Urban mobility planning in Ireland is generally the responsibility of the local authority. In the case of four of the five major cities (Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford) mobility plans are not mandatory. Urban mobility planning issues are considered as part of the Land Use and Development Plans created by each local authority every six years.
Owing to its greater size, the Greater Dublin Area, however, is required to produce an Integrated Implementation Plan for transport. The production of this plan is the responsibility of the National Transport Authority (NTA) - the current plan covers the period 2013 – 2020
While overall responsibility for transport policy in Ireland rests with the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, the NTA has a wide range of roles and responsibilities. It provides policy and technical guidance to policy-makers and supports local authorities in the implementation of policy actions. It also develops programs such as the Smarter Travel Initiative to promote sustainable transport.
Smarter Travel Area programmes have been developed to reduce dependency on car transport. They will be delivered by each local authority in association with local businesses, schools and communities to transform travel patterns, lifestyles and communities. Smarter Travel demonstration programmes are currently taking place in Limerick, Waterford and Mayo.
Although the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) concept is not yet very popular in Ireland, many of the plans and programs contain elements of SUMP thinking. This is particularly evident in the Smarter Travel Programme – which has a strong emphasis on community involvement. The Irish Land Use Development Planning process is structured to provide significant scope for public participation. Cork city recently identified the SUMP process as a strategic aim in its 2015-2021 development plan, making it the first Irish city to acknowledge SUMP in land use and development planning documentation.
It is important to note, however, that Ireland has a relatively dispersed population. The congestion issues which necessitate SUMPs in larger urban centres in Europe are not evident in many of Ireland’s towns.