The Salmon Weir Pedestrian bridge, Martin Roundabout, and multiple greenways in Galway, are among the chief walking and cycling infrastructure projects targeted in the budget.
Budget 2022 includes €360 for walking and cycling infrastructure projects, including €60 million earmarked for greenways.
Among the key projects in this highlighted by the Department of Transport are the conversion of the Martin Roundabout in the city to a signalised junction, and the construction of the pedestrian and cycling bridge across the Corrib.
Galway TD and junior Minister Hildegarde Naughton said that this budget represents €1 million a day invested in walking and cycling infrastructure.
The three-span, 80m bridge across the Corrib was green-lighted by An Bord Pleanála back in August, and it is hoped construction will start early next year.
The bridge from Newtownsmith to Galway Cathedral/Gaol Road will reduce the level of pedestrians and bicycles on the old Salmon Weir Bridge, which was never designed for the amount of traffic using it daily.
Work on the €3.5 million Martin Roundabout by Galway Clinic into a signalised junction is also expected to begin by the end of November this year.
The transition is expected to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as prioritising buses and provide greater access for Arduan, in order to facilitate the development of housing in the area.
Speaking at today’s press conference, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said “Transport has a critical role to play in our daily lives, and how we travel has a direct bearing on our carbon emissions.
“By reorienting our investment towards walking and cycling, sustainable public transport in both urban and rural areas, and electric vehicles, we can make it easier for people to make changes that benefit us all.”
The Minister added that he was “particularly pleased” that there would be progress on greenways all over Ireland.
Among the greenway projects included in the budget are continue construction of the Connemara Greenway between Clifden and Recess.
The ambitious coast-to-coast Galway to Dublin greenway also gets a mention, with the construction of the greenway bridge in Athlone planned for the next year as part of the project.