Report finds majority of Limerick people would choose more cycle lanes, even at cost of less space for other traffic

Stock photo.

OVER three quarters of Limerick people are in favour of creating more walking, wheeling, and cycling infrastructure around the city and county, even if that means less space for other traffic.

That’s according to figures published in a first of its kind survey in the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area, published by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

The survey found that 76 per cent of Limerick residents were supportive of building cycle tracks physically separated from traffic and pedestrians, even if it means there would be less space for other traffic.

The survey also revealed that 52 per cent of residents walk, cycle, or wheel (by wheelchair or mobility scooter) at least five times a week, with 15 per cent of residents saying they cycle once a week.

The newly-published Walking and Cycling Index is the largest of its kind completed in Ireland and was made in collaboration with Limerick City and County Council and Clare County Council. It  surveyed people living in the Metropolitan area of Limerick City, as well as areas covering Clonlara to Patrickswell and Shannon.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The survey included over 1,100 residents over the age of 16, and didn’t focus only on those who walk, wheel, or cycle.

61 per cent of respondents said that they were in favour of additional investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, and 49 per cent said they would like to walk or wheel more in the future. 34 per cent expressed a desire to cycle more.

The report found that those who do walk or cycle daily count for the equivalent of 32,000 cars removed from Limerick roads.

The survey reported that walking, wheeling, and cycling also has significant health benefits, and prevents up to 320 serious long term health conditions each year, saving the HSE €4.54million – equivalent to the cost of over 83,100 GP appointments.

Residents said that better footpath surfaces, more parks and green spaces, and more places to stop and rest would encourage them to walk or cycle more.

Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Gerald Mitchell welcomed the report, saying that “it is positive to see that 88 per cent of residents think their local area overall is a good place to walk or wheel and 71 per cent think that the level of safety for cycling in their area is good”.

“This is gratifying given our investment to date with the support of the National Transport Authority.”