Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes National Cycle Network Plan

11th January, 2024

Today (Wednesday 10th January, 2024), Minister of State for Community Development, Charities and Integration, Joe O’Brien TD welcomes the publication of the National Cycle Network Plan.


The summary of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Plan, published today by the Department of Transport outlines the aim of linking cities and towns of over 5,000 people with a safe, connected and inviting cycle network.


The plan proposes approximately 3,500km of a cycle network, which will connect over 200 settlements, and 2.8 million people nationally. This will link transport hubs, education and employment centres and leisure and tourist destinations.


Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes the inclusion of Balbriggan and Swords as primary nodes of the plan, and Skerries and Malahide as secondary nodes, connecting areas of Dublin Fingal to the rest of the network.


Minister O’Brien said:

“It’s great to see the expansion of safe cycling infrastructure around the country as laid out in the National Cycle Network Plan. It will be great to see inter-urban routes connected through active travel mechanisms. I am happy to see areas of my own constituency, such as Balbriggan and Swords included in the plan.”


This inter-urban network will allow for connections between urban centres, providing infrastructure for inter-urban cycle trips along safe and defined routes. This will facilitate a welcome modal shift away from the use of cars for these journeys.

Councillor Karen Power also welcomed the plan, saying:

I welcome the announcement on the National Cycle Network Plan. To encourage people to use active travel it is vital that we provide safe and sustainable infrastructure to do so and the expansion of this infrastructure particularly in the areas of Balbriggan and Skerries.”

Peter Walsh Chief Executive of Transport Infrastructure Ireland stated:

“The Government’s commitment to sustainable transportation options is highlighted with today’s announcement of the National Cycle Network. Transport Infrastructure Ireland looks forward to delivering with our Local Authorities partners and other key stakeholders this new and transformative piece of national transportation infrastructure. The national cycle network will open in phases throughout the country in the coming years, it will provide a safe and enjoyable way for people to travel, and it will support a more sustainable future for the country.”


The National Cycle Network Plan was produced on behalf of the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, with the suppose of AECOM Ltd.

The NCN is part of the Government’s commitment to expand the Active Travel and Greenway infrastructure network. The Department of Transport, alongside Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) commissioned the plan to link cities and towns of over 5,000 people through a network of cycling corridors.  It also represents a key initiative in helping to achieve a 51% reduction in transport emissions by 2030, as mandated in the Climate Action Plan.

As part of the National and Regional Greenways programme, the Department of Transport through TII, has invested approximately €12 million in the development of the Grand Canal Greenway since 2020 and approximately €5m on the Aylmer Bridge to Sallins section. The work undertaken has mainly related to the upgrading of the surface and widening of the existing towpath to ensure that it is compatible with best practice standards for Greenways.

The National Cycle Network plan can be viewed at .



Notes to the Editor

  • Implementation of the NCN will be on a phased basis. It is envisaged that approximately 1,000km of the plan (28% of the network) will be implemented by the end of 2030 as part of Phases 1 and 2. Phase 3 will be implemented between 2031 and 2040.
  • The NCN will be funded through existing National Development Plan allocations, specifically from within the €360 million allocated for active travel and greenways per annum. The total expected cost of delivering Phases 1 and 2 of the overall NCN equates to approximately €677million up to 2030.
  • Development of the NCN was informed by an assessment of the existing and planned cycle networks, analysis of population densities and likely travel demand. Identifying the needs of end users was a high priority in development of the plan, determined through market research and an assessment of international best practice in other countries. The plan was developed on a collaborative basis with an advisory group consisting of representatives from DoT, TII, the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the County and City Management Association (CCMA) providing input and feedback on the plan. A public consultation for the plan was also held to provide the public with an opportunity to engage with the proposals.