28 Sept 2022

Carlow village wants to 'cancel the commute' and keep people working in the area

This is an interesting report by the Irish Times

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Ballon village in Carlow

Ballon in Carlow wants to "cancel the commute" and keep people working in the area, according to a report in the Irish Times. 

The village will be starting a pilot project in the near future, offering desk space to workers and removing the need for them to travel.

Enterprise development worker, Peadar Casey, spoke to the Irish Times recently and he asked "who really wants to spend two hours each morning and two hours each evening in a car". 

The Irish Times reported that the population of Ballon grew by just 0.6% between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses, from 710 people to 714 people.

But the village is just nine minutes from the M9, non-tolled motorway, and a large proportion of the locals commute to Dublin.

"First we have to ask people to be ambitious in their thinking. For many if they wanted to work locally they could find something; for others it might be the chance to work without commuting, from a local office hub for example," Peadar added.

Eileen Murphy, former manager of a local training centre, explains the plan to make this happen.

When demand for training started to drop off, she says, a survey was carried out to explore future roles for the centre. The results indicated that people wanted somewhere outside the home where they could work without commuting.

So the idea of a digital hub was born. Ballon will shortly run a campaign entitled "cancel the commute", encouraging people to use the hub one day a week, the Irish Times has reported. 

"We are fortunate we have good fibre broadband," she said.

"The research indicates that many employers would be happy to have an employee work one day a week from a digital hub," says Eileen.

To read the full report click here. 

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