Limerick 2.Policy Context

2.1 Sustainable Development:

The National Development Plan 2000-2006 emphasises the need for sustainability in economic development. This reflects the growing international concern about global climate change which is identified as the most significant and threatening global environmental problem. In Kyoto in 1997, developed countries agreed on reduction targets for greenhouse gases.

Ireland has agreed to limit growth in greenhouse gases to 13% above 1990 by 2012. the main greenhouse gas emission in Ireland is carbon dioxide (CO2). In 1990 the transport sector contributed 15.7% of Ireland's CO2 emissions and overall 9.5% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas emissions. However the transport sector is predicted to grow by 180% between 1990 and 2010.

The government publication National Climate Change Strategy identifies transport modal shift as a key transport sector action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that 60% of Irish greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector come from private cars. A modal shift from cars to bicycles is an important step towards reversing current emission trends.

2.2 Limerick City Development Plan:

The Limerick City Development Plan 1998 states that "Limerick Corporation recognises the importance of safe road systems to accommodate not only vehicles, but also cyclists, pedestrians and other road users." The next Development Plan is likely to strengthen further the policy approach for provision of better cycle facilities.

2.3 Traffic Management Study:

Limerick City Council prepared a Limerick Traffic Management Study (LTMS) in 2000 with Arup Consulting Engineers, which dealt with the roads network, urban traffic control, parking, pedestrians, commercial vehicles, disabled/mobility impaired, and the use of bicycles.

The recommendations of this study have been the policy basis for traffic management in Limerick City over the last three years. Substantial improvements have been made in all of the above areas with the exception of use of bicycles. This document is a step to addressing the development of infrastructure to support the modal shift to bicycle.

2.4 Limerick City Corporate Plan 2001-2004:

The Limerick City Corporate Plan has set a higher level objective to "ensure the provisions of a sustainable quality transport network in and around the city, for all modes of transport". This strategy is to "promote the shift from cars to public transport including rail, cyclists, pedestrians."

2.5 Operational Plan 2003:

The Operational Plan 2003 for the Transportation & Infrastructure Department of Limerick City Council includes the following targets:

  • (a) Develop a plan for a cycle network and provide one new cycle lane.
  • (b) Install 20 cycle parking places on street and at Limerick City Council facilities.

    2.6 Traffic Congestion:

    In a local context it is clear that the growth in private car ownerships is resulting in increasing congestion on the roads network. The Table below shows that private car ownership in Ireland has grown by a factor of 2.4 from 1976 to 2000.

    Year No. of private cars % increase
    1976 551,117  
    2000 1,319,250 139%

    In Limerick this growth in car ownership is resulting in greater competition between road users and transport modes for the finite amount of road space, with growing negative environmental impact in the city centre and increasing demand to restrict car usage in the city centre and residential areas.

    Limerick City Council is responding to this situation by

  • (1) working with Limerick County Council and other authorities to develop the Southern Ring Road Phase 2 linking the N7 (Dublin Road) to the N18 (Ennis Road) via a new tunnel under the River Shannon.
  • (2) Developing and implementing a city centre strategy to redress the balance between cars and other road users.
  • (3) Limerick City Council has completed a range of projects supporting the protection of residential areas from excessive vehicle speeds by the provision of traffic calming measures.

    The LTMS recommended the development of a cycle lane strategy to further encourage transport modal shift by providing defined safe cycle routes throughout the city.

  • Last update:28/02/2007