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Kilkenny Transport Working Group

Integrated Transport Proposal

 

Background


Kilkenny Transport Working Group.

In the autumn of 2016 a number of interested parties including, local authority, community transport providers and local development companies in County Kilkenny with a direct or indirect interest in the sector, came together to consider the immediate and long-term issues affecting public transport in the City and County region.

The parties included officials and elected representatives of Kilkenny County Council, the Manager of Ring a Link, community transport company, the CEO of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) and the CEO of Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA). Together they have formed the ad-hoc Kilkenny Transport Working Group. The Kilkenny Transport Working Group collectively have a better than average awareness of the transport needs challenges and opportunities in the Kilkenny region. Kilkenny had been the base of a number of public transport initiatives over a 20-year period and the Working Group came to the collective view that this offered an opportunity to build on this work to create a sustainable model of transport to improve not just the situation in Kilkenny- but to offer a model to other regions and to the rural areas of the state as a whole. The Kilkenny Transport Working Group decided at an early stage that better coordination and integration of public transport modes in its many existing forms (bus, train, taxi/ hackney, etc.) was an objective likely to deliver a transport system that offered wider coverage and a better service. It was recognised that the service would need to cover both the urban area of Kilkenny City and the greater rural region that included both the county and those immediate contiguous areas outside the local authority area that were linked to the City and County by social, economic and cultural ties.

Initial Actions of Kilkenny Transport Working Group:

  • Seek to analyse the research findings from the considerable number of international, state-level, regional and local surveys, reports and pilot initiatives which were based in, or included Kilkenny in their sphere of operations/ terms of reference.
  •  A digest report of the findings of these processes was compiled which will be of use planning an integrated transport system.
  • The Kilkenny Transport Working Group asked the researcher to oversee a mapping of the various modes of bus and rail transport operating in the City, County and wider region. 4. A Transport Think Tank (presentations and group workshops) was held in the Newpark Hotel on the 24th of November. It was attended by 35 interested parties from around the City and County and was very productive and supportive of a more inclusive public transport system to meet the needs not just of the current users, but of those who could conceivably be encouraged to use a more integrated and flexible system; including- tourists, people socialising, workers, etc.

Proposal

Next Steps… The Kilkenny Transport Working Group wish now to build on their work to date and initiate a wider ‘conversation’ on the future of transport in the Kilkenny region specifically- but by implication to rural Ireland as a whole and to initiate three related actions:

  • The appointment of a suitably qualified person in the transport-planning or a related sector to facilitate the development of an agreed plan among the existing and potential providers of an Integrated Transport Initiative based on the integration of services and the communication of information to the end of providing a ‘best in class’ transport service for the Kilkenny region.   The hosting of a conference/ seminar in the County focused on the theme of flexibility and integration in transport provision.

iRoUTE (June 27-28), will be attended by transport providers, regulators, international experts, practitioners, academics in the sector and community interest groups, each of whom will be invited to participate in a campaign to find the resources needed to initiate the pilot service.

  • The launch of an integrated transport initiative in the Kilkenny region. Estimated starting date, late-autumn 2017.
  • The Kilkenny Transport Working Group does not wish to over-define all elements of the possible sustainable integrated transport system at this stage in an evolving development process, particularly as not all the potential stakeholders have been consulted at this stage.

 

There are a number of principles and objectives which it can now state as its objectives for the initiative.

1.  An integrated transport initiative that is genuinely operational across the Kilkenny City and County region.

2.  Participation of significant numbers of both conventional fixed corridor and demand response service providers in the County and City region.

3.  Formalised, timetabled and facilitated linkages between modes of public transport- fixed corridor services (e.g. Bus Éireann, etc.) with community transport and other small public service vehicles.

4.  Communication and cooperation at operational service level between various providers and modes of public transport. Creation of a ‘Kilkenny Transport Forum’ to include all transport providers and user groups.

5.  Promotion of the use of low energy and universal accessible (low-floor) vehicles.

6.  Park-&-Ride and linked shuttle service facilities in the Kilkenny City area.

7.  Better real time information provision to using and intending customers- bus stop displays, smart phone apps, etc.

8.  Improved and increase customer signage and comfort infrastructure: e.g. bus-stops, shelters, information & direction signs in both City and rural areas.