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Press Release

Minister Ross and Griffin announce the launch of Bike Week 2019 along with Greenway funding of €40 million

Published: 21 June 2019
From: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Minister Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State Brendan Griffin T.D. today announced the launch of Bike Week 2019 and the award of funding for 10 Greenway projects around the country under Project Ireland 2040.

Minister Ross stated “I am particularly excited to announce Bike Week this year, which runs from tomorrow through all of next week, where we celebrate all that is good about cycling right across the country. I believe we are now at a crossroads, where we can build on the clear increase in cycling we have seen since the first Bike Week in 2009. Many compelling factors are now coming together to drive cycling on to a new level, including the dramatic increases in funding I have secured for cycling, the exemplary work of the National Transport Authority and various other bodies to improve cycling, not just in infrastructure but the training, support, legislation, programmes and initiatives that will help integrate cycling into mainstream transport. This along with other factors, such as the ever more compelling evidence emerging on climate change is making people consider what they can do to help their planet, making cycling an ever more attractive option.”

“Following hot on the heels of the Government’s Climate Action Plan publication, next week I am attending Velo-City, a major international conference on cycling and the following week I will be launching a review of public transport and active travel policy for the country. We have several major cycling projects under construction, such as the Royal Canal Greenway, or in the pipeline, such as the Fitzwilliam and Liffey cycle routes along with over 200 km under BusConnects. The benefits of cycling are there for all to see, I sincerely encourage everyone to get on their bike and reap the many benefits, including improved health, improved air quality, improved accessibility to transport, reduced traffic congestion and reduced transport costs”

He added - I’m also delighted to announce funding of €40m for these 10 excellent greenway projects. There was a very high level of interest in this funding call with 22 applications received. We have chosen, following a detailed assessment process, 10 projects that will expand our network of Greenways around the country, building on what has already been achieved and laying the groundwork for continued expansion over the next decade.”

He continued – “We have seen the benefits that the Waterford and Great Western Greenways have brought to towns like Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas and Newport. We want to see that type of benefit accruing to towns like Listowel, New Ross, Blessington and all the other towns and villages on the Greenways that we are providing funding to today. We will see many of these in use around the country during Bike Week.”

He finished by stating – “The projects funded through these allocations will provide safe, substantially segregated Greenways that give users access to the beautiful scenery that Ireland is renowned for and will bring new visitors to the many attractions there are to see around the country. All projects will also make provision for the All-Ireland pollinator plan to increase our bio-diversity and respect our environment”.

Minister of State Griffin stated – “I’m particularly pleased to see the Strategic nature of our investment today, extending the Great Southern Greenway into County Kerry, extending the Great Western Greenway onto Achill itself and towards Keel and bringing the Waterford Greenway into the heart of Waterford City so that Greenway users will be able to access the wonderful Viking Triangle. We are also investing in sections of the Grand Canal Greenway and completing the missing links of the Connemara Greenway between Clifden and Recess in County Galway.”

He continued – “This announcement gives a clear statement of intent with regard to activity tourism. This investment will see Ireland with a network of around 500km of Greenways. This investment is part of Project Ireland 2040 which is the Government’s overarching strategy to make Ireland a better place for its entire population. We will not be stopping there, we know there are more plans and communities out there that will be looking for funding in the future and the commitment of Government is spelled out in the National Development Plan.”


Notes for editor:

Bike Week 2019

  • this year’s Bike Week is being held from 22nd to 30th June
  • events are organised by Local Authorities, Cycling Ireland, clubs and community groups nationwide (details can be found at www.bikeweek.ie
  • Bike Week has been steadily growing in size since it was launched in 2009
  • last year over 40,000 people participated in over 600 events across the country
  • many of these are family fun events, suitable for all to enjoy
  • the aim is to celebrate and promote all that's great about bikes and cycling
  • Bike Week is a key part of the Governments promotion of cycling nationwide
  • this year we are focusing on the environmental benefit that cycling brings
  • cycling can also bring many other benefits, including improvements to your health and finances
  • cycling numbers are steadily increasing across Ireland and significantly enhanced investment in cycling infrastructure will boost these numbers further in the coming years
  • everyone is encouraged to consider getting on a bike for any trips, such as cycling to work, school, the shops or just for leisure, not only during Bike Week but all year round
Greenway Funding

Applications were received for 22 projects in November 2018 and following an assessment carried out by representatives from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Fáilte Ireland, Sport Ireland Trails with advice provided by local authority engineering staff with experience in constructing greenways (and whose local authorities had not submitted applications) and scoring based on the criteria set out in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways, the following projects have been awarded funding:

    Project Amount €million Lead Promoter Additional Information
    Midleton-Youghal €8.0m Cork County Council 23km of Greenway linking Midelton to Youghal along the old railway line
    Connemara Greenway €2.6m Galway County Council Completion of sections from Clifden to Recess will provide a 21km route. Part of the proposed Galway – Clifden Greenway
    Tralee - Fenit €3m Kerry County Council Start of Southern End of Great Southern Greenway, first stage in linking Fenit to Listowel – 10km
    Listowel – Limerick County Boundary €3.5m Kerry County Council Extension of Great Southern Greenway westwards into Kerry and towards the sea - 10.5km of new Greenway increasing GSG to over 50km
    Clew Bay Greenway €3.2m Mayo County Council Achill Sound and extension to Bunnacurry. Construction of Grade Separated sections from Westport to Murrisk. Will contribute to 56km route
    Waterford Greenway €2.65m Waterford County Council Extension of Waterford Greenway into City – Viking Triangle. Extends Greenway to 48km
    Grand Canal Greenway- Tullamore to Daingean €2.35m Waterways Ireland/Offaly County Council Will complete link from Daingean to Lough Boora – 40km
    Grand canal Greenway -Kildare section as far as Sallins €1.7m Waterways Ireland/Kildare Co Co Aylmer Bridge to Sallins, extends Greenway from Hazelhatch Bridge to Sallins – 13km
    Ferrybank - New Ross €8m Wexford County Council 24km with potential to link to Waterford Greenway in Waterford City.
    Blessington Lake Loop €5m Wicklow County Council 42km of Greenway around the Blessington Lakes, incorporating Russborough House and the villages of Valleymount, Ballyknockan and Lacken.