Technical details
University College Dublin (UCD)
Behavioural Change; Transport Planning; Transport Policy & Strategy; Development Planning
Local / Urban Transport

The challenge

UCD is Ireland’s largest University, with up to 30,000 staff and students commuting to the Campus on a busy day (over 7 million journeys each year). With anticipated campus growth, it’s expected that the combined UCD population will grow to just under 35,000 by 2026.

Key to UCD’s sustainable development is managing the impact of commuting – through the ongoing development and implementation of the UCD Travel Plan.

Only 20% commute by car to UCD (compared to 44.6% across the Greater Dublin Area). However, as the Campus grows, it will be crucial to ensure that more journeys to the campus are made on foot, by bike, on public transport or by car-pooling.


The UCD Travel Plan is key to achieving more sustainable travel patterns associated with the University. As a Smarter Travel Campus Partner in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA), UCD’s ambition is to be recognised as an exemplar in sustainable mobility.

Since 2019, SYSTRA has been delivering a range of sustainable travel planning advice and support for the UCD’s Belfield campus, aimed at making it easier for the UCD Community to take healthy, active and sustainable travel choices to, from and within the campus. This includes:

  • Undertaking the Annual Staff & Student Commuter Travel Survey – to understand current travel behaviours, mode share against Travel Plan targets and barriers to increased sustainable travel choices.
  • Updating the Campus Travel Plan – utilising the Travel Survey findings to update the Travel Plan actions to ensure it reflects the needs of the Campus community and is focused on mode share reduction.
  • Conducting a campus Cordon Study – to understand multi-modal movements to, from and within the Campus, to inform future Campus developments and the Campus Travel Plan (e.g. location of new cycle parking).
  • Developing a Parking Resilience Strategy to mitigate against the impact of ongoing Campus development on available parking while embedding behaviour change opportunities during the construction periods.
  • Designing the concept for a proposed new UCD Mobility Hub / Bus Interchange, integrating the Campus with the wider Bus Connects programme.
  • Inputting into Campus Active Travel Event Planning.
  • Improving and extending the Campus Walking & Cycling Network including the design of the pedestrian/cyclist Nova Link from Stillorgan Road to Belfield House and the design of improvements along the Wynnsward Road including the construction of a cycle friendly roundabout.