Wicklow receives €8.4 million in funding boost for further development of cycle and walkways

Communities around Wicklow will be better connected with safe and people-friendly corridors to visit friends, go to the shops, or cycle or walk to school, sports training and other activities, Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris has said.

Wicklow Minister Simon Harris was speaking following confirmation that the National Transport Authority has allocated funds to Ireland’s local authorities, with an overall fund of €290m to be spent on walking and cycling infrastructure this year.

“This large scale investment will enable councils to support approximately 1200 Active Travel schemes nationwide,” Minister Harris explained. “I am particularly pleased to report that Wicklow County Council has been allocated 8.4 million to develop and maintain cycle lanes, widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges and pedestrian crossings locally.

“Some of the projects in Wicklow receiving funding include: A Cycleway for the River Dargle, Pedestrian and cycle improvements for Kilcoole Road, Park and Ride facilities for Wicklow Town’s train station, a village enhancement scheme for Killincarrig and funding for a number of schools across Wicklow under the Safer Routes to Schools scheme.

“There is an assumption that Greenways, cycle-ways or walkways are primarily tourism amenities. While they do enhance our local tourism offerings in Wicklow, first and foremost they are about local people and improving local life, connecting suburbs, local villages or townlands that often become disconnected from one another because of busy and dangerous roads.

“I also welcome news that part of this funding will be allocated to the Safe Routes to School Programme. €20m was recently announced for Round 2 of the programme which will see over 37,000 students across Ireland benefit from safer infrastructure and encourage them to cycle, walk and wheel to school. In conjunction with Safe Routes to School, funding will also be committed to continuing the Cycle Right Training programme, which in 2022 saw over 30,000 students trained to cycle safety.

“Locally we’ve seen the benefits of these programmes as our children are enabled to make their way to school either on foot or by bicycle, nurturing what we hope will be lifelong healthy habits.

“2023 is going to be an important year for active travel. With a growing number of active travel schemes moving from design into construction and delivery, we can encourage more people across the county to walk or cycle within and beyond their local community.” Minister Harris concluded.

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