88.
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