Written answers

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Local Authorities

Photo of Christopher O'SullivanChristopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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20. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on expenditure on active travel by Cork County Council in 2021 and to date in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55369/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I was delighted to oversee a significant increase in spending on Active Travel infrastructure projects over the last number of years. In 2021, my Department provided €313 million to the National Transport Authority for allocation to local authorities around the country and the total allocation for 2022 is €289 million. When compared to 2019 funding allocations to Active Travel, which was approximately €40 million in total, these levels of investment demonstrate the Government's commitment to increasing the number of people choosing to walk, cycle or wheel.

Each local authority has, in turn, seen a large increase in funding allocation for Active Travel in recent years. In terms of actual spend, 2021 saw €11,162,595 spent by Cork County Council, and to date in 2022 the Council has spent €6,208,151. In line with the majority of other local authorities, the figure for 2022 is likely to increase significantly before the end of the year.

There was a slight underspend on Active Travel projects in 2021. Sanction was provided to local authorities in early 2021 to increase numbers on their Active Travel teams and their capacity to deliver projects; however slower than expected recruitment processes meant that many local authorities did not secure extra staff members until later in the year. In addition, COVID-19 restrictions in the construction industry early in 2021 caused some delay to certain projects. 2022 spending is currently as forecasted so the same level of underspend is not expected this year.

The funding spent in Cork County Council was allocated to a number of varied projects in the Active Travel space. Phase 2 of the Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill Cycle Route opened last month cost over €5 million; phase 3 is currently under construction. The active travel infrastructure forming part of the new road south of Carrigaline United AFC was funded through the NTA's Active Travel Programme. A construction contract was recently awarded for Midleton to Ballinacurra Phase 1 and construction will begin before the end of the year. The Safe Routes to School Programme is progressing, with the school zone at Bunscoil Rinn an Chablaigh due to be launched on 1st December. These are just some examples of the fantastic projects we are funding through the NTA and Cork County Council.


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