Council slammed over Smarter Travel

21AN Taisce has criticised Limerick County Council for not doing more to meet its commitments under the €9.3 million Smarter Travel programme funded by the Department of Transport.

The national heritage body claims that the council has failed in a series of planning decisions to secure the pledges it made under Smarter Travel. The local authority is now being urged to step up and meet its commitments on sustainable workplace planning.

An Taisce have also alleged that a progressive transport provision regarding a proposed development at the National Technology Park in Plassey, included by a junior planner, was “crossed out” by a senior colleague at the Council. They claim that the policy was designed to fulfill a commitment made by the Council under the Smarter Travel programme and that original text was later “scribbled out”, contrary to the €9.3m investment plan.

An Taisce have now raised concerns that this “apparent failure” by the Council to implement the Smarter Travel investment, “undermines the multi-million euro investment by taxpayers”.

“Councils receiving €9.3m to implement a Smarter Travel programme but then not implementing it on the ground is not something that should continue,” said An Taisce’s policy director James Nix.

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“Under Limerick’s Smarter Travel Programme commuting by car is to be reduced to 37 per cent. Currently, commuting by car in Limerick averages 51 per cent and well thought-through travel plans for new developments are vital to bringing this figure to 37 per cent,” An Taisce stated.

There was no comment from the local authority at the time of going to press.