Saunders Bridge.

Funds for Saunders Bridge among €3.9m allocated to Westmeath

Three quarters of a million euro has been made available for Saunders Bridge in Mullingar as part of the €3.9m the National Transport Authority (NTA) has allocated for 24 Active Travel schemes in Westmeath.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD confirmed this morning that the NTA has allocated funds to local authorities with a view to spending €290m on walking and cycling infrastructure in 2023.

The amount awarded for Saunders Bridge is €770,000, and €480,000 has been awarded for the R446 road at Kilbeggan, for infrastructure to facilitate national and secondary schools.

Other allocations for Westmeath:

• Mullingar Transport Plan €390,000

• Saunders Bridge, Mullingar €770,000

• Ardmore Road Active Travel scheme, Mullingar €250,000

• Harbour Street Active Travel scheme, Mullingar €50,000

• Dublin Road Active Travel scheme, Mullingar €50,000

• Mount Street Lower Pedestrian Interventions, Mullingar €50,000

• Grange South to Orbital C-Link Active Travel scheme, Mullingar €50,000

• National Science Park Junction Improvements, Mullingar €50,000

• Sundays Well/Lynn Road – Auburn Road/Millmount, Road Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements, Mullingar €50,000

• Marlinstown Roundabout to Royal Canal Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements, Mullingar €100,000

• Athlone – Footpath and Cycleway Improvements for Six Strategic Routes €300,000

• Moate – Footpath and Cycleway Improvements €270,000

• Cycle Parking €90,000

• Low Cost Junction Tightening/Pedestrian Crossing Schemes €100,000

• Low-Cost Permeability Measures €100,000

• Active Travel Office – Staff Costs €270,000

• Delvin Active Travel scheme €100,000

• Athlone Transport Plan €30,000

• Ardmore Road Active Travel scheme, Mullingar Phase 2 €230,000

• Kilbeggan R446 Infrastructure to facilitate National and Secondary Schools €480,000

• Scoil an Chlochair, Kilbeggan €10,000

• Athlone Community College €10,000

• Scoil Chroí Naofa, Rochfortbridge €50,000

• St Joseph’s secondary school, Rochfortbridge €50,000

The national investment will fund approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects, contributing to the development of almost 1,000km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure across the country by 2025.

It includes the development of segregated cycle lanes and widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges, and new pedestrian crossings.

In total, the 2023 fund allocation for Active Travel will allow for the progression of 387 projects in the Greater Dublin Area, 250 across other regional cities and a further 502 projects across rural Ireland.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “Continuous and substantial funding for active travel across the country is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and a cornerstone of our transport strategies. Last year, all of the money allocated was drawn down by local authorities and I am confident that the same will happen this year.

“This will mean that communities across the country will be better connected with safe and people friendly corridors to visit friends, go to the shops, or cycle or walk to school, sports training or other activities.”

The minister said that people often think that greenways, cycle-ways or walkways are primarily tourism amenities, and, that while they serve that purpose well, first and foremost they are about local people and improving local life, connecting suburbs, local villages or townlands that have often become disconnected from one another because of busy and dangerous roads.

“The benefits of this investment are immense, locally and nationally. Not only are we making our cities, towns and villages greener and more livable, we are also helping to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions.

“In transport, we have a significant challenge to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030 – to achieve that, we have to encourage more people to choose sustainable ways of travelling. However, as we have seen already with the greenways, walk and cycle ways, once we build them, they become instantly popular and we don’t really have to do much to encourage people to make the sustainable switch.”

The full list of Active Travel projects receiving funding can be found on: