Chapter 6: Sustainable Mobility and Transport
Chapter 6: Sustainable Mobility and Transport
This chapter will set out the Council’s strategy to provide an effective, sustainable and accessible transport system. A functional and effective transport network is fundamental to the creation of a compact and connected place. The NPF and RSES seek to reduce dependency on the private car and secure a shift towards sustainable modes of transport, including walking, cycling and public transport.
During the lifetime of the Draft Plan, the Council will strengthen the links between land use and transportation planning and will seek to promote sustainable transport, through the management of the road network in Limerick, by providing attractive, inclusive and connected walking and cycling networks, improving permeability within settlements, supporting car-share facilities and the use of electric vehicles and securing investment in public transport. It is anticipated that all of these combined measures will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, create more attractive environments and help transition Limerick to a low carbon and climate resilient society.
The overall policy approach seeks to integrate land use and transport policies to achieve the delivery of a high quality, climate resilient and sustainable transport networks for Limerick, which is supported by appropriate objectives. Planning policy needs to look beyond catering for car dominated road space. It needs to utilise the ‘Avoid – Shift – Improve’ approach to integrating land use and transport planning. Focus will be on the reduction in the need for people to travel, the development of 10 minute cities and towns, where people live close to their workplace, community facilities and services. Therefore, creating a shift to more sustainable transport modes, enhanced walking and cycling facilities and by improving energy efficiency of our transport, reducing our carbon footprint.
6.2 National and Regional Planning
The NPF and RSES sets out the overarching policy for the integration of land use and transport policy, which seeks to deliver compact growth and sustainable mobility, as a means to reduce our carbon footprint and transition to a low carbon economy. The NPF has a strong emphasis on sustainable mobility, with a focus on the transition to more sustainable modes of travel, such as walking, cycling and increased use of public transport, it also highlights the need for electrification of public transport fleets and to significantly increase the use of electric vehicles. The RSES seeks to support the transition to a low carbon society, through modal shift from carbon heavy transport to more sustainable transport modes of travel.
6.2.1 Climate Action Plan 2019
The Climate Action Plan identifies how Ireland will achieve its 2030 targets for reduction in carbon emissions and a pathway towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050. A priority of the Action Plan is tackling emissions from the transport sector, which accounted for almost 20% of Ireland’s greenhouse gases in 2017.
In order to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gases, the Government’s approach to reducing emissions from the transport sector is to adopt policies, to influence both the transport intensity of growth and the carbon intensity of travel.
6.2.2 National Guidance
The policies and objectives of the Draft Plan shall be informed by the following National and Regional guidance and policies:
- The National Climate Mitigation Plan and Climate Adaptation Framework;
- Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016 – 2021;
- National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP);
- Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways, 2018;
- Local Link Rural Transport Programme Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022;
- Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, 2019;
- Smarter Travel – A Sustainable Transport Future: A New Transport Policy for Ireland 2009 – 2020;
- Smarter Travel - National Cycle Policy Framework 2009 – 2020;
- Developing Resilience to Climate Change in the Irish Transport Sector;
- The National Cycle Manual (NTA, 2011);
- Spatial Planning and National Roads-Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DECLG, 2012).
6.3 Integration of Land Use and Transport Planning
Policy TR P1- Integration of Land Use and Transport Policies - It is a policy of the Council to support and facilitate the integration of land use and transportation policies, to ensure the delivery of sustainable compact settlements, which are served by sustainable modes of transport.
The integration of land use and transportation is a fundamental principle of the National Planning Framework and the Southern Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. In shaping the pattern of development and influencing the location, scale, density, design and mix of land-uses, the integration of land-use and transportation can help reduce the need to travel and facilitate sustainable development.
Rebalancing the transport system towards walking, cycling and public transport, including ensuring high quality interchanges between modes, will require sustained investment, including improving street environments to make walking and cycling safer and more attractive and providing enhanced public transport services to ensure that alternatives to the car are accessible, affordable and appealing. Consolidation of development in appropriate locations is fundamental to ensure that development can be well served by sustainable modes of travel, including public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure.
