Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has welcomed funding of €23 million from EU’s INTERREG VA Programme for three cross-border greenway projects.
The North West greenway is receiving the biggest share of the funding with €14.86 million. This is for 46.5 kilometres of routes to connect Derry and Strabane with Donegal through development of these traffic free routes for walkers, runners and cyclists young and old.
€3.46 million has been offered for a greenway project connecting Newry with Carlingford and €4.95 million to enable the creation of a 22 kilometre route between Counties Monaghan and Armagh following the route of the disused Ulster Canal.
The Department for Infrastructure has provided match funding alongside the Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland. The overall objective is to increase the number of cross-border journeys made by cycling or walking by up to 10 per cent across the region by 2023.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said:
“I recently gave the green light to 1,000 kilometres of greenways across the north. I am delighted that three key cross-border routes to link Derry to Buncrana, Newry to Carlingford and Middletown to Smithborough – which all tie into this network – have secured this offer of EU co-financing.
“The benefits of developing greenways go well beyond transport. The health, economic, environmental and social impacts help enhance the quality of life for users. This funding demonstrates commitment to further develop sustainable transport options here and on a cross border basis. It will make a real difference to our travel options and contribute to one of our Programme for Government targets of increasing the number of people walking, cycling and using public transport. This all enhances the island of Ireland as a place where people want to live and work, to visit and invest.”
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