Five Kilkenny schools have been selected for inclusion in the first round of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programme.
SRTS aims to support walking and cycling infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools.
The schools will benefit from a range of tailored measures to improve pupil and staff commutes, such as an upgraded footpath or new cycle lane or the provision of cycle and scooter parking.
Kilkenny schools selected are: CBS Secondary School, James’ St., Loreto Secondary School, Granges Road, St John of God National School, Upper New Street, St. Canice's Co-ed. N.S., Granges Road and St. Patrick's De La Salle B.N.S, Coote's Lane.
Welcoming the news this morning, Mayor Andrew McGuinness said, "Kilkenny is doing really well in terms of students cycling and walking to school and we need to do everything we can to facilitate that.
"These projects will be a great help and hopefully more local schools will be included in the next round of announcements."
John Paul Phelan TD also welcomed the news noting that the aim of the programme "is to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities."
Green Party Cllr Maria Dollard has warmly welcomed the inclusion of the five city schools.
“Well done to five successful schools. The John of God and St Patrick De La Salle NS have experienced difficulties in recent times with changes to car parking availability so this will be a great chance to develop better infrastructure," she said.
"The success follows Kilkenny County Council’s Cycling Officer Caitriona Corr’s innovative and collaborative work with Loreto Secondary School and St Canice's School, both on the Granges Rd.
"They will soon be joined by the development close by of the new CBS Secondary School, creating a primary and secondary hub of education attracting several thousand students daily during term time, so it is of critical importance that we have as much cycling and walking to this area as possible.
"This can only be achieved through making cycling and walking as attractive as possible and individual car transport less attractive."
The programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA) and is supported by the Department of Education. An Taisce’s Green-Schools is co-ordinating the programme.
A provisional multi-annual programme has been created which can allow for a rolling scheme to facilitate all schools that applied.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.