The Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government John Gormley TD and the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD have announced €5 million in funding for cycling infrastructure - including the city centre section of the Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) cycleway.
The money, which will be spent this year and in 2010, will be targeted at developing, improving and repairing cycle ways and cycle lanes.
The two Departments will provide matching funding of €2.5 million each towards the city centre section of the S2S and other infrastructure over this period.
The Ministers made the announcement in advance of National Bike Week, which begins on June 14th and runs to June 21st.
Dublin City Council is developing detailed proposals for new cycling infrastructure in the city and the money will be expected to be used towards beginning work on the city centre section of the S2S, the development of a dedicated cycle way along the Grand Canal and the repair of existing cycle lanes.
Minister Gormley said - “Cycling is being seen more and more as a realistic, cheap and healthy mode of transport. In the last year alone in Dublin, there has been an eight per cent increase in cyclist numbers within the canals' area. However, we have a lot to do if we are to reach levels in other European cities, where more than a third of commuters chose cycling. The delivery of safe cycle lanes and cycle paths is an essential element in this.”
Minister Dempsey added - “Cyclists matter. Just like other road users, they deserve a safer, easier travelling experience and, with this new investment, we want to help to make that happen. We are all familiar with the hassle of lengthening journey times and traffic congestion as well as the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Equally, we are aware of the health benefits of pursuing more active lifestyles. That’s why a return to the bike can make very real sense. I want to see a new culture of cycling in Ireland by 2020.
"I recently published Ireland’s first national cycle strategy which aims for 10% of all trips to work to be made by bike within the next twelve years. This funding announced today will help make cycling safer in the Dublin area and, hopefully, encourage more people to rediscover the 'up' sides of cycling.
"With National Bike Week approaching, I hope people right around the country will get involved and participate in some of the many bike-related events that are being organised for that week.”