Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Manton, R., and Clifford, E
World Cycling Research Forum
Identification and classification of constraints for cycling routes in Ireland.
Optional Fields
Enschede, Netherlands
To encourage a modal shift to cycling, the Irish Government has introduced a range of measures including the establishment of a 2,000 km National Cycle Network (NCN). The NCN will connect all large urban areas in Ireland by opening up extensive rural routes. Given Ireland’s disperse population, a robust route selection process will be paramount to maximise the benefits of the NCN. The identification of factors affecting the route selection process is vital. Such factors are anything of an engineering, environmental, economic or legislative nature that could affect the development of a cycling scheme.   The National Roads Authority (Ireland’s highway development agency) Project Management Guidelines consider three categories of ‘constraints’; (i) natural (water bodies, protected areas etc.) (ii) artificial (man-made; settlements, roads etc.), and (iii) external parameters (cost, policy etc.). However, significant amendments to this methodology are required for the route selection of national cycle routes, for example, most factors affecting the development of a road scheme are considered inhibitive, hence the use of the term ‘constraints’. Many negative factors for a road scheme may facilitate a cycling scheme, e.g. towns, parks and railways, and vice versa.   This paper presents the identification and classification of factors affecting the route selection of cycling routes based on a 140 km corridor of the NCN which is currently at initial planning stages. The corridor includes numerous potential Route Facilitators (natural or artificial factors directly facilitating possible cycle routes), including a disused railway, extensive bogland and a downgraded road. The corridor passes through rural regions and features points of interest including villages, tourist attractions and scenic areas. This case study demonstrates the importance of the identification and classification of these factors for cycling routes. The study and associated guidelines can be used for the other corridors in the NCN, and indeed in new schemes internationally; thus enabling better cycle network design. 
Department of Transport; National Roads Authority
Grant Details
Publication Themes
Environment, Marine and Energy