September16th to 22nd is European Mobility Week and Kilkenny as a registered participating city has a journey to go in becoming a model for sustainable transport, walking and cycling. Kilkenny Mayor Malcolm Noonan is confident that Kilkenny can become a leader among regional towns in reducing car dependency and moving towards walking and cycling.
Mayor Noonan is calling on Kilkenny people to take advantage of the good weather this week and make extra efforts to walk, cycle and car pool where possible. ‘The theme of this years mobility week is ‘Improving City Climates’ and there is growing evidence that vehicle emissions in urban areas is causing an increased incidence of respiratory illness in children and older people. Cutting down on car use will reduce these emissions and help create healthier communities through more exercise’ he stated.
The Mayor is hopeful that a number of ‘walking bus’ schemes for schools will be set up over coming months. And with the Mobility Plan for the city up for consideration at next Monday’s meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council, there are many reasons to be positive about Kilkenny’s ambitions to create a healthier environment for the city s children.
On Sunday 20th of September, a half marathon will take place through the city’s streets as a ‘Car Free Sunday’ event. It will commence at 11am in Irishtown and finish on the River Nore Linear Park at riverside drive. There will be a fun run element to the event so the organisers are hopeful the good weather will bring out participants. Mayor Noonan praised the organisers of the event saying the growing interest in leisure cycling and mini marathons is the type of activity that will encourage reduced car useage and is a positive message from Kilkenny as we replace runners with cars on the city’s main street if only for one day.
‘400 years ago, traffic emissions were not an issue on Kilkenny’s historic streets. We can return our streets to the people but there has to be a massive shift in mindsets to achieve this. Its our role as local authorities to provide public transport and cycle lanes but people will have to join us in making Kilkenny a healthier city. I would urge everyone to make an effort to reduce unnecessary car journey’s he concluded.
Further information can be got at; www.mobilityweek.eu