Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy sets out a framework for investment in transport for the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area for the next 20 years
Limerick Chamber supports modal shift outlined in Limerick Shannon Metropolitan area Transport Strategy but has concerns about implementation and operational aspects
Limerick Chamber welcomes the final publication of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS). The LSMATS sets out a framework for investment in transport for the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area for the next 20 years and it is of significant importance to business in the region.
Following two lengthy public and stakeholder consultations over two years, the final strategy was approved by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and published. It took significant time and resources to get to the final publication, and Limerick Chamber acknowledges and commends the hard work undertaken by the NTA, local authorities and other groups that fed into the overall strategy. As part of the process, Limerick Chamber convened a special Transport Forum to feed in to both of our submissions on the LSMATS and we are thankful to those that gave up their time to input.
Dee Ryan, CEO of Limerick Chamber said, “Limerick Chamber supports LSMATS goals of improving connectivity across the metro area while reducing transport emissions over the lifetime of this strategy. Regular and reliable public transport will be critical to achieving these goals, as will delivery of active travel infrastructure.
Choosing environmentally friendly transport options must be made easier and more affordable. Getting people out of cars and on to buses, bikes or footpaths will improve our traffic congestion and overall accessibility and enjoyment of our city.
We urge Limerick City and County Council to fast track delivery on the areas that they have direct responsibility for such as the roll out of connected, segregated walking and cycling infrastructure across our county, but also, to forward plan for sustainable and age-friendly transport links in the parts of our city where we want to see greater residential, commercial, educational and healthcare development take place in the coming decade.”
Commenting on specific aspects Ms Ryan said; “We welcome the inclusion of traffic management and road safety improvements at the Mackey Roundabout which is a key matter we have been raising with Limerick City and County Council and the NTA during consultations. It is imperative to provide safe access to employment and educational nodes in Castletroy. We are delighted that our views and representations on behalf of members were heard. However, it is important that these works are implemented as a matter of urgency.
We continue to disagree with the NTA on the proposed operation of O’Connell Street as a two-way bus corridor which we think will detrimentally impact on the enjoyment and safety of this pedestrian priority space and detract from the striking architecture on O’Connell street. Long term, particularly given the proposed frequency of buses, one only needs to look at the Quays in Dublin to see how bus congestion can impact citizen movement and enjoyment of the city. We will continue to represent these views and to press for alternate bus route selection in expected public consultations in 2023 on Bus Connects.
Likewise we have concerns over proposals for Sarsfield Bridge which could have a significant impact on access to the city. We urge the Local Authority to accelerate the development of an overall traffic management plan for Limerick City (with delivery strategy) that will clearly outline for people what route and transport options are open to them to get across and around the metro area.”
Seán Golden, Chief Economist & Director of Policy with Limerick Chamber said, “The N21 / N69 development is a key route to facilitate the ambitious plans for Shannon Foynes Port while we understand the current issues regarding planning are outside of the control of the LSMATS we must focus on advancing the road project in conjunction with the rail plans. In terms of the rail freight project to Foynes, we are disappointed not to see this expanded to include passenger rail which could service the key residential area of Dooradoyle and employment nodes of Raheen Industrial estate and the University Hospital Limerick.
With regards to Shannon Airport, as part of LSMATS, it is hugely important that improved services to the airport are timed with arrival and departures. Furthermore, while regional connectivity is important for Shannon Airport, so too is inter-county connectivity where people from outside the region can travel to the airport at appropriate times. “
We understand that there has been no change to the underlying population growth assumptions used as part of the LSMATS process, this is very disappointing given the significant growth outlined for the suburbs versus the city centre. This goes back to my previous point about needing policy to tie in together to reach optimal results for the LSMATS. For example, under the employment population projections Moyross was set to decrease by 55 jobs, however, Moyross will now have a train station so would expect employment to increase. There appears to be a mismatch in that regard. However, we understand this is a matter for the regional assembly and local authorities.
Now that the LSMATs have been published, Limerick Chamber understands the local authority can progress a traffic management and delivery plan for the city. We ask that this is advanced as a priority matter and that the business community will continue to be engaged.
For further information please contact Seán Golden [email protected]
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