Govt Announces €7 Million For Cycle Routes – Minister Kelly

Public Transport Minister, Alan Kelly, has today announced a €7 million euro investment programme for cycle routes.
The funding will see sixteen separate cycling projects built across the country over the next two to years amounting to an additional 334 kilometres of cycleway as part of the National Cycle Network.  
Speaking as he announced bike week, Minister Kelly stated:  “These projects will enhance both the experience and attractiveness of cycling across the country,”
“This is part of our efforts to create a more cycle-friendly culture across the country and to try and get as many people out of their cars and onto the bikes. Having high-quality routes across the country is a key part of that. Also many of these routes have huge tourism potential so hopefully it will lead to some job creation,” added Minister Kelly.
The funding follows a commitment in the programme for Government to continue National Cycle Policy Framework. A competitive funding scheme was launched in March 2012 to fund Local Authorities to deliver cycling routes around the country which could act as both transport corridors and recreational and tourism amenities.
The programme will deliver a wide variety of route types, including on road routes along rural roads and former national roads, and off-road routes along former rail lines and canal tow paths. The routes will provide valuable transport and recreational infrastructure, with some of the routes having the potential to become tourism attractions in their own right.
 “This funding scheme represents a very significant investment in cycling, and is an important aspect of realising the commitment to cycling outlined in the Programme for Government. Given the outstanding success of the Great Western Greenway I am certain that the investment will provide very welcome and long lasting economic benefits in the areas concerned.”
Minister Kelly continued “The funding recognises that not all areas have the benefit of either disused rail lines or canal tow paths, and I am hopeful that the roads based projects funded here will help to unlock the transport and tourism potential that cycling has to offer all around the country. We have a significant amount of catch-up to do compared with many European countries but it is clear that this Government and local authorities are developing much better cycling infrastructure”.
The announcement comes just weeks before National Bike Week starting June 16th which will see a series of cycling events being held across the country.  
Issued by: 
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office. Tel: 01 604 1090/01 604 1087
Further information:
Over 50 projects were submitted under this funding call, with a total of sixteen projects receiving funding. Projects types vary from the provision of a very extensive rural road based route in Donegal (from Donegal Town to Newtown Cunningham) to the development of a 6km Greenway along a disused rail line from Carlingford to Omeath in Louth.  
In addition to the 195km road based route in Donegal, the funding scheme will result in the provision of almost 100km of designated cycle lanes (mainly along former national roads) and a further 40km of off-road routes along either canal tow paths or former rail lines.  
There are significant potential benefits from the provision of this cycling infrastructure. The Great Western Greenway is generating an estimated 140,000 trips per annum along the route. A recent economic appraisal of the route found that it has led to the creation of 38 new full time equivalent jobs in the local area. It is hoped that the funding scheme announced today can help replicate these benefits in other parts of the country.  
The table below is the full list of the 16 projects (by Local Authority area) that will receive funding:
Local Authority
Project Summary
Grant Amount (€)
Route length (km)
Carlow & Kilkenny Co. Co.
An on road cycling route from Carlow to Paulstown to Kilkenny providing 44km of cycle lanes along the R448.
Clare Co. Co.
An off road shared use cycle path linking Ennistymon and Lahinch.
Donegal Co. Co.
An extensive 195km rural roads based route from Donegal Town to Newton Cunningham, providing a route through some of the country's most attractive landscape and linking a large number of towns.
Fingal Co. Co.
Provision of 3km route section from Ashtown to the Blanchardstown/Castleknock train station along the Royal Canal tow path, joining up with the existing route from Ashtown into the city.
Kerry Co. Co.
A 1.2km extension to an existing cycle/pedestrian route, which will now link Killarney to Fossa.
Limerick Co Co
A 3km extension of the Great Southern Trail, from Abbeyfeale Town to Rathoran, adding to the existing 38km of trail from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale.
Louth Co. Co.
A 6.2km Greenway along an old railway line between Greers Quay, Omeath and Carlingford, with future potential for this route to form part of a 32km route from Dundalk to Carlingford and on to Newry.
Mayo Co. Co.
An 8.8km off-road Greenway along the banks of the Castlebar River, from Castlebar to the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life which is located in Turlough Park. The route connects into the recently build Lough Lannagh Greenway.
Meath Co. Co.
A primarily off-road cycle/walkway from Drogheda Ramparts to Oldbridge entrance (Battle of the Boyne site), with future potential for extension on to Newgrange visitor centre.
Monaghan Co. Co.
A 4km route through Monaghan town, making use of both canal towpath and roads, with future potential for an extensive route linking to Cavan Town and Armagh. 
North Tipperary Co. Co.
Extension of the existing walkway/cycleway along the N52 linking with tourist trail.
Offaly Co. Co.
Provision of 16.8km of dedicated cycle lanes along the R420 (former N80 national road) from Tullamore to Moate with future potential to extend route on to Athlone along a disused rail line.
Roscommon Co. Co.
Provision of 20km of dedicated cycle lanes along the former N6 from Athlone to Ballinasloe, with future potential to link to the Tullamore to Moate route along a disused rail line.
Waterford City Council
Provision of a 3.2km mainly off road route which will connect directly to the Waterford County Council route to Tramore.
Waterford Co. Co.
Tramore to Waterford - provision of a 6.4km on road route along the regional road, linking directly to the proposed Waterford City route, resulting in a 10km route from Tramore to Waterford City.
Westmeath Co. Co.
Royal Canal route: upgrading of 11.3km of canal tow path from Boardstown Bridge eastbound towards Meath. The works will extend an existing route, with further potential to develop the entire extent of the canal town path within the County.
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