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NTA Walking and Cycling Index highlights appetite for more cycling paths in Waterford

The Waterford Walking and Cycling Index, commissioned by The National Transport Authority, highlights that the majority of residents of Waterford enjoy walking and wheeling* and that there exists an appetite for more cycling infrastructure in the City and environs.

The recent publication of the National Transport Authority’s Walking and Cycling Index which was expanded to include the Waterford Metropolitan Area for the first time finds that 52% of adults in the Waterford Metropolitan Area walk or wheel at least five times a week, however participation in cycling was lower with 16% of residents cycling at least once a week.

When asked what would help them walk or wheel more, Waterford Metropolitan Area residents want better footpath surfaces including dropped kerbs at crossing points, more parks and green spaces close to home, and nicer places along streets to stop and rest.

When asked what would help them cycle more, residents wanted infrastructural improvements such as traffic-free paths through parks or greenways, signed cycle routes along quieter streets, and cycle tracks along roads physically separated from traffic and pedestrians.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed Waterford City’s inclusion in the process saying, “This report gives a comprehensive insight into the active travel patterns, behaviours and requirements of the people of Waterford. The support for more investment into active travel infrastructure is to be welcomed and will act as a catalyst for further investment in a walking, cycling and wheeling network, which can only be a good thing for our communities, our environment, and our health.”

Chair of Piltown Municipal District, Cllr. Ger Frisby added, “This report also takes into account developments of further active travel infrastructure that the people of Ferrybank and South Kilkenny want to see. The connectivity to the heart of Waterford City from Ferrybank, via the soon-to-be completed Southeast Greenway and sustainable transport bridge will provide so many more transport opportunities for those who wish to walk, cycle or wheel.”

Michael Murphy, Senior Engineer Waterford City and County Council said, “While the number cycling is lower than those walking, there is an appetite for more cycling infrastructure, with 76% of those surveyed supporting building more cycle paths physically separated from traffic and pedestrians, even if this meant less room for other road traffic.”

“Respondents were very cognisant of the benefits of easy to access, safe, liveable neighbourhoods. Almost 80% agreed that increasing space for people socialising, walking, wheeling and cycling would improve their local area, while 80% supported the creation of more low-traffic neighbourhoods.”

Waterford City and County Council supports the public appetite for active travel. Michael added, “The benefits of active travel are manyfold. While reducing carbon emissions might seem the most significant and obvious outcome, the benefits to physical and mental health are endless, along with considerable financial savings to be made from cycling or walking rather than fuelling the car, and the resultant reduction in congestion with less cars on the road.”

One of the most significant pieces of infrastructure to encourage walking, cycling and wheeling in Waterford has undoubtedly been Waterford Greenway. The old railway line from Waterford City to Dungarvan is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail which travels through time and nature crossing eleven bridges, three impressive viaducts and an atmospheric tunnel.

In June of last year, the Bilberry to City Centre Waterford Greenway Link was officially opened linking the Waterford Greenway from the Bilberry car park to the Clock Tower in the City Centre, as well as connecting it to the Waterford’s sustainable transport bridge, due to be completed in 2025, and to the Waterford to New Ross Greenway, also currently under construction.

Future Active Travel projects in Waterford City and environs include;

Segregated cycle route on the Tramore Ring Road
Segregated cycle route on the Williamstown Road
Segregated cycle route on the Cork Road, from the Mall to Whitfield Hospital
Segregated cycle route on the Inner Ring Road, from Ashe road to the Passage Road
Segregated cycle route from John’s Park housing area to the City Centre
An Urban Greenway cycling and walking route from Waterford City to Tramore
A’10-minute city’ plan focussed on the Lismore Park / Lisduggan area
Local permeability links
Upgrades to school active travel infrastructure under the Safe Routes To Schools Programme (SRTS)
Newtown Tramore Active Travel scheme

*The term wheeling refers to those who use wheeled mobility aids, for example a wheelchair or a mobility scooter, and may not identify with the term walking, preferring to use the term wheeling.


Notes to editors:

The Walking and Cycling Index is the largest survey of walking, wheeling and cycling in urban areas in the UK and Ireland.
It is delivered in collaboration with the NTA and the local authorities for the 5 Metropolitan Areas of Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick / Shannon and Galway.
The information in the reports is derived from local data, modelling and an independent demographically representative survey of at least 1,100 residents aged 16+ in each city.
The survey was conducted face-to-face by the independent market research company Behaviour & Attitudes from May to July 2023
The survey is representative of all Waterford Metropolitan Area residents, not just those who walk, wheel or cycle.
All other data is sourced from our city partners, national data sets or modelled and calculated by Sustrans.
Economic Benefits are determined through an analysis of travel time, vehicle operating costs, health benefits, air quality and taxation.
Free to use images: David Murphy

DM107578: Chair of Piltown Municipal District Cllr. Ger Frisby, Barbara Stosic Acting Senior Executive Engineer, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Michael Murphy Senior Engineer and Fergus Galvin Director of Services Waterford City and County Council

DM107637: Barbara Stosic Acting Senior Executive Engineer, Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Chair of Piltown Municipal District Cllr. Ger Frisby and Michael Murphy Senior Engineer Waterford City and County Council.

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