Minister Announces Start-Up Grants for Greenways Nationwide
Minister Eamon Ryan, our new Minister for Transport and Climate Action, recently announced a total of 26 grants of varying sizes, totalling €4.5mill for proposed greenway projects right around the country. A total of 20 County Councils, along with Waterways Ireland, have received funding varying from initial seed funding to explore a greenway idea, to funding to enable final design and consultations to take place. It is a welcome initiative that has made use of available funds from the Carbon Tax Fund.
We understand that there were over 40 applications for this round of funding, and the wide geographical spread of the successful applicants bodes well for the range of potential future projects, if they are fully followed through. We are pleased that a number of the proposals in different counties appear to link up with other initiatives in adjoining counties, holding out hope for linked cycle and walking routes and networks in a number of regions. Additionally, a number of counties have been successful with multiple applications. The range of grants runs from a low of €45,000 to Donegal for a short 8km project from Muff to Quigley’s Point, to a high of €750,000 to Meath County Council for the proposed greenway from Drogheda to Navan.
For all local authorities involved we in Cyclist.ie will be closely monitoring the spending of these grants, hopefully within an agreed timescale, which at this point in time is unclear. We do not wish to see a return to the false promises made in the past when various proposed schemes were unable to be advanced, despite commitments from the various local authorities concerned.
Overall this is a good news story for cycling development and recreational / tourism cycling in particular. It is now up to the local Councils to ensure these monies are well spent, and to see the projects advance. Cyclist.ie local groups will be keeping a close watch on the different projects, and we hope to keep our members and the general public up to date with what happens on the different schemes.