Ireland's massive active transport spend tackles climate change

Ireland will spend an average $1.5M a day on active travel projects in a bid to meet climate change targets.

The nation plans to make bike travel and walking so attractive that use of fossil-fuelled cars drops 10 per cent by 2030.

Currently road transport contributes roughly 94 per cent of all transport emissions, and personal car use is 74 per cent of that.

Only 2 per cent of trips are by bike with 14 recent walking and 7 per cent by public transport.

The dramatic move by Ireland indicates the seriousness with which Europe regards the threat of climate change, and the extent to which the Continent is prepared to invest in meeting the challenge.

The National Sustainable Mobility Policy, and Action Plan, aims to more than halve emissions by 2030.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the new policy was all about getting people moving in a greener way, by choosing walking, cycling or public transport over fossil-fuelled vehicles, and helping people choose more sustainable options.

"Sustainable mobility also helps improve our quality of life and bring life back into our cities, towns and villages, he said.

"We’ve listened to our stakeholders in developing this policy and action plan to focus on the right measures to make it easier for more people to travel by sustainable modes and make fewer car journeys.”

The government believes there are also health benefits from increased physical activity and safer roads, societal benefits from improved connections between our rural, urban and suburban communities, and economic benefits from reduced traffic congestion and greater access to job opportunities.

The initiatives include:

  • Reallocating road space to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport
  • Improving the safety of walking, cycling and public transport networks and making them more accessible for all users A public engagement strategy to promote the benefits of sustainable mobility and raise public awareness of options Making it easier to switch between different modes.
  • A new Leadership Group to drive implementation of the policy and agree a programme of ‘pathfinder’ projects at local level.
  • A new National Sustainable Mobility Forum to engage with stakeholders A new annual National Household Travel Survey.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.