Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
918. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the active smarter travel programme; if and when further funding calls will be made by his Department for this funding mechanism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44685/19]
I understand that the Deputy is referring to two separate, though complementary, programmes that were in operation over the years 2012 to 2016: these were the Active Travel Towns programme and the Smarter Travel Areas programme. While both of these were specific, fixed-term programmes that have now finished, the overall themes that they supported - active travel and smarter travel - of course remain very relevant and are receiving considerable support from Government under a range of present-day programmes.
Funding for active travel generally is made available through the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Sustainable Urban Transport programme and the Cycling and Walking programme. The Deputy will be aware that Exchequer support for active travel generally has increased significantly in recent years, with Budget 2020 providing approximately €91million for these two programmes as compared to approximately €48million in Budget 2019 for example.
More broadly, I will very shortly launch a public consultation on reviewing sustainable mobility policy. This will look at all aspects of current policy, including active travel. Among the documentation to be published as part of this public consultation period is an Ex-Post Evaluation of the Smarter Travel Areas programme, which contains a number of useful recommendations in terms of future potential policy direction.
I look forward to engaging with the public and all stakeholders as we look to shape the future direction of sustainable mobility policy.