The National Transport Authority has allocated €290 million to local authorities to be spent on walking and cycling infrastructure this year.

The money will be invested in almost 1,200 active travel projects in all parts of the country, including segregated cycling lanes and widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges, and new pedestrian crossings.

This round of funding for walking, cycling, and greenway infrastructure is part of a Programme for Government commitment to spend €360 million per year on cycling and pedestrian projects for the lifetime of the Government.

Included in this is funding for 250 new posts in local authorities to continue expanding walking and cycling infrastructure all over the country.

It is also an essential element of the Climate Action Plan to encourage a shift to more active travel.

Today's allocation of €290m will allow for the progression of 387 projects in the Greater Dublin Area, 250 projects across other regional cities, and a further 502 projects across rural Ireland, as well as new staff in every local authority area.

Some of the major projects receiving funding today include the Dodder Greenway between Herbert Park and Donnybrook Road in Dublin; a new pedestrian bridge over the M40 in Cork, connecting to Tramore Valley Park; and the connection of the Waterford Greenway, from Billberry into the heart of Waterford city.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the benefits of the investment announced today are immense locally and nationally in making our cities and villages greener and more livable and, at the same time, helping to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions.

View infrastructure projects awarded funding for 2023

Minister Ryan also said the existing transport plans for Galway city are not going to progress.

He said that what has happened in the case of the Galway ring road is an example of how the Government's climate change strategy needs to be taken seriously.

The building of roads that would lock-in a traffic system that would prevent the achievement of Ireland's climate targets cannot be allowed to go ahead, he said.

Mr Ryan said that the National Transport Authority, the local authority and his department are going to have to look at a new transport strategy for Galway that is consistent with the goals of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions this decade, and the delivery of net zero emissions in the next three decades.

The exact elements of the Galway transport strategy, including the precise combination of new public transport and other infrastructure, will be the outcome of that process.

Mr Ryan's comments come after the High Court on Monday referred the plan to An Bord Pleanála for it to be reconsidered in light of the Climate Action Plan.

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