The National Transport Authority (NTA) was joined by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, as it committed to undertaking the first ever survey of walking, wheeling and cycling in Limerick Metropolitan Area extending to Patrickswell in the South, Cloonara in the North and Shannon to the West.
The Walking and Cycling Index (previously the Bike Life report) will be expanded this year to include Limerick as well as other cities including Cork, Galway and Waterford Metropolitan Areas. The NTA will work in partnership with sustainable transport charity Sustrans to carry out the biggest ever survey of walking, wheeling, and cycling in Ireland.
The results will provide high quality evidence on people’s participation in, and attitudes to walking, wheeling, or cycling – what barriers exist for them and what would help them walk, wheel and cycle more. This data will inform policy decisions and help support better planning for walking, wheeling and cycling in Limerick, and meet ambitious Climate Action Plan targets. It will be the first time collecting such in depth data in Limerick.
Eighteen cities/city regions across Ireland and the UK already participate in the Index, including the Dublin Metropolitan Area. Approximately 1,100 people in each of the Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford Metropolitan Areas, representative of all residents, not just those who walk or cycle, will be surveyed.
Following the survey, individual Reports will be prepared and will be published in early 2024 for each of the Metropolitan Areas.
Key findings from the Dublin Metropolitan Area Walking and Cycling Index conducted in 2021 include:
- More than 6 in 10 (64%) adult residents walk 5 or more days a week, just under 4 in 10 (38%) use car 5 or more days a week.
- 1 in 4 (25%) adults cycle at least once a week
- More than 7 in 10 (71%) of residents support building cycle tracks physically separated from traffic and pedestrians even where that means less room for other traffic.
- Every day those who walk, wheel and cycle take up to 330,000 cars off the road in the Dublin Metropolitan Area.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said, “I very much welcome the NTA’s decision to extend the Walking and Cycling Index to many of our regional cities. The Index will provide the information we need to put in place the walking, cycling and wheeling infrastructure that people want so that they can have the choice to switch away from cars on some journeys. We have a unique opportunity to use the data and information from the Index to create truly sustainable communities and help reimagine our cities for a net-zero future.”
CEO of the National Transport Authority, Anne Graham said, “the National Transport Authority is delighted to expand the Walking and Cycling Index to include Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford Metropolitan Areas. The rollout of Ireland’s biggest ever survey into walking, wheeling, and cycling will help provide us with the information we need to plan for the future. By gaining key insights into how people make active travel a part of their daily journey across our cities, we can rollout additional pedestrian and cycling infrastructure that attracts more people to choose walking, cycling, and wheeling.”
Caroline Bloomfield, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said, “we were pleased to see how the data from the Walking and Cycling Index for Dublin helped to shape the recently published Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy. The data and the survey of attitudes to walking, wheeling and cycling is vital to ensure investment and improvement of active travel infrastructure.”
“We are excited to work with the NTA to extend the reports to four more Irish cities which will provide further important insights across the country. We will also soon be able to provide all the information obtained to date from cities across the UK and Dublin on an online dashboard. Information on Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford will be available on the dashboard next year.”
Source: Limerick City & County Council