€43M for cycle, pedestrian & bus projects in Dublin region allocated by NTA – Varadkar

Funding of €43 million has been announced today by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to provide better facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and to improve public transport in the Greater Dublin Area, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has confirmed.

New cycle routes will be built or planned across the city centre and surrounding counties, including a route from The O2 to Heuston Station and Phoenix Park, and the first five major cycle routes in Dublin city centre. Work will be completed on the cycle route through Tolka Valley and Cardiffsbridge Parks, and the Marlborough Street Bridge for bus and Luas services is expected to be finished this year. The funding will also allow the Dublin Bikes scheme to be extended.
“These projects are designed to encourage more people to leave the car at home and try out alternative forms of transport. We want to make the city safer for walking and cycling, and improve the experience of using public transport. The new cycle routes being planned and built across the Greater Dublin region should encourage more people to cycle to work, but many will also be attractive to tourists. I’m particularly pleased that we can support the ongoing expansion of the Dublin Bikes scheme,” Minister Varadkar said.
“In overall terms the funding level might be quite modest, but this reflects the fact that we are trying to target existing resources more effectively, given the constraints imposed by the economic situation. And each of these projects has the potential to make a real difference to people right across the seven counties.”
The NTA has provided €43.7 million to the seven local authorities in the region: Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Kildare County Council, Meath County Council, and Wicklow County Council.
Growing numbers of people are cycling to work in the city centre, with an average of 8,000 commuters using bikes compared to 5,000 in 2006. Many of these schemes will make it easier for commuters to cycle in to work from further afield.
Funding for the Sustainable Transport scheme in the Greater Dublin Area was allocated by the NTA, on the basis of applications submitted by the seven local authorities. The NTA assessed the projects on their ability to promote walking and cycling, or improve access to public transport. It means that construction work can now be completed in 2013 or 2014 on a number of projects already underway, while planning and design work can start on others. Earlier this year Sustainable Transport funding was announced for several regional cities.