Three Laois schools have been selected for inclusion in the first round of the Safe Routes to School Programme.
The scheme announced in March of this year is designed to encourage as many pupils and students as possible in primary and post-primary schools to walk and cycle to their school.
The Laois schools who have been selected are: Maryborough NS, Scoil Mhuire NS Abbeyleix and Scoil Phádraig Naofa NS Mountmellick.
The programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority and is supported by the Department of Education.
The programme will run on a rolling basis, so schools who have applied and not included in this round will not need to reapply.
€15 million has been allocated for projects in Round 1.
Welcoming the news, Minister for State Sean Fleming says that being able to cycle or walk to school is far healthier for children.
He said: “I am delighted to see three Laois schools included in this first round.
“This programme aims to create safer walking or cycling routes to schools within our communities which could range from an upgraded path, new cycle lane or front of school work which will enhance access to school grounds.
“Being able to cycle or walk safely to school is the healthier option for our younger people, and our community will also benefit with less congestion and pollution.
“Round One will work with a designated Infrastructure Officer from Green-Schools who will liaise with the school and Laois County Council as works are planned and carried out.
“Works can start this summer, however the finalization of these projects is dependent on local circumstances.
“I look forward to work commencing and would like to say well done to those involved who applied and secured selection of this work for their schools.”