Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Topical Issue Debate

Greenways Funding

4:45 pm

Photo of Shane RossShane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy. I hate to say it to him, but I have been invited back to Athlone by Deputy Moran. Deputy Burke will be fed up seeing me, as I will revisit the area and see those parts of the greenway that I did not see last time.

I am energised, as are my Department and my colleagues, by the idea of greenways, which was only recently introduced to me in a serious way. Deputy Burke will find that the Department and I are not lacking in our enthusiasm for the project that he described and I hope that we will be able to see progress on it shortly.

Funding is an issue for cycling infrastructure in our towns and cities and for greenways development. I am considering which projects we will spend the remainder of our 2016 allocation on, focusing on those that can be delivered as soon as possible. The projects submitted by Westmeath and Longford will figure in those considerations, as will the sections of the Galway-Dublin greenway in counties Kildare and Meath that would provide a 100 km route from Maynooth to Athlone and see a significant increase in the already impressive numbers using the old rail trail. Only those greenway proposals that have planning permission in place, such as those that I have mentioned along with the Tullamore-Lough Boora greenway in Offaly, will be considered for this reallocation of funding. I hope to be in a position to make these decisions on funding shortly.


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