Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
50. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the specifications a greenway project must fulfil to receive funding; his views that the current one-size-fits-all approach to greenways is the most appropriate approach, particularly for environmentally important areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29691/20]
57. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding available for greenway projects; if all available funding has been allocated; to provide a list of all greenway projects that have received funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29692/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 57 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the Strategy for the Future Development of Regional and National Greenways was published in 2018 and sets out the current overarching framework for the development of greenways.
Building on that framework the Programme for Government commits toward better integrating greenways with local communities to expand beyond a leisure and tourism focus and also become important pieces of local active travel infrastructure where feasible. This has the potential to support modal shift ambitions and improve air quality and public health in local communities across the country.
The Strategysets out the high-level principles that prospective greenways are required to demonstrate while individual funding calls may set further specific requirements as may be determined from time to time. I would not classify the approach as “one-size-fits-all” and think there is appropriate flexibility provided by the existing framework, but I am happy to hear any specific suggestions the Deputy may have in that regard. Clearly any proposed greenway development in environmentally sensitive areas must comply with all necessary requirements.
Since the publication of the Strategyin 2018, €40m was allocated to nine construction-ready projects, while in 2020 a further €4.5m from the Carbon Tax Fund was allocated to support 26 pre-construction phase projects, and all details of relevant projects supported are available on my Department's website.
In Budget 2021 I am providing further future allocations available to support the greenways programme as part of Government’s broader €1.8bn commitment to support walking and cycling over the lifetime of the Government.
The Deputy may wish to be aware that urban greenways in the five cities are supported through a separate funding programme administered by the National Transport Authority.