A funding boost of €63.5 million has been announced for Ireland’s greenways.
The allocations for 2021, announced today, were described by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan as “the highest single-year amount ever allocated to Greenways”.
They include €10 million for the Midleton-Youghal Greenway in Co Cork, €5.5m for an expansion of Mayo’s Great Western Greenway, and €4.54m for the Listowel to Tralee Greenway in Co Kerry.
Minister Ryan said the funding represented “a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling”.
A €2.5m contribution to the Great Southern Greenway in Limerick would support the County Council in giving cyclists “a quality experience” all the way from Rathkeale to Listowel, he added.
€1.66m allocated to stretch the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry in Co Offaly means that by the end of next year it will be possible to cycle over 50km off-road from Edenderry to Lough Boora.
Construction along the Great Southern Greenway, Limerick. Photo: Department of Transport
In Co Wexford, €9m will support the refurbishment of the New Ross to Waterford Railway as part of the Greenway connecting New Ross to Waterford City.
"This cycleway will ultimately form part of an extensive cycling and walking network across the South East region and provide an environmentally friendly alternative for commuters into Waterford and New Ross,” Minister Ryan said.
“2021 is only the start,” Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said. “We will continue to build on this level of investment over the coming years.”
Breakdown of 2021 Greenway allocations:
Cork, Midleton-Youghal: €10m
Galway, Clifden-Recess: €3.35m
Kildare, Grand Canal Aylmer Bridge to Sallins: €2.93m
Kerry, Tralee Fenit: €3.44m
Kerry, Listowel to Tralee: €4.54m
Mayo, Great Western Way: €5.15m
Offaly, Grand Canal Daingean to Lough Boora: €1.66m