A €5.3 million funding package has been announced to improve walking and cycling routes in Donegal.
The Active Travel allocation is the fourth highest to any county in Ireland and will support 27 sustainable transport projects in Donegal.
This funding is part of an overall programme to ensure the delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure across the country by 2025.
“This is great news for Donegal,” said Donegal Green Party Chairman Michael White.
“We have lobbied our colleagues in Dublin since August to promote Donegal’s case. This new funding is a huge boost to the rollout of Active Travel infrastructure. It will enable Donegal County Council to expand the great work they are already doing in delivering new walking and cycling routes across the county, and we will continue to support that work in any way we can.
“In particular, we are pushing for a new cycleway in Moville, Inishowen that runs past John Hume’s house to be named in his honour. We are also pressing for new cycleways and walkways in Carndonagh, Letterkenny, Milford, Stranorlar and Donegal Town.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue commented: “The announcement today is a positive step for Donegal and provides green sustainable transport options to those in rural communities. The projects listed for Donegal will help create safer, greener and better spaces for people to live, work and visit.”
He concluded “I thank my government colleagues Ministers Ryan and Naughton, the NTA and all the local communities who are committed to these projects.”
The Programme for Government committed €1.8 billion to be spent on walking and cycling up to 2025, or over €300M per year. Today’s announcement allocates a total of €72.8m to ensures that the funding will be available to deliver an increasing volume of new projects. The NTA had originally earmarked €50m for this scheme but due to the volume of project proposals being developed by local authorities, it has been increased to over €70m.
At today’s announcement, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said “Today’s allocation marks another significant step forward in providing green sustainable transport options to those outside of the large urban centres.
“Developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change. Connecting communities and making walking and cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone is what this funding will help to accomplish.”
Minister Ryan continued: “The projects being funded today will make a real difference to rural communities across the country and this is only the beginning.
“I look forward to seeing these projects progress over the coming year and to developing high quality walking and cycling networks over the course of this government.”
Featured image: Great Western Greenway, Co Mayo. Image: Gareth McCormack for Fáilte Ireland / Tourism IrelandTags: