Public Transport Minister, Alan Kelly, has announced that Clonmel is set to benefit from a €1 million investment and be designated one of Ireland’s Active Travel Towns.
The initiative sees nine Irish towns granted funding for local cycling and walking strategies, including new cycle-lanes, provision of walkways and behavioural change initiatives in local schools and workplaces to encourage people to switch their transport mode.
The total national fund comes to €6.6 million.
The investment in Clonmel will see the construction of a new greenway within the town environs connecting the East and West sides of the town along the proposed ‘Suir’ Greenway at a cost of €500,000.
There will be improved cycling connections all over the town and will be connected to the current cycle track along the inner relief road, while cycling will also be made easier for children and students with improved cycle links to LIT’s Clonmel Campus linking up with the town’s secondary schools. The funding will be drawn down by new Tipperary local authority.
The ‘Active Travel Towns’ programme represents further investment in the National Cycle Policy Framework as set out under the Programme for Government.
Minister Kelly said the news would have a hugely positive benefit on the town overall and make cycling provision much easier and safer for children in particular.
“This represents a major investment in Clonmel and is great news for the town. In the first instance, jobs will be created during the construction of this infrastructure. Secondly, it will significantly improve cycling facilities for commuters and families alike. Cycling has a huge role to play in people’s quality of life and I am delighted to be able to announce this funding. We are trying to create a more cycle-friendly and walking-friendly culture in Ireland. Infrastructure is one dimension but you have to do more to get people to change their behaviour. Better infrastructure needs to be combined with education initiatives and that is what we are doing with this programme,”