An extra €15m in funding is to be made available for projects which reallocate road space to walking, cycling or outdoor gatherings.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “While we continue our efforts with social distancing, we also need to provide ways for people to meet, exercise and access local amenities in a safe way, so we can all have a good summer. Through a combination of government initiatives, local authorities will now have the resources required to help reimagine our cities, towns and villages so that they can prioritise outdoor living in the summer months. We want to facilitate local businesses and the public in making the most of our outdoor spaces so that recreational activities can be safe and enjoyed by all.”
The Department of Transport said that the Additional Outdoor Infrastructure Fund will be administered by the National Transport Authority (NTA). It said that a circular has been issued to local authorities on how to apply for funding and that allocations will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Department said: “Local authorities are invited to apply under the funding stream for short term measures which will help create safe outdoor urban spaces for the public. The measures will need to be quickly implemented and provide areas in villages, towns, and cities where people can walk, cycle and gather outdoors while practicing social distancing.”
“The funding will allow for changes to traffic management arrangements to facilitate the reallocation of road space to improve facilities and safety for urban pedestrians and cyclists. Examples of projects eligible for funding include: Street pedestrianisation measures; reallocation of road and street space, using footpath extensions, bollards, public seating etc; traffic management arrangements; and other minor improvements.”
The Department said that the fund will complement other Government funding for outdoor dining and outdoor recreation infrastructure.
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