Kerry Greens Say Council Is Not Acting Fast Enough On Cycling And Walking Infrastructure

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Anluan Dunne of the Green Party.

GREEN Party representatives in Kerry have criticised Kerry County Council for a lack of action on walking and cycling infrastructure.

Figures released by the National Transport Authority (NTA) have revealed that only 17.8% of funding made available for walking and cycling infrastructure in Kerry was spent in 2021.

“In Kerry, our local authority was allocated €5.6m for walking and cycling projects in the county for the year 2021,” said Anluan Dunne, Green Party Representative for Tralee.

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“However, according to figures released by the NTA, only €1m of this was spent. Specifically in Tralee, no progress has been made despite the enormous amount of money available. Where is the active travel network plan? €500k was allocated for that alone. Where is the Bracker O’Regan Road cycle scheme? €800k was allocated for that project.

“The average monthly spend on petrol and diesel now exceeds €180. If people feel it is unsafe or inconvenient to walk or cycle they will continue to be forced into cars at huge cost to them. It is down to the Council to make it safer and easier and they aren’t doing enough – it’s as simple as that,” he added.

“It’s really disheartening to see money being allocated by Government and not being used at local level,” said Cleo Murphy, Green Party representative for the Kenmare area.

“The Green Party has secured funding for measures such as cycle paths and improved footpaths and these are not being delivered by Kerry County Council. Clearly, we need Green Party representation on the Council to get these improvements implemented.”

In the past week, Green Party representatives have written to the Council to seek an explanation.

Dingle representative, Dr. Peadar Ó Fionnáin, has been told the query has been escalated to senior management in KCC.

Diarmaid Griffin, Killarney representative, has received a reply to his query with the Council stating that they have in fact spent €6.1m in 2021 on Active Travel and Greenway Projects. The Council also refer to Covid as having had an impact on their ability to deliver more projects.

“The lack of priority is the issue here. I don’t doubt that the Council are committed to greenways,” said Anluan Dunne. “But the treatment of walking and cycling as a pastime or hobby, rather than a mode of transport, seems to be a major problem. People should call their councillors and TDs and make it clear that they want the Council to deliver.”

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