Investment will fund Active Travel Teams in all Local Authorities
The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan T.D. and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton TD have today announced funding for up to 248 new jobs in local authorities to expand walking and cycling facilities all over the country.
The Programme for Government has already committed that €1.8bn will be spent on walking and cycling over the lifetime of the Government, and this initiative will ensure that the expertise will be available to improve infrastructure and increase participation by making facilities safer and more accessible.
As part of the plan developed by the National Transport Authority, up to 218 additional staff will be employed across the local authorities with an additional 30 proposed for Regional Cycling Design Offices. The new staff will be dedicated to delivering and promoting active travel in Ireland and will work across design, communication/community liaison and construction oversight functions. The new staff will support the delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025.
Minister Ryan stated:
“Developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change. Really good design is what is needed to connect communities and make walking and cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone. I am delighted to confirm that we will fund dedicated resources in all local authorities to deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government. This is a game-changer in terms of delivering high-quality infrastructure across the country in both rural and urban areas.”
The National Transport Authority has been working with local authorities in recent months to develop a new structure for the delivery of active travel. That work has identified the type and level of resources required across the country to ensure that the increased levels of expenditure planned deliver the right type of infrastructure, in the right place and at the right time. This project will more than quadruple the number of staff working on active travel projects on local authorities.
Minister of State Naughton stated:
“Today’s announcement, underpinned by our commitment to spend almost €1million per day on walking and cycling, focuses on resourcing the shift towards more sustainable modes of transport. Local authorities are at the heart of what we want to achieve and we need to ensure they have the right level of resources available to deliver this in every city, town and village across the country.
Vitally, we will use these dedicated resources to implement Government commitments such as the new Safe to School programme. This Programme will ensure that children of all ages and backgrounds can travel to school safely, and in a healthy and active way.”