Local TD John McGuinness and Chairman of Kilkenny County Council Cllr Andrew McGuinness
Local TD John McGuinness has welcomed today's announcement by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton of a fund of €50 million to be made available to local authorities for investment in walking and cycling projects.
Deputy McGuinness has confirmed that Kilkenny is one of the counties eligible to apply for part of the funding.
"The aim of this funding is to support the development of high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure outside of our cities. Kilkenny is eligible for Active Travel funding from the NTA and so I'm urging Kilkenny County Council to put their best foot forward," said Deputy McGuinness.
Local authority applicants should identify convenient and direct routes for active travel modes, including, and where necessary, aim to reallocate space from motor traffic and car parking. Funded projects should be accessible, age-friendly and maximise comfort to people of all ages and abilities.
"This scheme comes at a time when we have seen a significant increase in cycling and walking, particularly during the pandemic. This funding will go towards providing and improving the cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in our towns and villages. Kilkenny can benefit greatly and so I'm calling on our local authority to treat this with urgency," said Deputy McGuinness.
The fund will be administered for the Department of Transport by the National Transport Authority. Among the kinds of project that will be considered are:
Development of active travel network strategies
Provision of new / widened footpaths or segregated cycle tracks;
Reconstruction / renewal of defective footpaths or cycle tracks;
Improved crossing facilities for pedestrians/cyclists including raised surfaces, zebra crossings, provision of lighting and signalised crossings;
Provision of cycle parking
Dishing of footpaths at junctions, raised pedestrian crossings, and reducing road width at crossing points;
Closing roads to vehicles, except for access only;
Permeability measures to support improved access within and between local communities;
Setting appropriate speed limits in accordance with the Guidelines for setting and managing speed limits in Ireland and/or introducing a “Slow Zone”;
Pedestrian / cycle bridge rehabilitation works;
Design work in respect of the provision of a future pedestrian / cycle bridge.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Kilkenny and, if we are successful in the application process, will help us to make great improvements to our cycling and walking facilities in County Kilkenny," said chairman of Kilkenny County Council Andrew McGuinness, who also welcomed the news.