The National Transport Authority has today announced allocations totalling €11.86m for 33 sustainable transport projects in Galway city. €240m in funding has been announced nationally for 468 sustainable transport projects in 12 local authority areas as part of the National Investment Fund. This year’s allocations have increased by just over €130m as compared to last year’s and will support the addition of 233 new projects to the NTA’s investment programme in 2021.
This is a multi-annual programme with the primary objective of investing in walking and cycling infrastructure, along with other sustainable mobility projects such as bridge and junction maintenance. The programme for 2021 is a split between brand new projects and those which have already been announced or scheduled.
Of the 33 projects in Galway, 15 attracting funding of over €4.9m, are entirely new. The remainder are existing projects for which ongoing funding totalling over €6.9m is being provided to Galway City Council.
Among existing projects being funded is the Ardaun Transport Study focusing on the Martin Junction and the Galway Cross City Link, which have been allocated €1m and €750,000 respectively.
The NTA is also helping to realise the ambition of the Galway Transport Strategy with new funding for works on the Tuam Road to Moneghisha Junction and on Wolftone Bridge.
Welcoming the announcement Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “Over the last number of months Government has funded local authorities across the country to re-orientate road-space toward our pedestrians and cyclists. Today’s announcement, which builds on from our recent progress across towns and villages nationwide, is underpinned by our commitment to invest almost €1 million per day in walking and cycling infrastructure in 2021.
“Today’s announcement will also contribute greatly towards achieving Safe Routes to School, be it walking, cycling, or scooting, for our children in their daily commute to the classroom when schools reopen.”
Other general projects include the reallocation of overall road space which will include segregated cycling lanes and widened footpaths. Cyclist parking, raised pedestrian crossings and reducing road width at crossing points as well as other improvements.
The NTA will be tasked with overseeing and supporting the development of the high-quality mobility infrastructure across all projects. The Authority will also ensure that projects are accessible, age-friendly and maximise comfort to people of all ages and abilities.
Speaking at today’s announcement Minister Ryan said: “Today’s allocation increase marks a massive step forward in providing green sustainable transport options to our cities, suburbs and hinterlands.
“I truly believe commutes via cycling and walking represent the best way for people in Galway to get to where they want to go. Since Covid we have seen an increase in cycling and walking, and a reconnection to our local areas. Improving our active infrastructure represents cleaner, shorter and healthier journeys for all.
“The projects that the NTA are funding will make a real difference to commuters and leisure seekers alike. Improving infrastructure for cycling and walking will make our cities, towns and villages more accessible and attractive for everyone. That’s good news for communities, and good news for the economy.
“I look forward to seeing and hopefully using the different projects that will be progressing in the months and years to come.”
Anne Graham CEO of the NTA said: “The announcement today states clearly that the number of people who are choosing to get around by active travel modes is growing. Much of the funding announced today represents new projects for both cyclists and pedestrians which will result in easier and safer travel.
“Walking and cycling represent a growing form of travel particularly in light of Covid-19. Funding will be delivered across a wide variety of regions, bringing the option of cycling or walking to localities both inside and outside the city centres.
“We will continue to work with our partners in the local authorities to ensure the projects announced today become a reality as soon as possible.”