The 2006 census showed that Tullamore was second nationally in terms of numbers of people cycling to school and work second only to the Greater Dublin Area.
However the figure of 3.8 % of all trips still is a long way short of national target of 10% of all trips to school and work to be made by bicycle by 2020. There is concern nationally about the increasing levels of childhood obesity and it is interesting that the numbers of primary school pupils cycling to school in the country decreased by 86% in the period from 1986 to 2006.
There is significant potential for increasing both cycling and walking in Tullamore as the census also indicated that 46.5% of all journeys to work, school and college in the town are less than 5km.
In 2011 Offaly County Council and Tullamore Town Council were successful in securing €300,000 for ‘smarter travel’ schemes in the town and the following projects are seen as important steps in promoting cycling and walking in the town.
The scheme saw the provision of 4km of new cycle lanes extending from the Railway Station, along Srah Road, Srah Avenue and Collins lane to the Ardan Road. The route connects the residential areas of the north and west Tullamore, including the estates of Ballin Ri, Eiscir Meadows, Carraig Cluain with three schools, the railway station and the town park.
There has also been the provision of 23 cycle stands in O Connor Square, Market Square, the Town Park and other town centre locations and new footpath linking the Daingean Road car park with Harbour Street has also been put in place.