Transport and climate Minister Eamon Ryan has said that councils will have to move faster than ever in delivering walking and cycling networks, and that he will reallocate funding to other cities if needed.
He made the comments when Dublin City Council morning launching its planned Active Travel network.
The council said that 25 projects are proposed to be delivered between 2022 and 2024 which will bring the Active Travel Network to 57km.
As a first for cycle networks in Ireland, the network includes an interactive map.
Andy Walsh, head of the Active Travel office, said that some of his team recently visited the Netherlands and Denmark to see how they have been successful and that he hopes that someday people will visit Dublin for the same reason.
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said that lack of funding was the issue up to now but funding is no longer an issue.
She said: “We all know that having a plan on a map is the easy part, the harder part is working with stakeholders to deliver the network.”
Owen Keegan, CE of Dublin City Council, said that delivering the network will require good communication with residents, businesses, cycling, and disability groups and the support of the councillors.
He said that some people will think they will be worse off and some will be.
Transport and climate Minister Eamon Ryan said that “the world is burning” and action is now needed at a faster pace than ever before.
“We need to be quicker, we need to be bold,” said Minister Ryan. “If we wait until after 2027 it’ll be too late. I’ll be legally challenged, or whoever is in my place, and the Courts will say you’re not doing enough.”
If you value our journalism, please subscribe today.
Minister Ryan said that action will be difficult and taking space and reallocating it is not easy. He said: “It won’t be easy and I know that.”
On funding, he said it was not unlimited and he said “If the money isn’t spent in Dublin, we’ll spend it in Cork” or elsewhere he said.
“Be fast, be brave, be bold,” he said talking to councillors and officials at the city council’s Wood Quay venue.