Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins welcomed this mornings announced the allocation of €11 million in Active Travel Investment Grants for Waterford, however, he expressed disappointment that some projects, particularly in the Comeragh area were not being funded.
Senator Cummins stated “I am delighted to welcome this significant allocation of €11 million for Waterford. Today’s important allocation further displays this government's commitment to improving local life with top-class amenities, connecting towns and villages with suburbs, while also attracting tourism to help boost rural and urban economies.”
Senator Cummins continued: “Unfortunately there are a number of projects which may not proceed in the short, particularly in the Comeragh area. Cllr. Brazil and Cllr. Power have been raising the potential of this occurring with me for a couple of weeks but unfortunately the representations I have made on their behalf to Minister Ryan’s and Minister Chambers Department have not proved successful. However, I will continue to seek additional funding for these projects which are shovel ready and I hope that this will be forthcoming.
He added “It is essential that funding which is allocated to Waterford City and County Council is fully spent. Notwithstanding the challenges and delays which can occur in progressing projects, it makes it easier for Oireachtas members to lobby for additional resourcing when full drawdown occurs.
Waterford will receive €11 million for 35 projects, including some very significant projects such as the completion of the Greenway into Waterford city, a major footpath programme for Portlaw and significant schemes for areas like Knockanore, Ballyduff, Ballinroad to name but a few. Nationally the investment will fund approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects, contributing to the development of almost 1,000km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure across the country by 2025. This includes the development of segregated cycle lanes and widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges, and new pedestrian crossings.
In total, the 2023 fund allocation for Active Travel will allow for the progression of 250 projects across regional cities excluding Dublin and a further 502 projects across rural Ireland.
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority concluded: “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 country to walk or cycle within and beyond their local community. The funding being announced today will allow the NTA to continue to work alongside local authorities as we accelerate the delivery of improved cycling and walking infrastructure.