2014-04-15 10:35:07 - Ennis, the Clare County Capital has been awarded funding under the Government's Active Travel Town Scheme to enhance the ongoing development of new walking and cycling routes and smarter travel initiatives throughout the town.
Ennis, the Clare County Capital has been awarded funding under the Government's Active Travel Town Scheme to enhance the ongoing development of new walking and cycling routes and smarter travel initiatives throughout Ennis.
The €650,000, won through competition with other Local Authorities will help to deliver cycle infrastructure and other measures to encourage sustainable travel throughout Ennis. The town has been selected along with 8 other towns from over 30 applications across the country.
The infrastructure improvements being proposed by Clare County Council include shared use walking and cycling paths, traffic calming, improvements at road junctions, smarter travel signage and cycle parking schemes with links being created between the main employment and residential areas.
"The approval of funds is excellent news as it
enables the Council to progress a number of schemes aimed at encouraging greater public use of sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing," stated Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins.
Mayor Arkins added: "I warmly welcome Clare County Council's efforts to create new approaches to transport which embrace environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Increased public usage of sustainable transport methods will also help reduce traffic congestion and improve access around Ennis for everyone who lives, works and visits the town."
Ian Chaplin, Sustainable Travel Officer for Clare said: "The funding allocation is very much welcomed as it enables the Council to progress its plans to implement a number of smarter travel schemes throughout the town. The local authority is firmly committed to the ‘Smarter Travel’ ethos and the promotion of cycling and walking through the installation of top class facilities."
He continued: "The Smarter Travel Town funding complements other Smarter Travel initiatives such as the 4km shared use cycling path between Ennistymon and Lahinch which constitutes an integral part of the National Cycle Network in County Clare. The Council is also continuing to investigate the potential for the development of a Greenway along the route of the old West Clare Railway between Ennis and Ennistymon"
"Ennis, in terms of its plan size of 5km by 3km and very flat profile lends itself perfectly to cycling with ease. The longest it would take anyone to get from one end of the town to another is 20 minutes, with shorter journeys only taking a few minutes more than the car," he added.
Mr. Chaplin indicated that as well as progressing new cycle/walk tracks and lanes throughout the town and introducing traffic calming measures at various locations, the Council is also rolling out a number of Behavioural Change initiatives.
Among the initiatives is the Smarter Travel Workplaces scheme, which will be introduced to Ennis businesses with more 200 employees. Clare County Council has already signed up to this initiative and has recently been assigned a Smarter Travel Workplaces facilitator. The primary objective of the scheme is to reduce car use among employees of participating organisations by between 10% and 25%.
Also planned is a Town Smarter Travel Signage Scheme, involving directional and informational signage placed around Ennis along the main routes informing of distances to major trip attractions, as well as times to both cycle and walk that distance for the average person.
Meanwhile, Clare County Council is working with the An Taisce Green Schools to help all schools throughout the town receive and retain Green Schools Travel Flags.