Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
52. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a closing date has been set for schools to make an expression of interest for inclusion in the safe routes to school initiative; and if a scoring and weighting system has been identified for choosing schools across the various features mentioned in the initial launch. [17884/21]
I was delighted to recently launch Safe Routes to School which will support active travel infrastructure for selected schools around the country. The programme will see circa €15 million of funding this year to support walking/scooting and cycling to primary and post-primary schools.
As the Deputy is probably aware, the Safe Routes to School programme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities.
All schools are eligible to apply to the programme and information has recently been circulated from the Departments of Education and Transport to schools nationwide. The selected schools will be guided through the application process and will work with a designated infrastructure officer from Green-Schools who will liaise with the school and local authority as works are planned and carried out.
Schools will be selected for participation in the coming months in the programme for 2021 based on a mix of criteria including school type, location and school’s commitment to sustainable travel. The programme will select a number of schools for participation this year, with further opportunities for schools that are not successful in their application to reapply at a later date.