Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
891. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding allocated to support local authorities develop and implement cycle and walkway mobility plans; the process for applying for this funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11612/20]
I can advise the Deputy that the National Transport Authority (NTA) is engaging with local authorities to support them in the development of Covid-19 mobility plans and importantly to also support the local authorities in their delivery of required infrastructure improvements. As we move through the phases of Government's "Roadmap to Reopening Society and Business", improvements introduced under these plans will play an important role in providing additional transport capacity and also facilitating social distancing in urban areas.
I can confirm that the NTA has written to all 31 local authorities to offer its financial and technical support and this support will be funded through my Department's sustainable mobility investment programme.
The NTA envisages a range of measures may be required in our cities and towns, such as:
- Widening of footpaths to facilitate queuing outside shops and enable social distancing;
- Potential pedestrianisation of some streets where necessary and feasible to accommodate social distancing, particularly where this supports business activities;
- Potential one-way systems to create space for footpath widening;
- Altering traffic signal times to reduce pedestrian waiting/crowding plus the automatic activation of some pedestrian phases in order to aid pedestrian movement and to minimise contact with signal push buttons;
- Providing additional temporary facilities for cyclists; and
- Provision of some external space where appropriate to support business activities.
The Deputy will be aware that some local authorities have already put in place improvements to facilitate increased active travel and I expect these improvements will continue in the coming weeks and months.
Noting the NTA's responsibility in these matters, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.