€172,000 funding for extension of Longford Royal Canal Greenway
Additional funding for the Longford Royal Canal Greenway, totalling €172,000, has been announced.
Minister Eamon Ryan, TD Minister of Transport, and Hildegarde Naughton, TD Minister of State, said the national allocation of €63.5m to Greenways for 2021 is the highest single annual amount ever allocated to Greenways.
The €172,000 funding for Longford will be used for refurbishment of the Royal Canal with improved infrastructure being provided along the cycleway.
Longford / Westmeath TD and Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke welcomed the announcement, "I know Longford residents in particular will welcome €172,000 funding for the extension of the Longford Canal Greenway, which is already a widely utilised and enjoyed resource I know many families and individuals use on a regular basis. This investment will support even greater numbers enjoying our outdoors by cycling and walking for school, work and leisure."
Minister Burke stated: “€63.5m for Greenways for 2021 is the highest single year amount ever allocated to Greenways in this country, since the initiative was trialled and introduced by the Fine Gael Labour Government in 2011.
"I note Minister Hildegarde Naughten, Fine Gael TD for Galway has said that this figure nearly equals the total amount originally allocated for the 4 years 2018-2021 (€53m) and shows the commitment of this Government to providing a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling."
Minister Burke suggested that all families will welcome the roll-out of a new Safe Routes to School Initiative.
"This programme will seek to accelerate the delivery of improved walking and cycling infrastructure to schools; enhance sustainable access onto school grounds; and expand the amount of cycle parking available at schools. Underpinning this new initiative, we will see almost €1 million per day spent on our walking and cycling infrastructure in the year 2021.
“Prior to the COVID pandemic, our Local Authorities were funded 60% by the Government for these provisions. However, in recognition of the significant financial constraints put on our county councils since the onset of the restrictions, government has increased this funding to 100% of cost.
“We have seen even more this year the great benefits our outdoors and active pursuits can help us through tough times, and our Greenway network is a fantastic resource for families and people of all ages to enjoy. I look forward to the completion of the Royal Canal Greenway and getting out on my bike to enjoy it in the period ahead.”