Galway County Council will share in a new €50 million fund meant to support the development of walking and cycling infrastructure outside of cities.
The fund was announced by the Department of Transport this week to provide towns and villages with support similar to the Active Travel funding from the NTA open to Dublin and regional cities like Galway.
Councils are being asked to identify convenient and direct routes for walking and cycling, including, and where necessary, aim to reallocate space from motor traffic and car parking.
Funded projects should be accessible, age-friendly and maximise comfort to people of all ages and abilities.
Minister of State and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton said that “high-quality active travel” infrastructure is a key part of “fundamentally changing the nature of transport in Ireland”.
The fund will be administered for the Department of Transport by the National Transport Authority.
Among the projects that it will support are the creation of new footpaths and segregated cycle lanes, reconstructing old or damaged paths, cycle parking, improved road crossings, design work for new pedestrian and cycling bridges, and closing roads to car traffic.
‘In a strange way, it’s easier and safer to walk and cycle in our cities as they have had lots of investment to develop this infrastructure,” said Galway Senator Aisling Dolan.
“This fund is especially dedicated to our towns & villages so that families and children could have safer ways to walk or cycle to school or work.
“We know how dangerous it is to even go for a walk in towns with a lack of footpaths and especially on country roads – this fund promotes safety of walkers & cyclists from cars and trucks.”