Could this be the most scenic bus route in Ireland? New Local Link service connecting Wicklow and Kildare announced today under the Connecting Ireland programme: 4 services/day, 7 days a week, linking Arklow, Wicklow and Sallins train stations, via Glendalough and Blessington.

Timetable of services from Arklow to Sallins
Timetable of buses from Sallins to Arklow
Map showing route of bus from Arklow to Sallins via Wicklow, Rathnew, Blessington and Naas

Aldi have some editions of Dobble on special offer today for a tenner. It’s a great matching game that gives younger kids a chance to beat their older siblings. There is some interesting maths behind the game mechanics too. Just don’t get to cross when the kids start to routinely beat you.

Box of the card game Dobble

The morning train from Nenagh arrives in Birdhill this morning on its way to Limerick. This line reopened yesterday after almost 2 months closure as the final replacement of old jointed track with Continuous Welded Rail was completed.

A train arriving at a rural station

Rural public transport is getting better thanks to the Connecting Ireland programme. This is a map of new+improved routes introduced Apr-Oct 2022. More services added this month and even more to come before the end of the year.

Map of new and improved bus routes

If there are changes proposed to roads near you, and you think the changes could be better, it’s always worth making a submission. Sometimes it feels like you’re shouting in the wind, but when your suggestions are taken on board it can be very satisfying.

Email I sent to the roads department of Clare County Council:

Subject: Proposed Section 38 traffic calming measures at Tulla

The notice on the website didn't say that submissions were welcome on this proposed scheme in Tulla, I hope it's ok to offer the following observations:
I'd like to welcome the proposed crossings and widened paths - it's great to see efforts to improve the walking environment around the school.
I have one suggestion and that is that both crossings should be raised to slow down cars on this stretch of road.
Email from Clare County Council roads department:

Dear Mr. Bibby,
Thank you for taking the time to make an observation in respect of the proposed traffic calming measures.
We confirm that, on foot of submissions received and as part of the Detailed Design process, the pedestrian crossings will be raised to further assist with traffic calming.
If you have any further queries on this project, please feel free to contact the Killaloe MD office at:
Tel.: 061 640815

Annual cost of a residents on street parking permit in Irish cities:
Dublin: €50
Cork: €30
Limerick: €6.35
Galway: €30
Waterford: €15

The Minister for Transport signed a Statutory Instrument last month bringing the rest of the country into the laws governing public transport fares in Dublin, which includes the potential to bring non-PSO routes under the NTA’s fare scheme.

A bit of a nerdy post this, but I attempted to piece together what Ireland’s 2025 sectoral emissions targets will be and what the total sectoral emissions ceilings for the first and second carbon budget periods will be. Link.

The amount Irish households owe on their car finance increased significantly in the 2010s. By Feb 2020 households owed €3.98 billion, a 156% increase in 5 years. Data from the Central bank, excludes credit unions.

Map showing circulation plan with a city divided into 5 coloured sections with a section in purple in the middle

Circulation plan for Leuven, Belgium (pop. ~100k). Cars can’t drive directly between the coloured zones. Purple zones are car free, with some exceptions for deliveries, residents and people with disabilities. One year after introduction, cycling was up 32%.

There is an electoral division in the centre of Limerick City with the fifth highest percentage population decline in the country 2016-2022 at just under 20%.

A DIY vehicle speed detector would be really useful for communities looking to get their streets calmed but good Doppler sensors seem really expensive. This seems like the best bet but it’s over €200. There’s also the OpenCV route but that looks like a lot of faff.

In places where not many people cycle, those who cycle tend to be overwhelmingly male (and trips are mostly for work). Where lots of people cycle, it’s often more females than males cycling (and an equal split between work and non-work trips). Interesting paper in the journal Transport Reviews.

Today’s the last day for submissions on the revised draft of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy. Here’s mine.

This is a lovely workbook (PDF) with creative ideas to help people walk better, and overcome some of the barriers to walking: I also think that it is a useful resource for those tasked with designing walkable environments.

Very interesting paper from researchers from UCC about “retail sprawl” in Irish cities and the effect of out of town shopping centres on greenhouse gas emissions. Notable that Dublin/Cork/Limerick have far bigger problems than Galway/Waterford.

Cycled to the 5pm bus to Nenagh to go and see An Cailín Ciúin in the cinema, and enough time for a wander before the 9pm bus home.

A swathe of positive outcomes in health, economics, equality and the environment are possible if we:

1. Build medium density housing all around the country where you don’t need a car for most daily tasks

2. Reallocate space on our roads and streets away from the private car.

Before politics I was a mobile app developer for many years. I have lots of nitpicky issues with the COVID Tracker app, but privacy isn’t one of them. I’ve downloaded it and I urge you to ask others to do the same.

Our future is not self driving cars, but self propelled people.

