108 extra schools to benefit from €20m Safe Routes to School funding

108 extra schools will be included in round two of the Safe Routes to School Programme, designed to improve walking and cycling provision to access schools.

Measures funded include school streets, and provision of pedestrian crossings, footpaths and cycle paths. Despite the name, the programme does not generally include longer routes to schools.

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A list of schools which will benefit can be found on the NTA’s website.

Launching the new round of the programme, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “I am delighted to be able to bring some festive cheer to schools nationwide by confirming that thousands of more children nationwide will soon benefit from safer infrastructure which will allow them to walk, cycle and scoot to school every day.”

In a press release, Minister Naughton said she wanted to thank the children in Scoil Fursa, Galway City for joining her for the launch of the new round of the programme and a “Special thanks also to Santa Clause for taking time out of his busy schedule to be here with us this this morning”.

“In recent months I have had the privilege of visiting schools across the country and have seen first-hand the positive impact that Safe Routes to School projects are having on our children’s daily lives. During these visits the message was loud and clear that there is a huge appetite for the continued rollout of the Safe Routes to School Programme in our villages, towns, and cities across the country,” the Minister said.

She added: “My ambition is that every child in Ireland will have the option to make their daily commute to the classroom by foot, bicycle or scooter in a way that they are safe and protected; one that I am confident is shared amongst children, their parents, teachers and the wider school community“.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, alongside the NTA and Santa Claus, in announcing that 108 schools will be included in the Safe Routes to School Programme.

The Department of Transport said that the launch of the second round of the programme “will see over 37,000 students across Ireland benefit from safer infrastructure and encourage them to cycle, walk and wheel to school.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said: “The National Transport Authority is responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of Safe Routes to School projects right across the country. Our Active Travel team is already working closely with local authorities on the rollout of the Round 1 schemes, and it has been encouraging to see more young people cycling, walking/scooting to school as a result.”

She added: “In collaboration with An Taisce Green-Schools and the local authorities, we will now begin working on delivering the second tranche of projects. By working with school communities at a local level to make journeys safer than ever before, we can continue encouraging young people to use more sustainable modes of transport”.

The Department of Transport said that the programme is funded by it via the NTA and is supported by the Department of Education and An Taisce’s Green-Schools is co-ordinating the programme. Funding is made available to local authorities who are then responsible for delivering the infrastructure.

€20m was allocated for projects included in Round 2 and the funding is part of each council’s annual allocation for Active Travel.

A list of schools which will benefit can be found on the NTA’s website.

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