Ashbourne's main street refurbishment project has been allocated €200,000 of National Transport Authority funding this week, which will ensure that works will begin in 2013 as planned, according to Ashbourne Cllr Niamh McGowan.
The planning permission for the project is due to be approved at the March meeting of Meath County Council, after which the council will begin the tender process. Cllr McGowan says that everything is on track for works on the much anticipated project to begin this year.
The €200,000 NTA funding is part of a €2.5 million county-wide grant for 'smarter travel' projects, including cycle paths, pedestrain crossings and footpaths.
Meath County Council have an additional €900,000 earmarked for the project, which is expected to cost more than €2 million to complete.
Other projects that will benefit from the NTA fundingn in 2013 include footpaths along the R149 in Clonee (€40,000), a pedestrian crossing in Clonee (€30.000), two sections of footpath in Kilmessan village (€50,000) and improvements to Ratoath's town centre junction (€15,000).
Dunboyne Cllr Maria Murphy says she is particularly happy to see the funding put in place for the works in Clonee.
"When planning permission was granted to the developer of the Summerseat estate, one of the conditions included the provision of a footpath from the estate to Clonee village along the R149. Unfortunately the downturn in the building trade meant that the developer was unable to complete the estate and the footpath," she said.
"I have been highlighting this issue to the council since I was elected and I was delighted when the council applied to the National Transport Authority for this project. 160m section of missing footpath from the Summerseat estate along the R149 to Clonee village can now be constructed."
In total, projects in the Dunshaughlin electoral area were awarded €335,000, representing 13% of the total fund for the county. The largest project to be funded by the NTA in this round of funding is the development of a cycle network in Johnstown, Navan (€724,300).
Fine Gael Deputy Regina Doherty, has welcomed the funding to support smarter travel projects in the locality. "Despite our budgetary constraints, this Government continues to make transport and road safety a priority. These projects range from the construction of missing sections of footpath to studies being conducted to determine the most effective way of improving access for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians," said Deputy Doherty.
"By constructing pedestrian crossings at schools, improving cycle and bus facilities and providing footpaths and public lighting where none currently exists, local communities will be better able to move around their localities in a safer and easier way.
"Where possible, people should be encouraged to leave the car at home and to walk or cycle to their destination. These projects will bring the realisation of that goal a step closer, which will have improved health benefits for the people of Meath," she concluded.