Limerick wins big for walking and cycling
Press release: Green Party representatives welcome €21 million investment in funding for walking and cycling across Limerick City and County
Brian Leddin TD said: “I’m thrilled that €21m has been allocated for investment in 51 projects across Limerick this year. Infrastructure developments, such as cycle lanes and footpaths make it easier for our children to cycle to school without being driven, it makes it safer to walk to your local shop and it means we will all spend less time stuck in traffic jams.”
In 2021 Limerick City and County Council got an allocation of €17 million for cycle lanes and footpaths. That increased to €24 million in 2022 and this year 51 projects were approved at a combined value of €21 million.
Deputy Leddin added: “Spending on cycle lanes and footpaths has increased more than tenfold in Limerick since the Green Party entered government. That’s the sort of change voters asked for and we are delivering on our promise.”
The Green Party TD believes that this level of investment by the state in public infrastructure is critically important to attract further investment by the private sector and create jobs, which will help us grow as a thriving and competitive European city. Companies demand this kind of infrastructure when deciding where to locate new projects.
Limerick City East Councillor Seán Hartigan welcomed some of the large scheme projects coming on stream in 2023, such as junction improvements at Plassey Park and connection of Parnell Street cycle lane with Clare Street and on to the UL smarter travel route, but warned that: ”If the money isn’t spent in Limerick it will be sent elsewhere. We are seeing some major investments being put on hold or in doubt because of unfounded claims that it will be bad for the city and the residents. We have cars here, there and everywhere. People are blocking footpaths, cycle lanes and bus stops with their cars. This €21 million investment to build more cycle lanes and footpaths is investment to improve public spaces for public good.”
Green Party councillor for Limerick City North, Saša Novak also welcomed the announcement, saying: “I was delighted to propose the TUS to city centre active travel scheme at our meeting last December. It’s a scheme that’s been almost 10 years in the making and this year the funding is there for it too.”
She said: “This level of investment in Limerick is fantastic but we must increase the pace of development. We’ve seen the reports from what underinvestment into public transport and walking and cycling did in Galway. Estimates suggest congestion costs Galway business €28.3 million annually and Galway drivers lose almost four days of their lives to congestion every year. The only way to fix or avoid congestion is to replace cars on our roads with more efficient ways of travelling. Cycling has huge untapped potential in Limerick that can be achieved with better connected and safer cycle lanes. Limerick doesn’t have the same problem as Galway yet and the €21 million investment is a step towards ensuring it never will.”
Funding is announced as part of the government’s unprecedented €360m per annum commitment to investing in active travel infrastructure to create safe and connected cycle networks within and between all towns, villages and cities across Ireland. This commitment represents approximately 20% of the transport budget and was a key win for the Green Party when it entered government. The commitment was reinforced in the recent National Development Plan when it was extended through to 2030.