Limerick comprises a significant rural based population and as such, the Council acknowledges that some essential travel will continue to be made by cars and goods vehicles. The Draft Plan will also facilitate improvement in road infrastructure to cater for these movements. In line with national policy, it is accepted that, in the longer term, the population of the towns and villages will increase with the potential for reduced car dependency particularly, for shorter journeys.
Policy TR P2 - Promotion of Sustainable Patterns of Transport Use - It is a policy of the Council to seek to implement in a positive manner, in cooperation with other relevant authorities and agencies, the policies of the NPF, RSES and the Department of Transport’s Smarter Travel, A Sustainable Transport Future 2009 – 2020, to encourage more sustainable patterns of travel and greater use of sustainable forms of transport, including public transport, cycling and walking.
Policy TR P3 - Sustainable Mobility and Regional Accessibility - It is a policy of the Council to support sustainable mobility, enhanced regional accessibility and connectivity within Limerick, in accordance with the National Strategic Outcomes of the National Planning Framework and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region.
6.4 Key Enablers for Growth in Limerick
The NPF, NDP and RSES for the Southern Region identifies a number of key enablers to support the growth of Limerick, which will enhance connectivity within Limerick and benefit the wider region.
Policy TR P4 - Delivery of Transport Infrastructure in line with National Policy - It is a policy of the Council to support the delivery of transport infrastructure identified within the National Planning Framework, National Development Plan, 2018 – 2027 (and any update) and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region and to support enhanced connectivity within Limerick and inter-urban connectivity within the regions.
Key projects which are critical to enabling growth in Limerick include:
- Delivery of the full BusConnects programme (inclusive of ticketing systems, bus corridors, additional capacity, new bus stops and bus shelters) for the Limerick City Metropolitan Area;
- Development of a Park and Ride programme for Limerick, linked with BusConnects Programme;
- Delivery of a comprehensive cycling and walking network for Limerick City Metropolitan Area;
- N/M20 Cork to Limerick Scheme, which is key to the delivery of improved connectivity between the urban centres and the wider region;
- Foynes to Limerick (including Adare Bypass) Road, which will link the port of Foynes with the M7/N18 at Limerick and enhance regional and international connectivity;
- N21 Newcastle West and N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme – key projects in enhancing regional connectivity with the South West Region and alleviating congestion in both Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale;
- N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction - Current Constraints Study Area (CSA) extends into the Limerick administrative area (North of Oola and Brookes bridge);
- Limerick Northern Distributor Road - improving accessibility to the City from County Clare, relieving pressure on the existing river crossings in the City Centre and providing significant improvement in connectivity between different areas along the northern fringe of the City;
- O’Connell Street Improvement Works – Provision of enhanced public realm, widened footpaths and segregated cycle ways on Limerick’s main thoroughfare, as well as facilitating future transport mode needs in accordance with the requirements of LSMATS.
Objective TR O1- N/M20 Cork to Limerick Project - It is an objective of the Council to support the delivery of the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Project, which will connect Cork and Limerick, in accordance with all environmental and planning assessments.
Objective TR O2 - Foynes to Limerick (including Adare Bypass) Road - It is an objective of the Council to support the delivery of the Foynes to Limerick (including Adare Bypass) Road, in accordance with all environmental and planning assessment.
Objective TR O3 - N21 Newcastle West and N21 Abbeyfeale Road Schemes - It is an objective of the Council to support the delivery of N21 Newcastle West and N21 Abbeyfeale Road Schemes, in accordance with all environmental and planning assessment.
Objective TR O4 - N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction - It is an objective of the Council to support the delivery of N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction Road Scheme, in accordance with all environmental and planning assessment.
Objective TR O5 - Motorway Network Arterial Roads - It is an objective of the Council to upgrade arterial roads from the motorway network to increase capacity, where deemed necessary.
Objective TR O6 - Limerick Northern Distributor Road - It is an objective of the Council to support the development of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road, which will connect the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road Scheme to the existing R445 (old N7) and adjoining road network to the east of Limerick City, which will incorporate Smarter Travel measures, in accordance with all environmental and planning assessments.