Chapter 6 Transport
Strategic Policy for Transport
Policy T1: It is the policy of the Council to provide for an integrated sustainable transport system in the town of Croom that facilitates the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic. This system should be integrated into existing proposed land uses to provide an adequate and safe transport network.
Policy T2: It is the policy of the Council to improve accessibility; reduce dependency on private car transport and encourage the use of energy efficient forms of transport and alternatives to the private car including walking, cycling and public transport.
Policy T3: It is the policy of the Council to ensure that all new development will only be permitted on suitably zoned lands, where the infrastructure can be provided or existing infrastructure is not at capacity.
Policy T4: It is the policy of the Council to ensure that all proposals shall comply with the policies, objectives and development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010-2016 (as extended) in relation to transport and infrastructure and the objectives outlined below.
The Government’s policy Smart6er Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future, the Mid-West Regional Planning Guidelines 2010 - 2022, the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 - 2016 (as extended) and the 30 year Mid-West Area Strategic Plan (MWASP) all point in the direction of improving existing transport infrastructure and designing new infrastructure that will make non car transport modes more attractive.
At a national level, Smarter Travel has a target that by 2020, the percentage of those travelling to work by car will decrease from 65% to 45%. It recommends a range of actions. This is a challenge in Croom, where although below the national average, circa 60% of the population travel to work, school or college by car. Bus Eireann run a three times daily bus services through the area to Limerick City and to Cork City. Maintaining and improving this service remains a priority in this plan. This will ensure that the area develops in an efficient and sustainable manner and an alternative to the car as a choice of travel is promoted. It is noteworthy that the route for the M20 has yet to be selected and as such cannot be included in this plan however, in time there may be impacts to the town from the final selected route.
There are other issues relating to the effectiveness and uses of the existing transport infrastructure in the area. The Main Street suffers from traffic congestion as a result of the parking of cars on both sides of the street. Provision will be made in this plan for the preparation of a Traffic Management Plan, which will look to allowing the free flow of two- way traffic along the Main Street. Additionally, it is noted that there are a number of junctions within the village where improvements are required. These include the junction adjoining the Garda Station and the junction of Main Street and High Street. This plan will support improvement works to these junctions.
This plan supports the principle of modal shift away from the private car to walking and cycling for journeys in the town, through appropriate land use zoning and promoting a compact settlement with a complementary range of land uses throughout the town which are easily accessible by walking, cycling and the car. Taking a holistic approach, increasing the use of sustainable transport modes would improve the quality of life, contributing to promoting Croom town as a desirable place to live, work in, and invest in. Future development proposals for residential development should demonstrate compact walkable/cyclable communities and neighbourhoods with the shortest linkages to community facilities, open space and the town centre making walking and cycling more attractive for local trips. At the design stage, consideration should be given to the national guidance documents including Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas – Guidelines for Planning Authorities DECLG (2009); National Cycle Policy Framework 2009-2020 as part of Smarter Transport – A Sustainable Transport Future DTTS (2009); and Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, DTTS and DoECLG, March 2013; and Spatial Planning and National Road Guidelines, DoECLG and DTTS. These should be submitted in the design brief as part of the planning application process. Any proposals on the indicative distributor road should ensure that the frontage of buildings address the road as ‘frontage-free’ roads often result in a hostile environment for both pedestrian and cyclist.
As the electric car market develops, it is imperative that, in tandem with house construction, suitable home charging infrastructure are provided in all new residential development. At present home charging of electrical vehicles is the most effective, economical and eco-friendly means to refuel low emission electric cars in Ireland. In 2015, it was estimated that the private car accounted for 52% of the Irelands transport carbon dioxide emissions. Provision of charging infrastructure in the building of new homes assists implementation of national policy in relation to climate actions, clean air and low carbon economy.
There are a number of roads converging in Croom:
- R516 from Bruff – Regional Road
- L1410 from Fedamore – Local Road
- L1419 from Ballingarry – Local Road
- L1408 from Crecora – Local Road
- L1478 downgraded section of old N20 on the northern approach to the town, which links to the existing N20. – Local Road
The overall volume of traffic on these roads is not considered to be significant. Their existence provides ready access from the adjacent hinterland and is therefore viewed as an opportunity to consolidate the role of Croom in the County as a service centre.Proposal are currently being progressed to advance a motorway connection between Limerick and Cork, which has potential to have impacts on Croom town. Until a decision is made on a preferred route for this roadway, it is considered prudent to include an objective to support the advancement of this scheme.
6.2 Movement and and Accessibility
The Council is committed to the development of a network of access routes reflecting the requirements of personal safety, choice and convenience to services and amenities. The access network should facilitate access to all and should be socially inclusive. These requirements and the desire to minimise dependence on the car for short journeys, means that a matrix type network is preferable to a network with long cul-de-sacs. Future development of residential and education and community zoned lands in the vicinity of Orthopaedic Hospital and the new school shall provide pedestrian/cycle connections through the residential estates along the Crecora Road and into the town centre. The indicative link roads shown on the zoning map will help open up lands for development and will improve connectivity, accessibility and movement.
The issue of traffic congestion is a concern in terms of the viability of the town centre and car parking currently takes place in a haphazard manner along the Main Street. To address this, concern this plan makes provision for a Traffic Management Plan which will look to rationalize the parking along Main St and make improvement to allow for the free flow of two-way traffic.