Dáil debates

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Cycling Facilities

9:10 am

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The programme for Government committed that €360 million in cross-Government funding will be spent on walking and cycling per annum over the lifetime of the Government. This investment will help support the delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025, as well as additional investment in greenways.

The total expenditure delivered on active travel through my Department in 2020 was €108 million, with €8.3 million also spent on greenways. This year, we have seen a significant increase in delivery and expenditure on active travel infrastructure, with the provisional spend for 2021 at €185 million. This is in addition to approximately €27 million spent on greenways in 2021.

Focusing on active travel, this year €281 million was available for active travel projects in the greater Dublin area, regional cities and rural areas. This provided for approximately 1,200 active travel projects to be developed across the country, in cities, towns and rural areas. Therefore, overall, there has been a large increase in the delivery and expenditure on active travel between 2020 and 2021, although it is also true there has been a significant underspend compared with available funds. The NTA is the main agency spearheading the delivery of cycling and walking infrastructure, with the local authorities. Factors constraining delivery of active travel infrastructure this year included the impact of Covid restrictions, planning issues and staffing constraints. However, the larger budgets and projects are now bedding in, new staff are being recruited by the local authorities, and the situation is improving. We expect a much higher drawdown on available funds next year and increased delivery.

The NTA is working with local authorities to ensure effective and efficient delivery of active travel funding. Details of the active travel projects to be funded and delivered next year are being developed by the NTA and can be made available to the Deputy when this is finalised in January. It is anticipated that approximately €290 million will be available next year to help roll out walking and cycling infrastructure throughout the country.

I am happy that 2021 has been a year of very significant delivery on cycling and walking infrastructure despite Covid and other challenges. It is apparent all around the country that progress is being made.


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