‘Transformative Pathfinder Projects’ announced for Waterford

‘Transformative Pathfinder Projects’ announced for Waterford

Transport Minister Ryan launches transformative Pathfinder Projects to bring more public transport, walking and cycling options to villages, towns, and cities by 2025

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan T.D. today launched the Pathfinder Programme of 35 exemplar transport projects to be delivered by local authorities and agencies around the country within the next three years, with Waterford well represented across the categories of National Impact, Cycle Networks, Public Transport and 15 Minute Neighbourhoods.

The projects are those selected following Minister Ryan’s call to local authorities over the summer to submit their most innovative, transformative plans for public transport, walking and cycling in their areas – the projects that could make the greatest difference to people living in their counties.

The Pathfinder Programme is focused on reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector, by enabling the shift to cleaner transport choices. It also aims to bring increased momentum to the delivery of projects at a local level, providing templates that can be replicated and scaled up elsewhere, with a strong emphasis on experimental and innovative approaches.

Green Party TD for Waterford, Marc Ó Cathasaigh has warmly welcomed today’s announcement and the strong representation of projects across the city and county:

“Waterford has set out its ambition to become Ireland’s first Carbon Neutral city, and decarbonising our transport system is one of the key challenges in achieving this goal. We are ahead of the game on this, and this announcement reaffirms this government’s commitment to pivotal pieces of infrastructure in the city – the move of the train station to the North Quays site, the Sustainable Transport Bridge and the building of an Active Travel Spine connecting the existing Greenway outwards as part of a Cycle Connects Network across the city.”

“The area around Lismore Park, including the SETU Campus, up towards St. Pauls and as far as Walsh Park is to be developed under the 15 Minute Neighbourhood category, building a critical mass of connections and services that people in that community can easily access by walking or cycling.”

“But perhaps the most eye-catching element for me is the Inter-Urban Demonstrator Project between Waterford and Cork. This will leverage the success of our existing Greenway, filling in the gaps that exist between here and Cork City, most notably the section between Dungarvan and Youghal. Along with the proposed connection to the Blueway at Carrick-on-Suir, this holds out the prospect of Waterford City being at the core of a cycle network connecting Cork to Clonmel, Lismore to New Ross and all points between.”

Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said:

“I was delighted with the response to my call to local authorities to participate in the Pathfinder Programme. This first selected list shows clearly that there is a real appetite for change across the country. Shortlisted projects, while all unique, have three key things in common. They are innovative. They are ambitious. And critically, they will be delivered at speed. The Leadership Group through this Pathfinder Programme will continue to engage with all local authorities to ensure momentum and that the lessons and experience of the shortlisted projects are shared for everyone’s benefit.”   

Decarbonising transport presents an enormous challenge, one which requires a fundamental change in how we travel including a shift in our mindset and choices. By 2025 the selected pathfinder projects will be in action, improving the communities in which they will be implemented, and demonstrating to other localities how our system can be transformed. By delivering quickly, and by striking out on a path which others will follow, they will help to drive implementation of the Government’s Sustainable Mobility Policy.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “Pathfinder Projects will be transformative in our cities by reducing car dependency and widening access for active travel and public transport. The projects can deliver once in a generation change to active travel through CycleConnects in all our cities focussing on the delivery of the core active travel networks in those cities and making new connections such as between Limerick’s three higher education institutions. The Pathfinder projects also supports the delivery of the first zero emission public transport services in Athlone and Dingle and starts us on an ambitious delivery path for zero emission bus services across Ireland.”

The Pathfinder Programme forms a key part of the implementation of the National Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP), which is a vital part of the Government’s plan to meet Ireland’s requirement to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the transport sector.