We all love sitting in traffic. Waiting to get where we want to go is great fun, especially when we’ve got to be on time – NOT! But did you know just how many cars are on the road in Navan? And, do you know this one weird trick to get there on time, every time?
Governments hate it
The Department of Transport estimates that by 2033 Ireland will lose €2 billion a year due to people being jammed up in traffic. For reference, the train to Navan is currently estimated to cost €0.75 billion.
Children and people with asthma hate it
Traffic jams create harmful pollutants. Got a traffic jam near your school? Maybe avoid breathing.
Meath County Council hates it
Traffic jams cause extra work for the council.
Under the Air Pollution Act, 198714 local authorities are required to take the best practicableUrban Transport Related Air Pollution (UTRAP Group) Interim Report- March 2021
means to prevent or limit air pollution that could negatively impact on the environment and
human health within their jurisdictions
Businesses hate it
Faced with a choice of taking 20+ minutes to get into the town centre and park, or head off to Blanchardstown, many people are choosing the latter. That’s not good if you own a business in Navan town centre.
Cars hate it
If you have a diesel car, your engine is being degraded while you sit idling in traffic. Not to mention fuel consumption. Good thing that fuel is so cheap … oh wait.
People hate it
Dubliners spend 277 hours a year driving on average, over half of which (145 hours) is being stuck in traffic jam. That’s 18 8-hour days. What would you do with three extra weeks holiday a year?
How Much Traffic is There in Navan?
No, but really?
Instead of waiting for someone else to figure this out, we took the initiative. A few months ago we bought a Telraam traffic sensor, so we could see how many people are cycling. The sensor also tells us how many cars, heavy vehicles and pedestrians there are. Not only is this wee gadget an incredible feat of engineering, the project to create it – WeCount – it was run partly in Ireland.
The sensor is hosted by the great folks at Spun Cycles & Run, who very kindly allowed us to put the sensor looking over Metges Road. They also sell some amazing bikes, at great prices 🙂
How many cars drive along Metges Road at 8-9am on a weekday?
Not even close. On average 667 cars pass by the sensor at 8am-9am on a weekday. Eleven cars every minute.
Give us some good news!
Do you remember the traffic last week? Did it seem a bit lighter, due to half-term? It was! What did the sensor say?
At half-term, from 8am-9am there were 388 cars per hour. Just over half of the traffic during term-time. Imagine what it would be like in Navan if traffic was at this level all the time.
The thing is, it could be. And it’s already happening.
Way back in 2013 the NTA published an ambitious plan for a cycle network in every town and city in the country. Unfortunately for a long time there were no funds to back up the plan, until the current government made a bold plan to spend €1 million per day on active travel. A small part of this is visible, but the vast majority has been tied up in all of the red-tape it takes to make changes to our roads. Until now. In 2023 the Trim Road project finally got started. Several other projects have completed the various design and consultation stages, and should move to construction in 2024.
Why is this good news?
But digging up roads causes traffic chaos! Isn’t this bad news??
No. Because these “active travel” projects will provide better footpaths, better traffic lights, better cycle lanes and a better experience overall for those who decide not to drive.
Which means less traffic on the roads.
Which means we all get to where we want to go, the way we want to get there.
Sounds great! Can we do it faster?
We can. And better still, you can help.
(cue the sound of people looking for the x button. Quick, before we ask you for money!)
This isn’t a request for money.
This is a request to get involved.
- The Council publishes their plans years in advance. Keep your eyes open for “Part 8 consultations” in the paper or online. We notify you about them on our newsletter and on social media. Give your input to these consultations. Tell the council something useful that they don’t already know.
- Host a traffic sensor. With better information about the numbers of people choosing active travel, the council can make better decisions. We’re actively seeking funding, and we have a wait-list of people who want to help
- Get on your bike and join us. You don’t even have to have your own bike to join us, thanks to the shared bikes in Navan. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know about group cycles, trips on the Greenway, and more.
What was the One Weird Trick?
In case you haven’t already guessed, it’s travel by bike. Many journeys in Navan are 2km or less, yet are 50% of these short journeys are by car. Pretty much everywhere in Navan is reachable with a 10-minute bike ride, at a very relaxed pace – no sweating or lycra required. There are over 300 free bike parking spaces around Navan, with more being added all the time. During peak times, you’ll arrive faster than by car. Not only that, it takes exactly the same time every time you cycle. So no guesswork, and no leaving an extra 15 minutes early to beat the traffic. Because if you cycle, you’ve already beaten the traffic. Well done, you!