Limerick City & County Council and An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland, working together for Smarter Travel
Limerick City and County Council and An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, have announced that they are working proactively together to ensure that Smarter Travel targets are achieved.
The local authority, as a leader in sustainable travel, has met with An Taisce in Limerick to discuss Mobility Management Plans which encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking rather than the car, particularly for commuting journeys.
Limerick City and County Council was selected in 2012 to carry out a €9m programme as Ireland’s Smarter Travel Demonstration City. It had been commended by An Taisce for the progressive provisions included in the Limerick County Development plan in relation to sustainable transport and mobility management. However, An Taisce had appealed a number of planning decisions by the Council in regard to the adequacy and implementation of certain mobility management plans.
“There is now a new understanding between Council officials and An Taisce,” said Gerry Sheeran,Senior Planner, Limerick City and County Council. “It has been agreed that at all pre-planning meetings for proposed developments which have significant employment content, the applicants would be advised on the requirement to submit a Mobility Management Plan with their application and given guidance on it. This would also aid the applicant, in that a decision could be made more speedily on their application rather than having to be sought later through a process of further information. More detailed training for all relevant staff on Smarter Travel will also take place.”
“The new steps are hugely welcome” said James Nix, An Taisce’s Policy Director, adding that “this will greatly aid Limerick to deliver as Ireland’s Smarter Travel Demonstration City. An Taisce looks forward to working with Limerick City and County Council on what is a nationally important project”.
Limerick City and County Council continues to actively engage with all sectors and stakeholders to ensure the implementation of Government transport policy as set out in Smarter Travel including the National Cycle Policy Framework.
The document, Smarter Travel: A New Transport Policy for Ireland 2009-2020 provides that there will be a considerable shift to public transport and other sustainable forms of travel and that the present levels of traffic congestion and travel times will be significantly reduced. The National Cycling Policy Framework (NCPF), a detailed blueprint for cycling also published in 2009, mandates that cycling will account for 10% of journeys to work by 2020.
Pat O’Neill, Project Manager, Limerick Smarter Travel, said the Limerick project is already making significant inroads to changing behaviour to more sustainable modes of transport. He outlined progress to date including:
Infrastructural works which have commenced on an existing pathway from Athlunkard Bridge along the river bank at Shannon Fields including seating, bike stands and open air gym equipment.
Secure bike parking in the city centre has commenced and the public bike rental scheme will begin this summer.
A flagship walking/cycleway from the city to UL via the canal is also due for completion next year
Eight of Limerick’s workplaces and campuses are participating in the first phase of Limerick Smarter Travel’s Workplace and Campus programme.
Many other junction improvements and provision for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users have been completed with more at design stage.
The Limerick Smarter Travel School Project is being delivered in partnership with An Taisce Green Schools Programme to bring the total number of schools to date to 20.
Limerick City and County Council is also encouraging and promoting the achievement of the additional targets set out for the hubs identified in the Department of Transport-funded Limerick Smarter Travel demonstration city 2012-2016 including the target to reduce car use from 51% to 37% and increase cycling from 3% to 14%.
For more information on Limerick Smarter Travel please visit http://www.limericksmartertravel.ie
For further information, please call:
James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129 Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications Chair, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 2411995