NTA plan for Cork includes drop in percentage of people cycling

— Deadline for public submissions on plan is this Friday.

A draft of Cork’s transport plan for the next 20 years includes policies which would decrease the percentage of people who cycle in the “the real capital” from 2.8% in 2016 to 1.3% in 2036.

“Hard not to look at this figures and wince,” the Cork Cycling Campaign said on Twitter. “#CMATS ‘idealised’ scenario wants to see cycling modal share fall to 1.3% in Cork.”

The public consultation for the plan, the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, runs until Friday.

It is the second such regional city transport plan in Ireland which includes projections of a decrease in modal share of cycling — the business case for the N6 Galway ring road project also includes a decrease for percentage decrease for cycling.

Tweeting the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Cork Cycling Campaign said: “Reminder: it has been Government policy since 2009 to have 10% of trips by bike by 2020.”

The group questioned why the NTA is not using 2016 Census data rather than the 2011 Census it is using as its traffic modeling baseline.

A Demand Analysis Report written by the National Transport Authority and published on its website, states: “The graph shows a significantly reduced car mode share in the Idealised Network scenario, reducing from 70% to 52% respectively, with uplifts in the public transport and walking mode shares. The chart below also shows a drop in the cycling mode share in the Idealised scenario. This is due to the high frequency and coverage of the unconstrainted public transport network attracting would be cycling trips.”

It said: “As before the tables show a drop in the car mode share particularly for education trips. However, despite the considerable public transport capacity in the Idealised Network and significant increased frequency and speeds the commute car mode share does not meet the Smarter Travel target of 45%.”

It adds: “There is also an uplift in the level of walking across all areas in the Idealised scenario, though the cycle mode share reduces due to the increased PT offering.”

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

3 Comments

  1. There is a blind-spot in the NTA, when it come to cycling. As Irish cities are relatively small, they are ideal for getting around by bike. This should drive the design for all planned infrastructure

    National policy is supposed to put pedestrians and cyclists first, but it’s hard to see how this is applied in practice. City transport design should start with these two viewpoints: “how do make it easy to walk and cycle”. Private cars should be enabled, after other modes are prioritized and well catered for.

  2. People’s decision to cycle is often based on infrastructure to make it safe including protected bike lanes, parking etc. so the only way to achieve a decrease from 2.8% (avg 2016) to around 1.1% (avg 2036) is if the plan assumes that no new infrastructure will be implemented before 2036, all existing infrastructure will be dismantled and large holes will be dug in the road.

    People’s decision to walk is based primarily on distance to destination, which no amount of campaigns can change. The boost expected in walking for education is unlikely to occur while maintaining 55% of commuters travelling by car would require pretty much all road space to remain available to cars with almost no conversion to bus lanes, trams, cycle lanes, pedestrian streets etc.

    This isn’t the work of just one person. Multiple levels of stupidity are necessary to achieve such a plan. Only the successful and efficient collaboration of a whole team of idiots could publish “goals” which are simultaneously unambitious and unrealistic.

  3. Our friend from Norn has it right. Forehead slapping stuff from the NTA. They’re not fit for purpose.

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