Walk this way to €45m
Investment in walking and cycling has taken a step in the right direction.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) confirmed recently that it has allocated €45.39m for 80 sustainable transport projects in Cork county and city.
Of the 80 projects, 39 are new and will cost €18m. The remainder are existing projects for which ongoing funding, totalling more than €27m, is being provided to Cork City Council and Cork County Council.
Among existing projects being funded is the first phase of the Mahon to Marina Greenway and the Ballinacurra to Midleton cycle route, which have been allocated €3.2m and €1.3m respectively.
The NTA said it is “also helping to realise the ambition of the Cork Metropolitan Area Draft Transport Strategy 2040 with new funding for the Lee to Sea Cycle Route Study”.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “This significant investment in the city’s infrastructure and will help make cycling, walking and public transport more accessible by upgrading and developing new infrastructure in the city centre, suburbs and towns. I am delighted to see the Government delivering for the city by investing in these new facilities which will not only improve our infrastructure but our quality of life.”
Other general projects include the reallocation of overall road space which will include segregated cycling lanes and widened footpaths. Cyclist parking raised pedestrian crossings and reducing road width at crossing points as well as other improvements.
Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, said: “This allocation represents the true commencement of the game changing programme of improvements that is set out in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy and beyond.”
He added: “Quality of life will continue to be a defining feature of the competitiveness of our region and this investment will deepen and enhance that characteristic across Cork. It is absolutely essential that a comprehensive approach is taken to the rollout of sustainable mobility in our region and that cycle and pedestrian mobility is pursued at every available opportunity.
“As designs progress, connectivity will be key and I urge that the joining up of disparate elements of sustainable mobility infrastructure be pursued relentlessly. This is the key to true success. In addition to these projects receiving funding today, the development of suburban and light rail will be essential elements to unlocking the growth potential of the region and to reducing car dependency in the post-Covid-19 era,” concluded Mr Healy.