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€63.5 million funding allocated to walking and cycling greenways

The Midleton-Youghal Greenway in Cork is to receive funding of €10 million.

OVER €63 MILLION has been allocated in funding to improving and expanding greenways around Ireland in 2021.

Under the funding, some existing greenways will be improved and extended, and a new greenway bridge is to be constructed across the River Shannon in Athlone.

€10 million is to be put towards the Midleton-Youghal Greenway in Cork, with €9 million allocated to the Waterford-New Ross Greenway.

An expansion of the Great Western Way in Mayo will receive €5.15 million, while the TII in Galway-Athlone has been allocated €8.1 million and the Blessington Loop in Wicklow will receive €6.4 million.

Greenways in Kildare, Kerry, Offaly, Limerick, and Longford will also receive funding next year.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that the funding will provide a “step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling”.

“We will contribute a significant amount to the Great Southern Greenway in Limerick to support the work of the County Council in bringing the Greenway up to a modern standard,” Ryan said.

“This will ensure that cyclists will have a quality experience all the way from Rathkeale, Co Limerick to Listowel, Co Kerry.”

In Offaly, an extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry will be funded.

Ryan said the extension would mean that “by the end of next year it will be possible to cycle the Greenway the whole way from Edenderry to Lough Boora, over 50km worth of cycleway”.

Funding is to be put towards refurbishing the Longford Canal and providing improved infrastructure along the cycleway.

“We will also support the refurbishment of the disused New Ross to Waterford Railway as part of the Greenway connecting New Ross to Waterford City which incorporates the Kilkenny Greenway,” Ryan said.

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“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.”

In Athlone, a Greenway bridge is to be constructed across the River Shannon as part of the Galway to Dublin Greenway.

Minister of State for Road Transport Hildegarde Naughton said that that the funding would “go a long way in delivering a safe and sustainable environment for active travel in our villages, towns and cities”.

“This investment will support even greater numbers enjoying our outdoors by cycling and walking for school, work and leisure,” Naughton said.

“We are also supporting 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.”

In July, the government announced €4.5 million in funding for 26 new and existing greenway cyclings projects around the country.

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