€23.5 million was allocated to Greenways over the period 2012 to 2016
A total of €23.5 million has been allocated to Greenways over the period 2012 to 2016 in Ireland. In a response to Tony McLoughlin (Fine Gael TD for Sligo-Leitrim), Minister Shane Ross provided details to the Dail last week.
Minister Ross stated that "Under the National Cycle Network (NCN) Funding Programme approximately €23.5 million was allocated over the period 2012 to 2016 to advance cycle routes that provided valuable transport and recreational infrastructure, with the added potential to enhance tourist activity for the areas concerned. This includes €10 million allocated under the Government Stimulus package 2014.
Under the first tranche of NCN funding for the years 2012/2013, fifteen cycling projects were completed by local authorities across the country with €7 million in funding provided. Under the second tranche of NCN funding for the years 2014-2016, a further three projects shared in funding of €6.3 million. Of these three projects only one (in Waterford) has been completed.
In May 2014, a €10 million investment package for greenway development was announced by Government as part of the €200 million national infrastructure package. Eleven cycling projects were selected to share in this funding and eight of these projects have now been completed.
In July 2016, €3.5 million was reallocated from the second tranche of NCN funding to projects in Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford as two of the original projects selected (Kerry and Galway) were not in a position to draw down their full allocation for 2016."
According to reports, work has already started in Westmeath on the extension of the Old Rail Trail into Athlone and further work is progressing on the Longford section of the Royal Canal west of Abbeyshrule. Groups along the Royal Canal in Kildare/Meath are eagerly awaiting the commencement of work the section that will complete the link between Kildare and Westmeath/Longford.