A transport plan for Waterford needs to aim higher to help the city become a cycling city, a local TD has said.
Public consultation recently ended on the Draft Waterford Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (WMATS).
The NTA has said that it and the Waterford local authority will aim to meet a modal split target of 10 – 15% for cycling up to 2040, but it’s modeling indicates just a 9% modal share.
Waterford TD, Marc O Cathasaigh (Green Party), said: “I think there’s scope to be far more ambitious than this, given the potential of Waterford City to become the leading cycling city in Ireland – we are relatively compact, relatively flat and our weather is better than elsewhere in Ireland.”
“And I think we should aim to be far quicker in the roll-out of cycling infrastructure as well. We’ve seen from the Covid experience, and in Dunlaoighre in particular, how rapidly segregated cycle infrastructure can be rolled out, and what good value for money it can be. With brave decision-making at local council level, we could see modal shift to walking and cycling happen very quickly – the changes that happened at such speed in Paris, for example,” he said.
You have read this far, now please think of supporting this reader-funded journalism. The current target is to reach 20 more subscribers by the end of August: Thanks to readers like you, as of August 2, there's now 265 readers subscribed to IrishCycle.com -- that's just five short of the target. Help us surpass the target by subscribing today.
Deputy O Cathasaigh said: “I’m pleased to see to see it acknowledged that the modelled outputs within the strategy don’t take into account the positive impacts on active mobility modal share that can come from demand management measures, nor does it take into account behavioural change campaigns, but that doesn’t seem a firm footing to base a transport strategy.”
He added: “I’d also have serious questions whether this transport strategy goes far enough to meet our other commitments – the emissions reduction commitments outlined in the Climate Act, Waterford City’s ambition to decarbonise by 2040 to name just two. The scale of the challenge in terms of the Climate Crisis is of a magnitude that we need policy coherence and aligned goals from central government, from the NTA and from local authorities. I’m not sure I see that coherence in evidence in WMATS.”
Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers