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.
View from the 323 Limerick-Nenagh bus this morning as it winds its way north along the eastern shore of Lough Derg.
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.
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.
Are you a behavioural scientist? Would you like to have a real impact transforming how people travel in Ireland’s 3rd city? Limerick Council is recruiting a behavioural scientist for its Active Travel team. Deadline 12th Dec 2022. https://www.limerick.ie/council/services/your-council/jobs/behavioural-scientist-grade-vii-5-yr-ftc-closing-date-12th-0
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.
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.
Annual cost of a residents on street parking permit in Irish cities:
Interesting new research from Trinity: over half of Irish office workers feel they are more productive working from home. Lots of fascinating insights in this open access paper.
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.
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%.
These new buses are fabulous. Good wheelchair accessibility too.
This would have been unthinkable five years ago: a major employer in Limerick has put in a submission to an active travel scheme asking for better cycling infrastructure.
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.
New blog post: Submission on Fr Russell Road Cycle Scheme Phase 1
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.
Consultation on the proposed Workplace Parking Levy for Leicester – would be the second in the UK after Nottingham – closed last month. Projected revenue of £95m over 10 years – ringfenced for sustainable transport spending.
“What about me? Stop the child murder”, 1985. From a wonderful collection of Dutch cycling and anti-car posters in The Guardian.
Active Travel England launches with some encouraging statements of intent.
Very interesting report from the US (PDF) about how public transport agencies can address persistent inequality.
Today is a happy day. MSc. in Sustainable Transport and Mobility.
A fascinating paper by Prof John Fitzgerald from 2020 describing the waiving of the Irish Free State’s portion of the United Kingdom’s debt agreed in the Anglo-Irish Treaty as the largest debt relief episode in the twentieth century
An interesting guide (pdf) on designing cities to be accessible when you’re transporting very small children, and the benefits of doing so
The answer to reducing emissions from private cars isn’t necessarily incentivising the purchase of new cars. A Japanese study shows that keeping used cars on the road for 10% longer actually saves emissions. We are at the stage where we should be following Norway in taxing new/imported fossil fuel cars (including hybrids) to the hilt.
I made a submission on the draft Killaloe-Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan
I made a submission to the review of Limerick’s speed limits calling for a 30km/h speed limit in all urban areas
The New York Times had some coverage of this particular university “rating” scheme back in 2012. UL and National College of Ireland are the only Irish participants this year.
Interesting paper about battery improvements in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal: “we find that the real price of lithium-ion cells, scaled by their energy capacity, has declined by about 97% since their commercial introduction in 1991”
Per capita, which counties in Ireland drive the most and the least? An idle question I had this morning. Some of the rankings were surprising to me. I posted the full table on my website.
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. https://covidtracker.gov.ie
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.
How can we fix Limerick’s transport? Come along tonight to hear some brilliant people talk about how we can get Limerick moving for the benefit of all.
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.
“We’ve built ourselves a public space that encodes the dominance of the adult machine-driver”
Depressing (and true) about Limerick but Eoin also gives us hope that we can fix it, if we want to.
The Mid-East’s difficulty could be the Mid-West’s opportunity. If we focus on compact growth in Limerick city centre, we can position ourselves as the country’s best option for sustainable growth.
Thought for the day: non-denominational education should not be restricted to kids whose parents own cars.
The centre of the University of Limerick’s campus.
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.
“Waiting to be ready is a strategy to fade into the oblivion. Instead, lean in, and be courageous.” A great manifesto for Limerick’s streets.
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)
Cumann na mBan also had a Cycle Corps, here they are on their way to Bodenstown (credit: Irish Military Archives)
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)
I also wrote a blog post with some details about the Limerick Pedestrian Network meeting next Monday
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-
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.
omg Google Street View now covers the rivers in Limerick https://goo.gl/maps/3FKMejDzi2P2vYnX6
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-
The deadline for feedback on Limerick Council’s corporate plan for the next 5 years is this evening. Here’s my submission.
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
Three SUVs parked in a cycle lane.
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.
Some people were asking me how I did my graph with commute times – I used the Apple Numbers app on my iPhone (free download). Here’s a video showing how I did it. I tapped the + button to add a graph, and the paintbrush button to edit the x axis. https://t.bibby.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/numbers.mov
My commuting options, city centre to university, to start work at 9. Would love to hear what other people’s choices are.
For people interested in the plans for O’Connell St in Limerick, the planners report with responses to the 60+ submissions is now online (PDF)
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!
Happy 80th birthday Dr. Walsh, but your vision of urban sprawl for Limerick is a vision for last century, not this one. The whole concept of a new university town in Clare is performative nonsense and should be stopped.
From 1982: RTÉ archive footage showing the “experimental” closing of Grafton St. to traffic. Dubliners at the time were reassured that if it didn’t work, it’d be reversed after a year. Nearly 40 years later, could we follow suit in Limerick? https://www.rte.ie/archives/2017/1123/922278-grafton-street-traffic-free/
The saddest thing about Limerick city centre is that it has no proper toy shop.
What happens when you concentrate development on the outskirts of a city and treat your city centre as a thoroughfare for private cars? Bad planning doesn’t just harm social inclusion, it harms economic activity too. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/limerick-has-3-5-times-more-vacant-office-space-than-galway-1.4007594?mode=amp
Sextons on Henry St has Cards Against Humanity and Franciscan Well beers on tap. Pizza’s pretty good too.