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Dáil Question on walking and cycling routs along Royal and Grand Canals

Dáil Question No: 508

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a feasibility study has been done on the potential walking and cycle routes, along the Royal and Grand Canals; and if he will examine the economic benefit to the local communities along these routes..

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12th November, 2013.

Ref No: 47717/13

Answered by the Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly

REPLY

I am fully supportive of the development of walking and cycling routes along the Canals.

Certainly, recognition of the potential for stimulating local economies has led to growing support for this type of development with investment generating new business, particularly in the services sector and other complimentary services such as bike hire.

Parts of the Royal Canal route are already under construction as part of the proposed Dublin to Galway Greenway.  Planning for this cycle route is being carried out by the National Roads Authority (NRA) and National Transport Authority (NTA).  The Royal Canal is the intended route for the section between Dublin City Centre  and Mullingar.  The NTA is proceeding with the planning of the Dublin to Maynooth section and a section of the route from Ashtown to Castleknock is being constructed in 2013 with funding from the NTA and my Department through the National Cycle Network (NCN) Programme.  The NRA is currently undertaking detailed route alignment and design work for the Maynooth-Galway section of the route and the section from the Meath/Westmeath county boundary to Mullingar is also under construction with funding under the NCN Programme.

My Department recently announced the provision of €6.5 million under a second round of NCN Programme funding for 2014 to 2016.  This funding will be allocated to local authorities through a competitive process.  From the perspective of funding projects along both Canals, it would be a matter for the relevant local authorities, in conjunction with key stakeholders, to progress and submit any proposals to this Department by the associated deadline, which is 15 November 2013.

Given the NTA’s responsibility for the provision of cycle and walking paths in the Greater Dublin Area, which includes long stretches of the both Canals, I have forwarded your Question to the NTA for direct reply.  If you do not receive a response within ten working days, please notify my private Office.