Figures released this week show that Fingal County Council underspent its allocation for active travel by €5.7m in 2021.
The council were allocated €14.8m for walking and cycling infrastructure last year but just over €9m was spent.
This means that Fingal County Council could not spend close to 40 per cent of its allocation in this area.
The allocation given to the council represents a massive upturn in funding for this area and many councils have struggled to meet the increase in ambition with projects on the ground.
Despite the underspend, Fingal is one of the best placed councils to deliver on active travel infrastructure as it was one of the first to create an active travel department to support and manage this reorientation away from the car on Irish roads.
Commenting on the underspend Cllr Ian Carey said:
“It’s not good to see such a large underspend but I know the council are working hard to deliver a major transformation when it comes to active travel.
“Now that the capacity have been built up within the council, I want to see Fingal taking advantage of all the funding opportunities this government is making available to them.
“Key projects in Swords I would like to see are: safe cycling routes provided on the main roads into the town Forest Rd, Brackenstown Rd, Rathbeale Rd and the Dublin Rd, cycling routes through the Ward River Valley Park, the connector route from Pinegrove to Castlegrange, and the Swords to Malahide route along the estuary.
“If we deliver on these we will have gone a long way to make the town a cycling friendly environment. It would give young and older people more confidence to get on a bike and relieve a lot of the congestion that plagues the town.”
These tables outline the underspend for local authorities across the country: