Funding for new active travel jobs in Donegal

Quadruples number of staff working on active travel nationally

 Funding for new active travel jobs in Donegal

Michael White, chairperson, Green Party Donegal

The Donegal Green Party has welcomed the announcement of funding of up to 248 new jobs across the country, a number of which are ear-marked for Donegal.

The funding will create new jobs in county councils and other local authorities to help them accelerate the delivery of walking and cycling facilities in each county.

This project will more than quadruple the number of staff working on active travel projects in local authorities. The goal is to ensure the delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025.

The Programme for Government committed €1.8 billion to be spent on walking and cycling up to 2025 - over €300 million per year.

Today’s announcement ensures that the expertise will be available to deliver an increasing volume of new projects so county councils can provide safe cycleways and walkways.

In addition to creating jobs within each local authority, the funding will also create 30 jobs at new Regional Cycling Design offices.

The new staff will be dedicated to delivering and promoting active travel and will work across design, community liaison and construction oversight functions.

Today's announcement follows news in December that a special €50m National Transport Authority fund has been dedicated to walking and cycling projects in rural towns in villages.

Donegal Green Party chairman, Michael White, said this is great news for Donegal.

"A key problem with delivering active travel projects here and around the country is that our county councils have not had access to sufficient resources.

"This new funding is a game changer. It will enable Donegal County Council to build on the great work they are already doing and accelerate the delivery of new walkways and cycleways across the county, and we will support that work in any way we can.

"In particular, we are pushing for a new cycleway in Inishowen that runs past John Hume’s house to be named in his honour.

"We are also pressing for new cycleways and walkways in Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Milford, Stranorlar and Donegal Town.”

At today’s announcement, Minister Eamon Ryan said developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change.

"Really good design is what is needed to connect communities and make walking and cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone.

"I am delighted to confirm that we will fund dedicated resources in all local authorities to deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government.

"This is a game-changer in terms of delivering high-quality infrastructure across the country in both rural and urban areas,” he said.

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