The Republic of Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) has published its Sustainable Transport Measures Grants (STMG) annual report detailing a significant increase in spending.
The various projects in the programme include Covid and Stimulus Funding, comprising €72.7m in the greater Dublin area, and €35m for regional cities.
The NTA has operated the STMG programme that provides funding to local authorities, public transport bodies and other agencies for various transport projects since 2010.
In addition to the €107m expenditure detailed in the 2020 report, NTA also expects to spend €241m on the STMG programme in 2021, representing a doubling in funding allocated in just a year, and a six-fold increase since 2019.
According to the 2020 report major projects progressed include the Dundrum and Blackrock enhanced access programmes which introduced a re-arranged one-way system for vehicular traffic, with a contra-flow cycle lane in order to create safer, more accessible spaces.
The Railway Street project in Navan was also progressed, which is part of the first phase of the Navan 2030 Town Scheme and included removal of the one-way traffic system and the introduction of two-way traffic.
Spending for the STMG grant in 2020 included 70km of new or improved cycle lanes, 47km of new or upgraded footpaths and 10km of additional greenway added. In total over 80% of funding across the country went to active travel initiatives such as walking and cycling programmes, representing €87.1m of the total spend for 2020.
The STMG programme aims to improve transport options for those choosing alternatives to the private car. The funding has become an important driver of change within the urban centres across the country.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “Today’s report shows a real commitment by this government and the NTA to sustainable long-lasting infrastructure throughout the country. The headline figure shows nearly a massive increase in spending on sustainable transport initiatives since 2019.
“Sustainable infrastructure is something we need throughout the country not only to meet our climate targets but also to enable the vast number of people in rural Ireland to travel in a safe and healthy way.
“Funding for sustainable projects like the projects in this report will continue to be funded throughout the lifetime of this government ensuring that active travel is a reality for all.”
Anne Graham CEO of the NTA said: “The figures contained in today’s report show a really significant increase in our investments in sustainable transport despite the challenges which 2020 has presented.
“In 2020 we engaged with 7 new local authorities to provide more rural regions with sustainable transport options and we have continued this trend in 2021.
“In the post-Covid world people are looking for different ways in which to travel and commute and we are listening and responding. I am confident that the work from 2020 and our future sustainable transport measure grants will make travelling sustainably easier and safer than ever before.”
With the collaboration of the local authorities and other state agencies, and with support for the projects through public and stakeholder consultation this programme is delivering significant infrastructural change, including:
- Bus infrastructure improvements
- Cycle Corridors
- Significant junction improvements
- Pedestrian and cyclist friendly roundabouts
- City Centre Traffic Management changes
The STMG programme continues to fund important local projects supporting pedestrian and cyclist permeability, safety and access to schools and public transport.
The annual programme reports detail infrastructural improvements sponsored by the National Transport Authority and delivered through local authorities.