Apple and Google have teamed together to offer infrastructure around contact tracing. This is exciting news. Scepticism is justified about tech companies but this is well thought out and privacy is designed in from the start.

An illustration of a coronavirus entering the lungs. The light purple proteins at the edge are the spikes that help the virus to attach to and enter other cells. Under a microscope the spikes of the virus look like a crown, hence the name coronavirus.

The word quarantine comes from the Venetian quarantena – during plague epidemics in the 14th century, ships were required to anchor outside Venice for 40 days before landing.

Tonight’s lockdown activity: a Skype table quiz with my sister’s friends in London. Parents and kids joining in too. Lots of fun.

I’ve started my first ever MOOC: “Unraveling the Cycling City” by U of Amsterdam & Coursera. It’s free, the content is very accessible, I’d love it if anyone else fancied doing it to compare notes.

Enjoying a flight free Christmas visiting family. About to set off on the penultimate leg by train across England and Wales, with lots of books for company.

Limerick has areas that are even more deprived than NE inner city Dublin. Could we similarly mobilise politicians, public servants, business people and citizens to tackle disadvantage? If this model is working we should replicate it.

I’m nine hours in to a twelve hour journey home from London to Limerick. It sounds gruelling but it has been lovely: acres of legroom, nice sights and a relaxing atmosphere. SailRail is such a great way to travel.

Trasna na dtonnta, dul soir, dul soir! If you’ve never done SailRail from Dublin to London I highly recommend it: very relaxing.

Thanks to Fintan for covering the first meeting of Limerick Pedestrian Network. Lots of work to do as we get set up, all are welcome to join. Support local journalism and buy a copy of the Leader to read more!

Centralisation not decentralisation! Lyric FM studios are 7min walk from O’Connell St. RTÉ Radio studios in Dublin are over an hour (or 30 mins on bus) from O’Connell St. We need to move more national services to the centre of regional cities, not move them out.

I would expect to see large developments in Clare forcing larger changes in Limerick as well.Oof.

Ugh. The proposed closure of Lyric FM studios isn’t because of rent. UL are planning a car-dependent town of 20k in the fields of Co. Clare. Any proposal to move institutions to their out-of-town campus should be viewed as hostile to our city.

Reminder! Monday evening, 2 Pery Square, 7pm. For those of us (all of us!) who use Limerick’s footpaths. A safer, more inclusive, healthier and more prosperous city is possible.

The health outcomes of active travel for 20 mins/day. If a new drug achieved this we’d spend billions on it. A relatively small investment in our neighbourhoods and streets to make walking and cycling safe would be transformative.

Finally here are two very calm-looking nurses from the Red Cross on O’Connell St in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising (RTÉ stills archives)

Both sides used bicycles of course – here’s the Royal Irish Constabulary on patrol with the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment in 1920 (Imperial War Museum)

The bicycle played an important role in the fight for Irish independence. Here is the Cycle Corps of the Irish Volunteers delivering guns landed at Howth by Erskine Childers on the Asgard in July 1914 (credit: National Museum)

Meeting to establish a steering group for a pedestrian network in Limerick next Monday. Please share if you can – especially outside of Twitter, thanks!

Hey do you like my new winter coa-


The hierarchy of vulnerability means responsib-


But for a relatively tiny investment in infra-


To achieve compact grow-


In other Euro-


I just want my family-


Victim blam-


The Dock Road is the cycle route to/from the main depot for Limerick’s post office workers. There is space to make it better.

Limerick’s streets could be better. We need both an active travel officer to improve cycle and walking facilities, but also an urban designer to reimagine streets as places for friendship, romance, play and commerce.

It’s really important to reduce emiss-


What about the health benefits of cycling and walk-


Wouldn’t it be nice to have less air poll-


A worrying number of children these days are obes-


Compact cities and villages are bett-


Round 1: unanimous cross party support for 10% cycling funding at Limerick council transport strategic policy committee. Now to full council meeting for final vote.

Councillor Brian Leddin is proposing a motion today to allocate 10% of Limerick’s transport funding to cycling. I hope it gets cross-party support.

Excellent trolling by Limerick Council in their draft corporate plan

It hasn’t been publicised much but there’s a new bus service from Limerick and UL to Newport, Rear Cross, and Thurles. 3 services a day, 7 days a week. Good to see new services for people commuting from rural areas.

My commuting options, city centre to university, to start work at 9. Would love to hear what other people’s choices are.

I (respectfully) disagree with my friends in Sinn Féin and Social Democrats who wanted to reduce local property tax in Limerick. 80% of wealth in Ireland is property. It’s right that we have a small increase in tax to pay for better local services.

Decision on O’Connell St upgrade was deferred yesterday for two weeks. A few of us are meeting tonight to discuss possible co-operation and next steps. Drop me a line if you’d like to come along!

Sextons on Henry St has Cards Against Humanity and Franciscan Well beers on tap. Pizza’s pretty good too.