€2.4 million funding boost for local active travel projects

County Roscommon is set to benefit from funding of €2.4 million for the development of local cycleways and pathways as part of National Transport Authority funding under the Active Travel Scheme.

Some of the projects to receive funding in this round include: €200,000 allocated to developing the cycle route in Athleague; €240,000 towards improvements to walkways in Loughglynn; and €240,000 for a footpath link in Elphin.

Meanwhile, Lisnamult in Roscommon town will receive €200,000 for public lighting as well as wider footpaths and Knockcroghery is set to receive €200,000 for a segregated cycleway. Ballyleague will benefit from €50,000 for footpaths and Cootehall will receive €200,000 for a cycleway while Ballaghaderreen will receive €23,000.

There will also be an investment of €100,000 in footpaths at Bealnamulla as well as €110,000 in a shared cycle and footpath route at Creagh, Ballinasloe.

Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said it was “an amazing injection of investment”.

“In most of our towns within a kilometre in built-up residential areas we don’t have footpaths.

“These projects will take place over the next year and I would like to pay tribute to our engineers and roads team at Roscommon County Council who took the time to make strong submissions and ultimately win over €2 million for communities,” she said.

Independent TD Denis Naughten described it as a “very positive development” adding that he was “delighted to have been able to assist” local communities in securing this investment in conjunction with both Roscommon and Galway County Councils.

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy said it was a significant announcement for both Roscommon and east Galway.

“Galway County Council has been allocated €6.2 million which includes €770,000 for footpath improvements in Ballinasloe town and €348,000 for footpath improvements in Mountbellew amongst many other projects,” he said.

The Fianna Fáil Senator went on to say that this level of funding would help encourage people to switch to walking or cycling as a sustainable form of transport.

Minister of State and TD for Sligo Leitrim and North Roscommon, Frank Feighan, also welcomed the announcement. “This funding has a particular focus on rural Ireland; underpinned by Government’s commitment to spend almost €1 million per day on walking and cycling projects, this funding will support the rollout of high quality active travel infrastructure in rural towns and villages right across Roscommon and indeed the country,” he said.

Commenting on funding for projects in the Boyle Municipal District, Fine Gael councillor Liam Callaghan said: “This investment of over €100,000 in a cycleway in Cootehall and €23,000 in Ballaghaderreen will make these towns safer for people to walk and cycle.

“It is good to see Government commitments to all of our county towns. I’d like to encourage community groups and resident associations to come forward with ideas for their areas for future applications especially for funding programmes such as Clár and Towns and Villages,” he said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Orla Leyden said the funding for works in Lisnamult would make the area safer: “This funding will provide the necessary infrastructure to connect Roscommon Community Sports Park and Roscommon Gaels’ pitch to the town, making it easy and safe for children and adults to walk and cycle to the sports facilities.

“We have incredible facilities in Lisnamult developed by the community and this funding will make them even more accessible to everyone.

“This is an issue that I have continued to highlight and I would like to thank John Mockler, Acting Senior Roads Engineer, Roscommon County Council, for his great work”.