- What are the key transport issues in Carlow-Graiguecullen and how should the JULAP address them?
- What are the key movement and active travel issues affecting residents, workers, and visitors?
- What interventions could be introduced to alleviate traffic congestion in Carlow-Graiguecullen at peak times and school drop off / pick up times?
- How can we create more successful streets that easily facilitate the needs of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians?
6. Movement and Active Travel
An effective and well performing transport network underpins the economic, spatial, social and environmental success of an urban area, as well as facilitating the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient local economy.
The movement and active travel policy for Carlow- Graiguecullen in the Joint Urban Local Area Plan (JULAP) will focus on integrated land use and transport, in conjunction with support for investment in public transport, and active travel networks. This will improve people’s travel choices, as well as supporting sustainable, safe and healthy lifestyles.
Land Use and Transport Planning
An integrated approach to land use and transport planning, including policies which support realistic walking and cycling distances from residential, employment, educational, shopping and amenity areas, will be a key mechanism to support the development of a sustainable, healthy and low carbon urban area.
To contribute to the delivery of this integrated approach a Local Transport Plan (LTP) will be prepared alongside the new Joint Urban Local Area Plan (JULAP). The LTP will aim to maximise the opportunities for the integration of land use and transport planning in the urban area, taking into account existing conditions and infrastructure, transport demand, required interventions, and the prioritisation of active travel infrastructure for walking and cycling.
Limited local public transport options contribute to high private car usage. Therefore, central to the future success of Carlow- Graiguecullen will be the creation of a high-quality public transport network, connecting people to key destinations in a reasonable travel time within and outside of the Greater Urban Area.
A modern, efficient, and dependable passenger and freight rail network has a crucial role to play in mitigating climate impacts and in promoting Carlow-Graiguecullen for business, industrial, residential, and recreational purposes. Carlow Town is situated on the main Dublin-Waterford rail line, which has high levels of commuter demand. Improvements to frequency and timetabling are required to further enhance rail connectivity from Carlow-Graiguecullen to the wider eastern and southeast regions.
The development of a quality bus system as an alternative to the private car is an essential element of an integrated and balanced land use transportation system. Existing bus services provided by Bus Éireann and JJ Kavanagh link Carlow-Graiguecullen with regional destinations, as well as with smaller towns and villages in the hinterland.
Carlow County Council, in conjunction with the NTA, have developed two bus routes which will improve sustainable travel patterns in the town. The service will connect residential areas with the main employment, education, retail and health service destinations. It is anticipated that the new bus service will be in place by Q4 of 2022.
Carlow-Graiguecullen is strategically well placed on the national road network, located directly adjacent to the M9 Motorway, thereby providing excellent connectivity to Dublin (through the M7/N7) to the north, as well as Kilkenny and Waterford to the south. The M7 and M8 Motorways are approximately 40km away which provide connectivity with Limerick and Cork. The N80 National Road connects Carlow-Graiguecullen to the regional centres of Portlaoise, Enniscorthy, and Wexford Rosslare Port and the Midlands. An extensive regional road network serving the Greater Urban Area and including the R448, R430, R417, R725 and R726, also provides key links with smaller towns and villages in the hinterland and with larger towns in neighbouring counties.
The Carlow County Development Plan 2022-2028 and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES) supports the delivery of roads projects in the area, including the Southern Relief Road N80 – R448, and completion of the Southern Relief Road to link the N80 within County Laois. The Laois County Development Plan 2021-2027 identifies the Carlow Northern Relief Road Extension as a priority road project for Graiguecullen.
The creation of a comprehensive walking and cycling network will help create a resilient, low carbon transport network for Carlow-Graiguecullen that prioritises safe, friendly and healthy streetscapes, while reducing car dependency and improving air quality. It will enhance travel choices for all and improve connectivity to employment, education, retail and leisure opportunities.
An existing key asset for Carlow-Graiguecullen includes the walking and cycling Barrow Way, located along the towpath of the river. The River Burrin Linear Park in the town is also another key recreational route along the east of this smaller river.
There is scope to improve pedestrian and cycling priority, in addition to route continuity and connectivity in the Greater Urban Area, thereby supporting and promoting a modal shift to more active travel options. A number of active travel projects funded through the NTA are currently being progressed in the urban area.
In addition to the foregoing, the interventions identified in Project Carlow 2040 A Vision for Regeneration will support more sustainable travel patterns through public realm initiatives that aim to reduce overall car numbers and allow for more green space for walking and cycling with a focus on greater use of outdoor space and increased use of public transport.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER