— Cycle routes, greenway, and bridges included
— Funding goes to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Kilkenny, Letterkenny
A number of cycling or part-cycling projects across Ireland received funding last week as part of two packages — €40 million in European Regional Development Fund grant assistance for local authorities for designated gateway and hub towns across and €13.5m for sustainable transport projects in the regional cities.
The announcements of two funding elements of funding were made in advance of the general election, expected to be called for February 26.
The Department of Transport said that sustainable transport fund included the “advancement of 35 projects across the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford”. Example projects in the regional cities which mentioned cycling elements included, according to the department include:
- “Construction of improved cycle, pedestrian and bus linkage between Kent Station and Cork City Centre incorporating junction upgrades, bus priority improvements and provision of cycle facilities;”
- “The construction of bus lanes and cycle infrastructure along the N17 Tuam Road in Galway and detailed design and planning of the Bearna Greenway;”
- “Phase 1 of a Cycle/Pedestrian Route connecting the Mall to the WIT Green Route in Waterford.”
Meanwhile, the European Regional Development Fund grant assistance included funding for sustainable transport and urban regeneration measures in Irish urban centres. Local authorities have to match or exceed the amount of EU funding.
The projects in regional urban areas include:
- €1.5m in Cork City on Harley Street Pedestrian / Cycle Bridge – proposal to provide a dedicated cycle and pedestrian bridge across the North Channel of the River Lee.
- €4.1m in Limerick on the “urban centre revitalisation” which is to include improved public realm, widened footpaths, cycle lanes, re-aligned bus corridors, and better traffic management.
- €1m in Kilkenny on the Abbey Creative Quarter Project which is described as aiming to “revitalise and regenerate the former Smithwicks Brewery site area, develop linear park, public realm spaces, provide street with pedestrian and cyclist priority.”
- €0.75m in Letterkenny on the Joe Bonner Link Road “to upgrade link road to enhance walking & cycling infrastructure”.
While the projects in Dublin include:
- €1.47m in Dublin on the River Dodder Greenway, which is being project managed by South Dublin County Council. The funding is described for completion of “2 phases of the scheme to install & extend cycle and pedestrian routes.”
- €2,94 on Dublin City Council’s planned Forbes Street Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge to “provide an architecturally sensitive bridge to allow river passage & improve pedestrian and cyclist flow and access to this part of the city.”
- €1.12 on the Dun Laoghaire Baths (DLRCC) “project to migrate pedestrian footfall to the town centre, to retain the baths, to create pedestrian and cycle routes to the town centre and to provide new swimming facilities and jetty.”
Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said: “Providing more sustainable travel options in our regional cities is becoming increasingly important as congestion levels are on the increase again in many urban and provincial locations. This presents a challenge in what is a very positive picture with greater numbers of people returning to employment as our economic recovery continues.”
He added: “With so many competing demands for public funds, I am particularly pleased that I was able to secure the same level of funding for 2016 as was allocated in 2015 for sustainable transport projects in our regional cities. This will ensure that many of the very worthwhile projects that got underway over the past few years can be continued and some will be completed which will make public transport and other sustainable forms of commuting like cycling and walking more attractive.”
On the EU grant funding, Minister Donohoe said, “I’m particularly pleased to see the number of sustainable transport measures being funded under this call. We’ve seen a significant growth in the numbers cycling over the past few years due to the continued investment in cycling infrastructure by my Department, the National Transport Authority and local authorities. The measures announced today will see that growth continue. This also ties in with our recently launched National Physical Activity Plan and shows this Government’s commitment to sustainable transport modes.”
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He said: “I’m pleased to see, for example, that Limerick is continuing to seek to improve its sustainable transport provision under this scheme, following on from €9 million granted to them under my Department’s Smarter Travel Area funding stream. The commitment to funding urban regeneration also ties in neatly with my responsibilities for tourism as these funds will make these towns and cities more attractive not only to live and work in but to visit.”