Navan Cycling Initiative recently made a submission to the National Transport Authority for the Draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2022-2042.
The Strategy sets out the framework for investment in transport infrastructure and services over the next two decades to 2042, including transport schemes and measures needed:
- to tackle climate change;
- to reduce the impact of congestion;
- to deliver a safe and attractive cycling environment; and
- to develop sustainable communities across Dublin City and region.
While we welcome the opportunity to provide feedback, and recognising that this is a draft document, we found a number of major issues with the document, including:
- It’s not a Strategy
- It doesn’t address Climate Change
- It doesn’t present reasonable targets for Active Travel
Compared to the 2013 strategy, this report appears rushed, lacking in depth, and with many major mistakes and omissions – including losing an entire Greenway.
Not a Strategy
A well-formed strategy should include a full and clear description of the current situation, guiding principles to aid those following the strategy, and a set of coherent actions to ensure the strategy can be implemented. The document falls short on all of these points, such as failing to consider previous barriers to success, the huge change in funding, and the learnings from the last nine years.
Doesn’t Address Climate Change
Ireland has a legal obligation to reduce climate emissions. For the Transport sector, there is a target of reducing emissions by 51% by 2030. The document fails to provide specific strategic guidelines or actions to ensure that this target is met.
A reduction of 5-6% per year is needed to hit the target. The Strategy document suggests reviewing progress in 2025, by which time the target could be so off-track as to be unachievable.
Active Travel Targets
The Strategy presents low targets for walking and cycling, based on outdated 2016 census data. As we’ve all seen, during COVID there have been huge increases in walking and cycling, which this strategy doesn’t take into account.
Targets are given for the % of journeys by foot or bike, and range from 5% in Navan to 1% in Dunshaughlin. That is, by 2027 the NTA are targeting 1% of journeys in Dunshaughlin to be by bike. And this means the only people who will be designed for are the “Strong and Fearless”. Your kids won’t be able to cycle to school.
We’ve made our submission to the NTA and we’re requesting further engagement to ensure that the strategy is brought up to scratch. We believe everyone should be able to walk or cycle in Navan if they wish. The NTA and Meath County Council have an obligation to provide for this now, and not let another decade slip by.