04 Jul 2022

No greenbacks for greenways in Laois

Longford Greenway

Cyclists from Abbeyshrule enjoying the Longford Greenway

Laois County Council is one of five local authorities not to be allocated money to develop a new greenway for walking and other leisure facilities from a new round of funding announced by Minister Eamon Ryan.

Just over €54.1 million was allocated councils around Ireland under the Transport Infrastructure Ireland 2022 Grant Allocation to Local Authorities for National Roads and Greenways. 

Neighbouring Offaly is getting €1.3 million to advance a number of projects.

Simon Walton is Laois County Council's Director of Services with responsibility for Roads, Transportation, Environment, Water Services, Emergency Services. He explained the situation with regard to greenway development in Laois.

"No application was made by Laois County Council for Greenways in 2022 but we are open to making applications for suitable, available greenway projects in Co Laois," he told the Leinster Express.

He said there are different avenues under which a greenway could develop. He said this could involved partnership with independent group or organisation or a project proposed by the council itself.

He added that there have be some calls for a greenway on various old railway lines but the main challenge with these is that a substantial amounts lands that are not preserved.

The other councils not to receive funding are Kilkenny, Cork city, Galway city, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown in Dublin.

Minister Ryan encouraged the involvement of local people in developing greenways.

"Community buy-in is central to the future of our greenways, which are one of the big success stories of rural Ireland. Greenways are a wonderful amenity for leisure and tourism, and they are also important for everyday journeys to school, work or the shops,” he said.

Laois Offaly Green Party Minister of State Pippa Hackett welcomed the funding for Offaly greenway development.

“The Green Party promised active travel investment and again, today, we are delivering.  €60 million has been allocated to around 40 Greenway projects across the country.

 "It’s an enormous boost to Offaly, with the Grand Canal and Lough Derg greenways and the Dublin-Galway EuroVelo all receiving funding. This will mean better cycle access for school children, for local cyclists and for tourists. It will help tourism businesses in Offaly and bring more visitors into Tullamore.

"2022 will see €773,000 spent on the section of greenway from Leabeg to Boora,  €250,000 on the Kilbeggan Link, €80,000 linking Killina to the local school on the Lough Derg greenway, and €25,000 on the design of the section from Tullamore to the Old Rail Trail,” she said.

TII has also recently been assigned responsibility for Greenways. Some 40 projects have been supported around Ireland in this year's grants which are linked to road spending.


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