16 Cork schools, located throughout the city and county, have been selected for inclusion in the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programme to support walking and cycling infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools.
The programme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities.
The Cork schools are among 170 schools across the country which were selected to take part in the scheme after being assessed against a range of criteria including school type, location and the school’s commitment to sustainable travel.
Announcing the details, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “Walking, scooting and cycling to school fosters independence, and is a healthy way for our young people to get around as well as helping us all to cut emissions and air pollution. We want to ensure they can do this in a safe way, through providing additional facilities in and close to schools.”
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said: “It is clear from the level of interest in the Safe Routes to School programme that school communities are committed to finding new and creative means of walking, scooting and cycling safely to school.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The project being announced today is a significant step in encouraging young people to use more sustainable modes of transport, particularly when going to school. We want to see more young people cycling, walking/scooting to school, but we understand that safety is a concern. We want to make a real difference to schools, families, and the environment.” The improvements to the school commute range from an upgraded footpath or new cycle lane to a complete reworking of the road outside a school’s entrance. Cycle and scooter parking will be provided to most schools that are part of the programme.
The schools selected in Cork are: Bishopstown Community School, Gaelscoil na Dúglaise, Glanmire Community College, Scoil Naomh Iosaf, Riverstown, St Luke’s NS, Bandon Grammar School, Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh, Coláiste Muire, Cobh, Gaelscoil Dhroichead na Banndan, Midleton CBS Primary School, Scoil Bhríde Crosshaven, Scoil Iosaef Naofa, Scoil Mhuire na nGrást, St Mary’s National School, Scoil Phádraig Naofa and Presentation Primary School Bandon.
The programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA) and is supported by the Department of Education.
An Taisce’s Green-Schools is co-ordinating the programme, while funding will be made available to local authorities which will play a key part in delivering the infrastructure along access routes and at the school gate.