Active Travel: 12 new jobs in Meath County Council
New positions created to support walking and cycling facilities in Co Meath
After the very exciting news last month that 248 new jobs are to be created in local authorities all around Ireland to expand walking and cycling facilities, it has been confirmed what Meath’s allocation will be. As part of the plan developed by the National Transport Authority, Meath County Council are in line to get a total of 12 posts from the new funding.
Navan Cycling Initiative welcomes the creation of these new positions which will enable the delivery of high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure across the county. One of the main reasons cited for the lack of progress in cycling infrastructure being put in place is the lack of manpower, but this has the potential to be a game-changer.
It will now enable Meath County Council to deliver more high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure projects, using all methods including fast-track legislation, and taking on best practices from around the country. The plans are there, and combined with available funding, the new staff will now be in a position to deliver kilometres of new routes delivered every year, which will boost local business and make travel around Navan more enjoyable for everyone.
Councillor Yemi Adenuga, who had previously raised the issue of staff shortages in Meath County Council, said: “Last month, when the Minister of Transport, Eamon Ryan TD announced the creation of 250 posts to support the delivery of almost 1,000 kilometres of improved walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025. I was really excited about this, particularly for Meath.”
“This is because I was just about to write a letter to the NTA to enquire if the transport section of Meath County Council could receive more human resource support from the NTA, to help with the timely delivery of the section’s walking and cycling infrastructure projects. Staff at the transport section of MCC confirmed to me that they applied for all available projects and are hopeful to get a total of 12 of the posts announced by the Minister, which should be confirmed in the coming day when the letter from the National transport authority is received.”
It is of equal importance that the infrastructure is of the highest quality to make it safer to cycle for all ages and encourage more active travel in the public mindset. The National Cycle Manual states that ‘shared walking and cycling facilities are disliked by both pedestrians and cyclists’, yet they are often the go-to method with cycle paths in Navan. It is crucial that fully segregated infrastructure is put in place to create a full cycle network in towns like Navan, and we hope that these new staff positions will help to deliver that.
“About €11 million is expected to be spent this year alone on the projects”, Adenuga continued. “That is very much welcomed. The next step will be to shop for engineers to deliver the projects once the approvals are received. I intend to follow the progress keenly with the Navan Cycling Initiative, and to be involved in the deliveries as much as I am able to be.”