Observations on the Review of the South Dublin Development Plan
The campaign submitted the following observations to South Dublin County Council.
We believe that the South Dublin County Development Plan should include provisions that will encourage walking, cycling and greater use of public transport and will lead to a modal shift in transport away from the private car.
This modal shift is required to:
• reduce traffic congestion;
• reduce emissions so that transport greenhouse gas emission targets can be met;
• provide more vibrant living spaces;
• assist in combating rising levels of obesity in our society.
We agree with the broad emphasis in the current County Development Plan and in the Background Issues Papers of prioritising cycling, walking and public transport.
We welcome the plans to continue to establish a cycle route network and we also welcome the plans for changes such as reallocation of road space, new and improved crossings, and lower speed limits.
We agree, in particular, with the policy of retrofitting residential areas to increase permeability by foot and bike. This policy should help to shorten journey lengths and encourage modal change. The growth of safer, easier and more pleasant cycling and walking routes will of themselves help to grow more sustainable travel patterns.
The policy of retrofitting should apply also to existing commercial and retail developments so that they can be made more attractive for cycling, walking and use of public transport.
We are aware that in parts of the County commuting distances may be long and accept that this may be a disincentive to cycling. However, journeys for leisure and social purposes are frequently shorter than commuting journeys. Encouraging walking and cycling on these journeys has the potential to increase the modal shift from private cars to more sustainable forms of transport.
Car use on long commutes can be reduced by intermodal travel which should be encouraged by targeting greater integration of cycling and public transport via:
• the provision of secure bicycle parking at railway stations, Luas stops, key bus stops and stops on the proposed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT);
• provision for carriage of bicycles on Luas and on the propsed BRT;
• expansion of the existing off-peak bicycle carriage facility on suburban rail to include peak travel times.
The possibility of developing some form of “urbus” public transport system to bring people closer to main public transport routes should be explored, to encourage modal shift.
Modal shift should be encouraged also by providing additional orbital routes for public transport and by improving the frequency and reliability of existing orbital routes.
We are disappointed that the National Cycling Policy Framework (NCPF) is not included in Table 1.1 of the Background Issues Paper on Transport and recommend that it should be included. We note that it is included in the current Development Plan.
We believe that the Development Plan should champion small business promotion and activity as these generally reduce travel miles.
Tourism is a relatively underdeveloped area in South Dublin County with good growth potential, especially in the area of “green tourism” and Greenway development.
The Development Plan should ensure that links and services from the LUAS and new BRT terminuses are developed, to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the busy arterial roads in order to access some of the potential green routes.
There are a number of cultural locations within the County which could be linked via a “cultural trail”.
The development of the Dodder Greenway should be extended to the Bohernabreena Reservoirs and include the circular route around the reservoirs.
There should be greater promotion of the Dublin Mountain Way and improved access to the route from Tallaght Town Centre, plus the development of services at specific locations.
With the Development of Greenways and cycle routes, the Council should encourage the setting up of cycle hire and repair businesses, similar to Clew Bay Cycles.
Recreation and Sport are not addressed in any significant way. These are critical areas for the growth of a balanced and vibrant society
The need to bring mixed life to the likes of Tallaght Town Centre needs to be addressed with a critical study of where it is now and how it can be changed. Promotion and marketing will have to be a major feature of any move in this direction.
Mairéad Forsythe, Dublin Cycling Campaign
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