SLIDESHOW: New vision for Limerick's O'Connell Street is unveiled

€9m proposals to revitalise city's main thoroughfare presented by council

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LIMERICK City and County Council has unveiled ambitious plans to completely transform O'Connell Street in the city.

Members of the public were invited to City Hall this Tuesday to inspect the local authority's emerging preferred option, which will see pedestrians prioritised over cars.

There will be one lane of traffic heading outbound from the junction of Denmark Street up to the O'Connell Monument. The plans show a bus lane, with cyclists sharing the outbound lane with motorists. But the €9m proposals will also allow for the street to be completely closed for events.

A focal point of the revitalisation of Limerick's main thoroughfare will be placed at the junction with Bedford Row and Thomas Street, while bus stops will be relocated to within the specially designated bus lanes.

Under the plans, taxi ranks will vanish from O'Connell Street and will instead be placed on side streets. The blueprint - put together by Arup consulting engineers - has the aim of reducing unnecessary car traffic, road signage and improving the streetscape.

The local authority has put together its preferred plan following a series of consultations with elected representatives, the local business community, and members of the public.

Joe Delaney, the council's head of design and delivery,said: “This plan for O’Connell Street will see a significant increase in space for pedestrians. We have spoken to a lot of people with ideas for O’Connell Street and the overarching view is that it needs to be more pedestrian friendly.”

The main body of the work will take place in the core retail section of O'Connell Street, from the junction of Denmark Street to Cecil Street.

The project is being funded thanks to €4.1m from the European Regional Development Fund, with the local authority making up the balance of €9m.

The deadline to make your views known on the project has also been extended from this Friday up to Thursday, June 29.

Submissions will be accepted by email to LUCROC@arup.com, or by post to David Healy, Limerick City and County Council, Merchant's Quay, Limerick.

Following this period of consultation, a planning application will be published and the finalised plans will be put on public display for a six-week period. There will be another opportunity for submissions at that point.

It is envisaged that works will start next summer.

The council's preferred options come on foot of proposals put forward by economist John Moran in last week’s Limerick Leader. There have been a large number of Tweets using the hashtag #LiveableLimerick which has trended nationally.