Thursday, 5 November 2009
National Cycle Policy.
Noel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
I do not have the full accurate figures before me for the projects I mentioned, but next year's expenditure, which will bring most of them to a conclusion, will be approximately €11 million. The total amount we are making available for those projects has been committed to them. Some are already completed, for example, the Phoenix Park project.
If we are to get a change in attitude to cycling and walking and if we are to get people out of cars, something to which I am committed, we will have to use some of the money we used previously on roads to provide the facilities to encourage them. I am committed to doing this. Some wonderful schemes have been put forward and while some people consider it a waste of money to spend it on cycle lanes etc., at a time when money is tight they are missing the point. I acknowledge Deputy Broughan's support in that regard. Some of the €1.2 billion we will require to cover us up to 2020 will have to come from the roads budget and we will have some fighting to do to get extra money from that.
I never had a fight with my colleague and friend, the Minister, Deputy John Gormley, on the issue of the Sutton to Sandycove project. We are providing approximately €3 million for that this year, as part of a package.