A combined €5.8 million investment from the National Transport Authority is set to transform the experience of walking, wheeling or cycling around Kilkenny and Carlow, making it a safer and more appealing option for more people.
My colleague Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Transport, announced this week that the NTA is allocating an incredible €290 million to over 1000 projects nationwide that will improve cycle lanes and footpaths, and provide new pedestrian crossings, bridges and safe routes to school. I'm delighted to say that includes 28 individual transport projects in Kilkenny, and a further 18 in Carlow, totalling €3.1 million and €2.7 million respectively.
This is a really significant investment in measures that will make it safer, easier and more enjoyable for people to get around our city and county on foot, on bike, scooting or wheeling. Funding like this makes it easier for kids to walk, cycle or scoot to school, which gives them a great start to their day and wonderful sense of independence. It also makes it safer and more enjoyable to just leave the car at home and cycle into town or walk to the local shops. And as more of us start to make those small choices, we’ll be spending less time stuck in traffic, we’ll be breathing cleaner air, and our streets will be generally quieter, safer and more accessible.
It’s important to note too that these projects won’t just encourage a switch to more active modes of travel, they will also improve our public realm. In this allocation we’re seeing €50,000 for public lighting improvements, along with footpath improvements, increased permeability, and a reallocation of road space to improve the experience of pedestrians.
Included in the overall allocation is over €200,000 for staffing costs associated with rolling out an improved walking and cycling network in Kilkenny, and €528,000 for rapid deployment measures in Kilkenny City; along with over €300,000 for staffing costs in Carlow, and €500,000 for a Dublin Road pedestrian and cycle scheme.
I’m especially pleased to see €40,000 allocated to an overall Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Kilkenny; over half a million euro for a Cootes Lane to Ring Road transport project; €400,000 for a one-way system on Bridge Street in Callan, and €100,000 for a laneway- and street-based cycling network for the west of the city. This is something I actually proposed when I was on Kilkenny County Council and it’s great to see it will finally happen now.
This level of investment in footpaths, lighting, and cycling routes - all geared towards helping people make the shift to walking and cycling some of their journeys - will be absolutely transformative for Kilkenny and for Carlow. Spending on cycle lanes and footpaths has increased more than six-fold since the Green Party entered government. That’s the sort of change voters asked for and we are delivering on our promise. A fundamental commitment delivered by the Green Party in government.