Thursday, 27 June 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
National Cycle Network
306. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the National Roads Authority will reconsider a matter pertaining to County Kerry in the National Cycle Network Scoping Study (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31354/13]
Firstly, I should explain that it is a matter for the relevant local authority to progress any proposals related to the development of cycle infrastructure, whether along disused railway lines or the existing road infrastructure. My Department is fully supportive of the such infrastructure and is currently administering a multi annual funding programme related to the development of the National Cycle Network (NCN) to cover the period 2012 to 2016. Significant investment has already been made in 2012 and 2013 with €7 million allocated to 16 projects across Ireland. As this phase of the programme will expire at the end of 2013, it is intended to initiate a new funding call later this year to provide, through competitive process, a further tranche of funding for the remainder of the years to 2016. As already stated, it is a matter for the relevant local authority to progress and submit proposals to the Department in the first instance, if funding is required.
In addition to the NCN funding programme, a seed financing scheme was also established this year to give start-up financial assistance to local authorities to help with the development of initial proposals for noteworthy cycle projects, that is those projects with potential to yield a high return on investment from an economic, tourism and recreational perspective.
As part of this Scheme, the Department has allocated funding of €50,000 to Kerry County Council to help progress proposals for a 26 km cycle way along the abandoned railway line between Glenbeigh to Renard, Cahersiveen, which is a section of the Ring of Kerry Trail. Proposals to develop any further cycle infrastructure in Co. Kerry is a matter for Kerry County Council in the first instance.