Varadkar launches new design manual for urban roads and streets

New street design to benefit pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has today launched a new design manual that will significantly alter our streetscapes in the future.

The new manual aims to end the practice of designing streets as traffic corridors, and instead focus on the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

The Design Manual for Urban Roads was overseen by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. It will outline practical design measures to encourage more sustainable travel patterns in urban areas. The Manual sets out design guidance and standards for constructing new and reconfiguring existing urban roads and streets in Ireland, incorporating good planning and design practice.

Speaking this morning, Minister Varadkar said: ‘If we want people to travel in a more sustainable way – by walking, cycling or using public transport – we need to make sure that the streetscape will persuade them to take the sustainable option’.

“There is a growing appreciation that streets are much more than a traffic corridor. They should be places where people want to live, and spend time. The key is to improve street design for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, and to reduce the impact of vehicles on residential streets.

“At the same time, the Manual recognises the important role played by the car. It wants to achieve a better balance in how our urban roads and streets are designed and used. And it recognises that in some areas, cars play an important role because they re-assure pedestrians, particularly in more remote areas at night time.

“The Manual is also important for our tourism and heritage. It will support our historical street layouts, and encourage the development of new streets and plazas which are good for business and for tourism. Crucially, it should also help our focus on safety levels, particularly in the run-up to the United Nations Road Safety Week in May.”

Note for Editors:

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, together with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has sponsored the preparation of a Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.

The Manual has been prepared by a Project Team with a range of relevant skills drawn from a number of local authorities (South Dublin, Fingal, Kildare, Cork City) and hosted by South Dublin County Council. Among other things it involved a focused stakeholder consultation exercise.

The Manual sets out design guidance and standards for constructing new and reconfiguring existing urban roads and streets in Ireland, incorporating good planning and design practice.

In recent years, local authorities have been to the forefront of modern street design that supports sustainability objectives (e.g. Adamstown-South Dublin, Kilminchey- Portlaoise, and Applewood Village-Swords).