Cork City Press Release – ref: Sustainable Mobility Review 20 January 2020
“If You Want Change –You Have to Ask For it”
A group of Cork based organisations are calling on the public to post or email their opinions on improving transport & travel to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport by Friday 28th February.
(Click here to read more about the public meeting to discuss)
“If you want real change, you have to put that in your public submissions. It cannot happen if you do not ask.” This was a key message arising from a Public Consultation Meeting, organised by Cork City Public Participation Network and Cork’s Transport and Mobility Forum and partners, including Cork Cycling Campaign and Pedestrian Network-Cork, Cork Chamber and Healthy Ireland.
The public meeting was called to discuss a consultation from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, reviewing Ireland’s public transport and active travel policy, “A New Vision for Sustainable Mobility”. The venue was a packed Council Chambers in Cork City Hall, and there with no shortage of input and ideas. The purpose was to encourage as many people as possible to submit their opinions on all types of transport. Mobility includes every type of transport, from footpaths to cycle lanes, from buses to cars. It’s all about improving how we make our journey from A to B.
A key message of the evening is that everyone’s opinion counts. Darren McAdam-O’Connell of Cork City Public Participation Network, a grouping of over 200 community and voluntary groups was clear that “unless people say they want change, change will not happen, as policy makers are getting the message they should not change policy. Submissions are the only way we get the most effective public policies.” He went on to say that “It is perfectly acceptable to submit even 2-3 lines on any issue around mobility and transport. The important thing is to get something in.”
Stephan Koch, who chairs the Transport Mobility Forum, a Cork based cross sectoral organisation working on sustainable and active travel, emphasised that mobility needs to be viewed from a wider perspective, suggesting public transport starts the minute you put your neighbour into your car. The discussions which followed centred around 5 topics, addressing Active Travel; Public Transport; Climate Change; Spatial Planning; and the Local Implementation of Policies. Issues arising, included affordability, accessibility, safety, streamlined planning and transport management and greater commitment to and funding for active travel (cycling and walking).
However, the consensus was that even though the policy may refer to Active Travel, funding has tended to follow motorways and private cars. Successive Governments in Ireland over the past decades have made slow progress in moving towards sustainable means of mobility. The Sustainable Transport Hierarchy was presented, as a model that should form the basis of all transport policy, with a much greater share of funding for active travel, which includes walking and cycling. Interestingly walking is at the top of this hierarchy as most journey’s start and end on foot.
It was also highlighted that the best transport intervention is something that stops you having to make a long journey for an everyday need and proper spatial planning is the basis of all transport planning. Given the range of ideas and evidence and learning nationally and internationally, it is possible to create more sustainable means of mobility. It seems a question of political will and how resources are prioritised.
There are very real gains including quality of life, health and wellbeing and real issues especially the reality of an increasing population and an increased aging population, as well as the acceptance of climate change as a major challenge and significant fines where climate targets are not met. Mobility is a reality that impacts everyone at all ages and stages and a topic that generates a lot of conversation and sometimes divided opinion. This Public Consultation and the upcoming election are 2 ideal opportunities to bring your opinions to the fore and present them to policy makers.
Sandy McGroarty from the Transport Mobility Forum (TMF) concluded by encouraging all participants to advocate for more focus in the Cork area from central government and the need for an NTA office in Cork to enable better implementation of sustainable mobility policies in Ireland’s fastest growing city. There is no set format. To make a submission simply email firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for submission has been extended until Friday 28 January (midnight).
Darren Mc Adam- O’Connell Tel: 086 1422747 Email: email@example.com
Sandy McGroarty Tel: 086 1067588 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
The following 4 documents will be updated by the Public Consultation:
About the Organisers:
Transport and Mobility Forum
About: (TMF) is a representative group of organisations who have a common interest in sustainable and active travel. to increase the number of people travelling through sustainable and active travel in Cork. Sustainable and Active Travel helps reduce congestion on our roads, supports a low carbon economy, reduces noise and air pollution, improves public health and quality of life.
Cork City Public Participation Network
About: Cork City Public Participation Network (PPN) provides a means for the public to engage with the Cork City Council. It is made up of over 200 groups and organisations from the community and voluntary, social inclusion and environment sectors across the City.
Contact: Coordinator – Darren McAdam-O’Connell
Website : www.corkcityppn.ie
Tel: 021 2397390 Mobile 086 1422747
Cork Cycle Campaign
About: The Cork Cycling Campaign works with local councils, community groups, and other institutions to improve cycling infrastructure and to encourage people to cycle. We make submissions on infrastructure planning proposals to highlight issues relevant to cyclists, organise fun cycling events, develop cycling information and maps, and act as a voice for cycling in the community.
About: Pedestrian Cork is an advocacy group, working towards a public realm that is accessible, walkable and supportive of our own and the planet’s health in an inclusive and ambitious way.