In a Time of Climate Crisis – Road space in our cities must be given over to bikes and public transport – not private cars

At a time of climate crisis, aiming for car-free areas is an important goal and one European cities are achieving

MaREI researcher Dr Hannah Daly at ERI, University College Cork has become a regular writer for a column called “In a time of climate crisis” for the Irish Times. In this week’s column, she discusses the road space in our cities. 

Electric vehicles are not a silver bullet for fixing Ireland’s unsustainable transport system. Designing our built environment around the need for most people to get around in their own fossil-fuel powered car has been a grave mistake: rectifying this must be a central plank of the Government’s climate strategy.

Reducing car use would not only save greenhouse gas emissions, it would also save a lot of money. Research from UCC shows that nearly 40 per cent of fuel used in passenger transport is for journeys under eight kilometres, which is also around the average distance between people’s homes and jobs in Irish cities. With petrol and diesel prices at over €2 a litre, this means that people in Ireland spend over €200 million each month on these journeys, many that could be cycled.

Far more people could cycle if road design allowed. 50 per cent of respondents to the National Travel Survey said that safer cycling routes, or more cycling-specific routes, would encourage them to cycle more.

Read the full article here.