Smarter Travel is a transport policy that sets out how the vision of a sustainable travel and transport system can be achieved. It supports Sustainable Transport projects and travel policy which will provide a change in how people travel.
The Minister of Transport set up the Smarter Travel Project Fund which sought to support individual projects which could
· deliver sustainable transport initiatives, achieving real and measurable changes in people’s travel choices and behaviour
· assist the development of projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of travel
· increase the capability of organisations to help deliver sustainable travel
· raise public awareness and acceptability of sustainable travel and transport issues
Leitrim County Council were successful in their application for a Smarter Travel Project in Carrick on Shannon. The Minister recently announced funding of €775,000 towards this project, which will be expended over a three year period, commencing in 2010.
SMARTER TRAVEL PROJECT IN CARRICK ON SHANNON
Under this project, Leitrim County Council propose to extend the current cycle-ways in the environs of Carrick on Shannon, and also to extend and upgrade the Sli-Slainte walk-way / cycle way around the town.
This project is based around the provision of cycle and pedestrian paths throughout Carrick on Shannon together with bicycle parks. The intention is to reduce the level of car dependency, in the town, and within outlying areas. This project will promote the opportunities for different forms of non-motorised transport to be utilised with the additional cycle lanes and additional safer pedestrian facilities being provided. In addition suitable bicycle parking facilities will be provided which will be located at strategic locations in the town centre. The project will promote walking and cycling as transport modes, as a tourist attraction and in terms of the positive impacts on people's health.
DESIGN OF CYCLE LANES
There are four different cycle lane design options used throughout the proposed cycle network. They include
- Mixed Street / Shared Road Use. This is where the cyclists share the roadway with the traffic. This will be utilised in the town centre. A reduced speed limit of 30 km/hr will be introduced in these areas.
- Single General Purpose Driving Lane with Advisory Cycle Lanes. This involves removing the centre lines and providing a wide two-way general purpose traffic lane with advisory cycle lanes on either side. These types of cycle lanes will be constructed in Sunmmerhill / Sli Slainte / Castle Cara road areas, MBNA / Community School road and St. Patricks Park.
- Dedicated On Road Cycle Lanes. These will be provided, where the current width of roadway allows such as the N4.
- Off Road Cycling. Off road cycling will be provided through the Linear park and also dedicated off road cycle lane are proposed for the Leitrim road.
It is anticipated to provide a number of bicycle parks at different locations around the cycle Network.
It is proposed to upgrade walking routes around Carrick on Shannon, with particular emphasis on the SLI SLAINTE walking route.
PROGRAM OF WORKS
It is intended to carry out the works over a three year period, starting at the town centre and working outwards.
The provision of these cycle lanes and walkways will have a lasting benefit to future generations in the Carrick on Shannon Area. It will afford the locals to avail of healthier lifestyle choices while providing a better and more sustainable environment to live in. It will reduce the carbon footprint while also encouraging extra tourists to visit the town. It will also facilitate positive interaction in the community, and lead to the opening up of new “vistas” throughout the area.
The issue of traffic congestion in the town centre will also be addressed and the pressure on car parking reduced. There also has to be some attitudinal change and this will only take place over time by provision of alternatives to private motor transport.