Carrick-on-shannon is to benefit from €400,000 from the Department of Transport to help transform it into one of eleven Active travel Towns.
Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly announced over €4.5 million funding for walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the ‘Active Travel Towns’ Programme which will include new cycle-lanes, provision of walkways and behavioural change initiatives in local schools and workplaces to encourage people to switch their transport mode.
In Carrick, a good balanced mix of infrastructural projects coupled with softer measures to encourage modal shift will be put in place over the next few years. The programme proposes a number of infrastructural projects for the town including a cycle route linking the railway station on the west of the river to the town centre. The new initiative proposes the extension of existing routes thereby linking residential area to the town centre. The plan also includes a number of softer measures are also proposed to encourage behavioural change and it has the support of the local business sport and school communities.
“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 exactly what we are doing with the Active Travel programme. This will combine infrastructure improvements with behavioural change measures to encourage people to use the new infrastructure and to leave the car at home. There is huge scope for change and this needs to be driven locally,” stated Minister Kelly.
Local Fine Gael Deputies Frank Feighan and Tony McLoughlin both warmly welcomed the funding and the initiative towards alternative travel. Cavan, Sligo and Letterkenny are also in the programme.