A project to promote walking and cycling routes around Mullingar is to receive a windfall of almost a quarter of a million euros.
Active Travel Mullingar, a three-year project to develop the canal towpath and waterways in and around Mullingar, in order to encourage walking and cycling within and around the town, has been approved for funding of €247,000 under the Smarter Travel Project Fund.
The project will be piloted in the first year selecting the Delvin road access artery to the town. Measures planned for this pilot project will include the upgrade of the canal towpath and the provision of high quality access links from the canal towpath to strategic points within the town.
It is also planned to install bike shelters and bike parking facilities at strategic points including at primary and secondary schools, to provide cycling and walking safety education within communities, primary schools, and secondary schools, and to offer website-based information on issues such as best routes, bike maintenance, and best practice for road users.
Subsequent to the evaluation of the pilot project it is proposed to roll out the same scheme, with learned improvements, on a further two main arteries into Mullingar.
Welcoming the funding, Cllr Ken Glynn said it represented a major investment for the town.
“It is fantastic news. It will encourage people to become more active and will help promote healthy living. Westmeath County Council are to be complimented on their work on the project to date. This is significant funding for the area,” he said.
Funding of up to €3 million for a total of 30 Sustainable Travel Projects under the Smarter Travel Project Fund was announced by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey last week.
A ‘Cycle Safe’ programme for secondary school students in County Longford is also among the projects that will benefit from this round of funding.
The fund was set up to encourage the development of projects that can deliver more sustainable transport behaviour at a local level.