The Green Party Donegal Chair Michael White said today that more than 50% of funding made available in 2021 to Donegal for walking and cycling infrastructure was not spent, according to figures released by the National Transport Authority (NTA)
And he has claimed that as a result of decades prioritising cars in Ireland, many people in both rural and urban areas feel they have no option but to drive, even for short journeys.
He said: “Donegal was allocated €5,311,100 for walking and cycling projects in 2021. However, according to figures released by the NTA, only €2,281,572 of this was spent. We need to do better for Donegal. Funding and resources were provided to support the rollout of dedicated local walking and cycling projects and we need to start seeing faster progress.“
“There is €5,596,000 allocated to Donegal for Active Travel infrastructure in 2022. The money and the skills are there, now we need action. I’m asking the public to call on your local councillors, across every party, to demand safer paths and cycleways outside your homes, your schools, your places of work, to help create a safer and more liveable community. It’s time to put people first in Donegal.”
Since being in Government, the Green Party has been addressing this by delivering record increases in investment in walking and cycling projects, jumping from €45m in 2019 to €289m nationally in 2022. These projects include new and improved pathways, cycleways, safe routes to schools and lighting.
The transport sector represents 18% of Ireland’s carbon emissions, with road transport and private car usage creating the most significant carbon footprint. An increase in walking and cycling could significantly reduce car use and boost overall public health.
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