Report Recommends Increased Accessibility And Public Transport In Tralee

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A REPORT has been issued which identifies areas for improvement in Tralee to make the town more accessible.

It identified improvements that will be needed in the Public Bus network in Tralee and a range of infrastructure works to improve the access in and around the town.

The 10 Minute Towns report commissioned by the Southern Regional Assembly focused on three key towns in the region, Carlow, Ennis and Tralee to form part of an Action Plan to improve overall access for people living in these towns.

According to the Regional Assembly, the 10 Minute Town Concept seeks to have all community facilities and services accessible within a 10-minute walk or cycle from homes or are accessible by public transport services connecting people to larger scaled settlements.

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The report undertaken by Arup, identifies that 76% of people rely on cars or vans to access work or education in Tralee, with as little as 12% walking, 2% cycling and 5% currently using bus transport, and is recommending specific changes that are required to improve the use of Bus, Bicycle and Walking to access the town.

The report highlights the disconnect between developments in the towns and access to public services and amenities, which it says has led to ‘poor connectivity between these residential areas and community facilities’

Commenting on the report, Ken Tobin of Tralee Chamber said; “We welcome this report from the Regional Assembly, over the next number of years critical improvements like those identified in this report will need to be made to the town. Tralee has been earmarked for a 30% population increase, and if we act now, develop a Strategic Growth Plan for Tralee and follow key recommendations like this report, we will meet these targets and be able to attract new jobs and make Tralee a more sustainable place to live.”

The report is critical of the infrequent level of public transport into and around the town and recommends an increase in services in order to support people to move to public transport.

The report also recommends increased timetabling of trains connecting Tralee to Mallow and onwards to Cork and Dublin to improve the connectivity of the town, as well as increased frequency of bus services connecting Tralee to the surrounding Towns and Villages in Kerry.

In relation to the ‘Tralee Peoples Bus’ the report recommends that they ‘consider increasing the frequency of services, and modifying the routes to make services more direct’ as the ‘The two local bus services in the town only operate hourly, and have indirect routes’.

Ken Tobin CE of Tralee Chamber said; “Last August we once again highlighted the need for investment into a modern urban public bus system to best serve the people of Tralee. This time we wrote to the head of the National Transport Agency to address what has become an untenable situation. Right now, there are many parts of our community in particular the infirm, elderly, disabled and parents with buggies who find it difficult to access public transport. Of particular concern is that there are locations in Tralee excluded from accessing public transport routes nearby”.

The report also identifies some key measures to be put in place to ensure the Tralee-Fenit greenway provides a greater benefit to the people who live in Tralee, in particular it identifies that the estates bordering the route should have access opened up onto the greenway to improve accessibility for the residents to access leisure amenities and safe cycle routes.

Similarly, the report recommends improved access to University Hospital Kerry and the North Campus of IT Tralee with new safe cycleways and pathways improving access for the people of Tralee, including ‘Provision of cycle facilities along Oakpark Road, Killeen Road, Clash Road, and Dromthacker Road, which would make sustainable travel to IT Tralee more feasible’

A key recommendation, which would underline calls from cycling organisations in Tralee, would be to ‘provide formal pedestrian/cycling facilities for residents/visitors to safely access services nearby’ including a clear proposal ‘to promote cycling as a means of transport within the three towns, as well as providing adequate cycle facilities (such as new cycle lanes and secure parking)’ through the ‘provision of a comprehensive cycle network in the town’.

Ken Tobin, Tralee Chamber also said “In these times its vital that we give people as many options as possible to access the town, in particular its of concern to us that students attending IT Tralee don’t really have an option to cycle safely from the college campus to the town centre, nor are there sufficient secure bicycle parking locations in the town centre, which is why we have previously raised these matters with the National Transport Agency”

“These plans were highlighted back in 2013 in the Smarter Travel plan for Tralee, and really since then progress just hasn’t been made quick enough. At this stage its beyond over-due to have an integrated cycle network in Tralee, along with a town centre network of bicycle parking bays.”

Tralee Chamber’s submission on the County Development Plan also raised this point where it identified a need for ‘further investment in cycling infrastructure and improvement of the public realm to support pedestrians, that interconnects and compliments the greenway infrastructure around the town.’

“Our submission on the County Development Plan was backed up by our recent surveys, which clearly identified a growing need from people to have alternative means of getting into the town centre. Having over 76% of the population reliant solely on vehicles to get into Tralee just isn’t sustainable and puts too much pressure on parking spaces. If we do not reduce the reliance on cars then it will certainly mean that more car parking spaces will be required in the town, and not less”

While the report from the Southern Assembly is not a policy document, it does recommend using the report to guide and inform policy. It does also recommend that a ‘range of supporting initiatives to change travel behaviour, such as, promotion of the use of new walking and cycling routes, such as public awareness campaigns and increased use of wayfinding and signage will be needed for a greater uptake’. A recommendation again welcomed by Tralee Chamber.

“With the Greenway opening up next year, the funding already allocated to Tralee as a Tourism Destination Town should be acted on as soon as possible. We need to act now to improve signage and access into the town.”

The Southern Regional Assembly takes in Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Limerick.

It has a role in linking local with national policy goals through regional planning and the roll out of the RSES for the Southern Region and also has a remit for the promotion and support for balanced regional development through the management of EU programmes under the European Structural & Investment Funds.

The Assembly also forges links between spatial and economic planning and EU funding for the benefit of the Southern Region.


  1. Martin o' Shea says:

    Hi Dermot it’s grand saying more bicycle lanes,but the ones we have at the moment are like car parks.The gardai don’t seem to care.Look at holy family school and baloonagh school car’s parked everywhere.How do they expect people to cycle safely to work or school and god forbid the emergency services have to get through to a accident.The garda traffic core need to up there game then bring on the idea of more bicycle lanes.

  2. Paddy Cronin says:

    There are plenty of cycle lanes in Tralee at the moment, cyclists from 10yrs to 80 yrs use the FOOTPATHS ignore cycle lanes and red lights.