Transport and travel accounts for one fifth of our greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. Much of our travel is now car dominated. We need to move to more sustainable modes of travel when feasible and also look at switching to vehicles which produce les emissions, electric vehicles in the short term with the possibility of other fuels such as hydrogen in the coming years.
Active travel is the first priority if we want to decarbonize how we travel, particularly in urban areas. The majority of journeys in cars are short, usually no less than a few kilometres. Many of these journeys could be walked or cycled. Investing in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure will enable more people to travel on foot or bike and do so safely.
Wicklow County Council is also working to facilitate better access to public transport throughout the county. Better connectivity in services and access can help to facilitate more use of bus, train and DART services in the county.
Wicklow is a commuter county with many people travelling long distance to and from workplaces. A commuter survey in 2018 highlighted how many commuters are unhappy, with half at the time expressing an interest in remote working closer to home. Park and ride facilities can also help shift commuters on to public transport particularly for rural dwellers who don’t have access to public transport locally. Wicklow County Council is also working with schools in the county to implement measures that facilitate safe active travel to schools.
Wicklow County Council will also encourage uptake of electric vehicles working to facilitate installation of charging points and is also leading by example in the electrification of its own fleet.