Minister Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State Brendan Griffin T.D. has announced the launch of Bike Week 2019 and the award of funding for 10 Greenway projects around the country under Project Ireland 2040.
Minister Ross stated “I am particularly excited to announce Bike Week this year, which runs through all of this week, where we celebrate all that is good about cycling right across the country. I believe we are now at a crossroads, where we can build on the clear increase in cycling we have seen since the first Bike Week in 2009. Many compelling factors are now coming together to drive cycling on to a new level, including the dramatic increases in funding I have secured for cycling, the exemplary work of the National Transport Authority and various other bodies to improve cycling, not just in infrastructure but the training, support, legislation, programmes and initiatives that will help integrate cycling into mainstream transport. This along with other factors, such as the ever more compelling evidence emerging on climate change is making people consider what they can do to help their planet, making cycling an ever more attractive option.”
“Following hot on the heels of the Government’s Climate Action Plan publication, next week I am attending Velo-City, a major international conference on cycling and the following week I will be launching a review of public transport and active travel policy for the country. We have several major cycling projects under construction, such as the Royal Canal Greenway, or in the pipeline, such as the Fitzwilliam and Liffey cycle routes along with over 200 km under BusConnects. The benefits of cycling are there for all to see, I sincerely encourage everyone to get on their bike and reap the many benefits, including improved health, improved air quality, improved accessibility to transport, reduced traffic congestion and reduced transport costs”
He added – I’m also delighted to announce funding of €40m for these 10 excellent greenway projects. There was a very high level of interest in this funding call with 22 applications received. We have chosen, following a detailed assessment process, 10 projects that will expand our network of Greenways around the country, building on what has already been achieved and laying the groundwork for continued expansion over the next decade.”
He continued – “We have seen the benefits that the Waterford and Great Western Greenways have brought to towns like Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas and Newport. We want to see that type of benefit accruing to towns like Listowel, New Ross, Blessington and all the other towns and villages on the Greenways that we are providing funding to today. We will see many of these in use around the country during Bike Week.”
He finished by stating – “The projects funded through these allocations will provide safe, substantially segregated Greenways that give users access to the beautiful scenery that Ireland is renowned for and will bring new visitors to the many attractions there are to see around the country. All projects will also make provision for the All-Ireland pollinator plan to increase our bio-diversity and respect our environment”.
Minister of State Griffin stated – “I’m particularly pleased to see the Strategic nature of our investment today, extending the Great Southern Greenway into County Kerry, extending the Great Western Greenway onto Achill itself and towards Keel and bringing the Waterford Greenway into the heart of Waterford City so that Greenway users will be able to access the wonderful Viking Triangle. We are also investing in sections of the Grand Canal Greenway and completing the missing links of the Connemara Greenway between Clifden and Recess in County Galway.”
He continued – “This announcement gives a clear statement of intent with regard to activity tourism. This investment will see Ireland with a network of around 500km of Greenways. This investment is part of Project Ireland 2040 which is the Government’s overarching strategy to make Ireland a better place for its entire population. We will not be stopping there, we know there are more plans and communities out there that will be looking for funding in the future and the commitment of Government is spelled out in the National Development Plan.”