19 September 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
European Mobility Week (EMW) is a Europe-wide initiative, which Cork City Council embraces. The week “promotes a shift towards sustainable urban transport”. EMW takes place each year from the 16 – 22 September.
Transport related emissions have a detrimental effect on health and the environment, and contribute to global warming – EMW sets us thinking what we can do about this problem.
Improved facilities for public transport, charging points for electric vehicles and enhanced facilities for cyclists and pedestrians are among the measures being undertaken by Cork City Council to promote sustainable travel.
Each year EMW focuses on a particular topic related to sustainable mobility. This year’s theme is ‘clean, shared and intelligent mobility’ with a corresponding slogan ‘Sharing gets you further’. See www.mobilityweek.eu :
A number of initiatives are being undertaken throughout the city to facilitate sustainable travel:
Transport for Cork City
Transport for Cork City is one of a number of schemes being undertaken by Cork City Council with the support of the National Transport Authority to upgrade junctions, reduce pinch points from the network and to re-allocate road space on city centre streets to ensure balance between different transport modes. The city needs to deal with the challenges posed by growth in population, in car ownership and usage and limited capacity on our roads.
The plans have been put forward to make buses a more attractive and reliable option for people to use, along with accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. Footpaths will be widened and a number of crossing points will be added or upgraded.
Public transport improvements are essential to ensure:
– Effective movement of people and goods within the city centre
– To create an attractive and accessible environment for residents, workers, shoppers and visitors
Transport for Cork will lay the foundations for an efficient, fit for purpose transport system into the future. Phases 1 and 2 of the City Centre Movement Strategy is currently underway involving upgrading of public transport and pedestrian /cycle facilities in the area of St Patrick St and Sheares St/Grenville Place/Grattan St area.
Access Ramps to Old Railway Line at Mahon The new access ramps between Mahon & the Passage to Docklands Greenway will be complete and ready for use within the next week. The ramps are designed at a shallow gradient to facilitate ease of access for pedestrians & cyclists. The work was funded by the National Transport Authority, designed by Cork City Council Roads Design Office and constructed by McGinty & O’Shea Ltd. A follow on landscaping contract (sponsored by a local developer) will be undertaken in the coming weeks. The project is phase one of a larger plan to enhance and improve the full length of the Greenway including additional access ramps, widened and improved pavements, public lighting, cctv, landscaping etc. This larger project is currently under development with Part 8 Planning, detailed design and construction tendering scheduled for 2018.The overall objective of the package of work is to enhance the attractiveness of the greenway and optimise the amount of pedestrians & cyclists using it. When complete, the greenway will serve as both a recreational and commuter route for cyclists & pedestrians living in the city centre (or along the route) and working in Mahon.
Mahon Bus Gate The Mahon Bus Gate, situated at the eastern end of St Michael’s Drive, is now complete and operational. Mahon Point Shopping Centre now serves as the terminus point for the very popular 202 Route. The terminus is situated in close proximity to the Mahon Point Shopping Centre entrance thereby facilitating passengers comfort and convenience as they can wait within the Centre until their bus arrives. A real time passenger display panel will soon be erected to inform passengers of the expected arrival time for the next bus.The Bus Gate was funded by the National Transport Authority, designed by Cork City Council Roads Design Office and constructed by McGinty & O’Shea Ltd.
Implementation of 30 kph Speed Limits Cork City Council proposes to implement special speed limit bye-laws, including the introduction of 30 kph zones in a number of areas across the city on November 1, thus contributing to enhanced safety and a more pleasant environment for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Given the importance of the Marina as an amenity for pedestrians and cyclists and in an effort to reduce the impact of traffic in the area, it is proposed to reduce the speed limit to 30kph in line with speed limits proposed and in place around areas with high footfall priority. In 2016 new Bye-laws were adopted to reduce the speed limit from 50kph to 30kph in four pilot residential areas. Limited funding has been made available to allow for the implementation of further 30kph zones in residential areas in the City.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) Electric vehicles are a form of clean transport and Cork City Council has developed a comprehensive policy on EV charging which can be rolled out and scaled up by the City Council and other external agencies as would be required for the future including the following:
1) EV Charge Points on street and at Paul St and North Main St Multi-storey Car Parks & Black Ash Park & Ride
2) Electromobility supported in the Cork City Development Plan
3) “EV Charging Infrastructure for New Developments in Cork – A Guide for Developers” document issued July 2017
4) Parking Bye Laws 2016 adopted by Council to cater for controls on EV Charge Points