Limerick Tunnel operating at just 35 per cent capacity

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

LOW traffic levels passing through the Limerick Tunnel have been attributed to the economic downturn and the loss of multi-national companies in the Mid-West region.

LOW traffic levels passing through the Limerick Tunnel have been attributed to the economic downturn and the loss of multi-national companies in the Mid-West region.

New figures show that just 14,000 vehicles are passing through the Limerick Tunnel each day - 35 per cent of its 40,000 capacity.

A mmeeting of Limerick City Council’s roads Strategic Policy Committee heard that the Southern Ring Road carries up to 40,000 vehicles per day, but disappointment was expressed with traffic levels passing through Limerick Tunnel.

It was hoped that figure would be at least 30 per cent greater in its first year of opening. “It is a bit less than we expected,” agreed Vincent Murray, of the roads department of City Hall, “but the drop in traffic could be attributed to the decline of the construction industry. Fourteen thousand vehicles is still a lot, but it has a capacity to take a lot more,” said Mr Murray.

Those figures were confirmed to the Leader by Direct Route, which will operate the contact to maintain the tunnel until 2041.

Revenues obtained by the company since the tunnel opened have not been revealed, however it could be assumed that the tunnel could make €9.2m on an annual basis if 14,000 cars pass through the tunnel on a daily basis.