Fergus O'Dowd believes the projects will help reduce the county's carbon footprint by providing essential cycling and walking infrastructure
Local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, has warmly welcomed the news this morning that €4,649,670 has been approved for much needed cycling and walking infrastructure in County Louth.
The money has been approved under the New Rural Active Travel Investment Programme which will distribute €72.8 Million in year one of a five-year plan as announced by the National Transport Authority.
19 counties are to benefit from the scheme with Louth allocated the fifth highest amount, behind Galway, Kerry, Clare and Donegal with over a million of the funding to go towards projects around Dundalk such as the R132 Inner Relief Road, Riverside Road and Dundalk Bus Station.
“This is really positive news for County Louth, one of the largest allocations in the country is on its way to our county for what will be major local projects” confirmed O’Dowd.
“The projects announced today will provide sustainable transport options and help reduce our carbon footprint, they will also greatly strengthen our connectivity by providing essential cycling and walking infrastructure.”
“I’m absolutely delighted that Louth has secured such a large investment, this will make our towns more attractive and accessible and will have huge knock-on effects in terms of reducing unnecessary traffic from our roads.”
Today’s announcement is the first ever major active travel investment programme for rural Ireland. The funds announced today for rural counties, is greater than the entire 2019 funding for the national walking and cycling programme.
The NTA had originally earmarked €50m for this scheme but due to the volume of project proposals being developed by local authorities, it has been increased to over €70m.
Speaking at today’s announcement Minister Ryan said the allocation was a significant step in his hopes for providing sustainable green transport to those outside the major urban centres.
“Developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change” he stated.
“Connecting communities and making walking and cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone is what this funding will help to accomplish.”
“The projects will make a real difference to rural communities and this is only the beginning. I look forward to seeing these projects progress over the coming year and to developing high quality walking and cycling networks over the course of this government.”
The funding is in addition to the multi-annual active travel investment programme announced on February 11th which has already designated €240m to Dublin, the GDA and regional cities.