Tom Spillane - Low-carbon Transport in Limerick

  • Tom Spillane - Positive Energy Champion

"I will be examining the current transport system that exists within Limerick, and trying to reduce the reliance of carbon heavy modes of transport within the city."

For my campaign, I walked around Limerick City taking notice of the current transport system within the city. I noticed and became acutely aware of many aspects of the city’s transport system; the amount of on street parking, the transport modes being used, the location of bike racks, and their popularity etc. I also noticed that there were way more Coca Cola bike share (TFI bikes) docking stations than I had realised, and I began to notice Go Cars as well. I was struck by the volume of vehicles that travel through the city. The quantity of HGVs. I researched the dangers of this which are significant, not only from an air pollution standpoint, but for people too, especially children. I tried out an e-bike for the first time. My mom bought one under the ‘bike to-work scheme’ and I decided that I would give it a go! I might start using it regularly in the near future, as there have been improvements to cycling infrastructure in my area (the segregated cycle lane on Dooradoyle road).


For my Positive Energy Campaign I carried out a few ‘mini projects’, rather than one big project, such as,

  • I walked a lot around Limerick City and suburbs, and I used Limerick's buses
  • Made a personal submission to the Limerick Development Plan
  • Researched trackless trams
  • Attended various online events from Dublin Climate Action Week
  • Contacted several schools in Limerick about the opportunity of getting an air quality monitor and sensor installed
  • Tweeted about the potential of increased footfall in Upper Denmark Street

Making a submission to the Limerick Development Plan worked well. I learned from it and became much more familiar with other areas of Limerick. I learned from every action that I took, and even if the learning had a negative outcome, I still learned from that mistake.

Some things that were more tedious and time consuming than I had initially thought. For example, I found my submission to the Limerick Development Plan took longer than I had anticipated.

I had many conversations with people I met over the last few months about the Positive Energy Champion Campaign, and only had positive outcomes. This also caused a ‘word of mouth’ effect, and helped spread awareness of the campaign, which was always a goal of mine.

The main learning for me is that most people want to help you. I think this was an important learning because it now gives me more confidence to send an email, or make a phone call to someone, or some organisation that I think could help me in some way in future projects/ endeavours. Another big learning for me is that making a positive change usually takes much more time than you anticipate.

The main impact that I have made is that I think I have really spread awareness of the Positive Energy Champion Campaign, and that Limerick will really be at the centre of positive change, particularly over the next decade.

I will continue my activism on achieving climate justice for all, as well as improving my knowledge in the area of City Planning/ Spatial Planning and Environmental Management/ Policy.

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Person taking black rentable bicycle out of rake with several rentable bicycles

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk