Cllr Pat Kennedy remains opposed to bus lane proposals

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LIMERICK City South councillor Pat Kennedy has written to the council with 14 reasons a bus lane should not go ahead.

LIMERICK City South councillor Pat Kennedy has written to the council with 14 reasons a bus lane should not go ahead.

The Fine Gael councillor, a long time opponent of bus lanes, has made an official submission to Limerick City Council’s planning department on the matter, which is currently on hold after over 300 residents registered their opposition to plans for a bus lane from the county boundary to the O’Connell Street/Mallow Street junction.

In a three page letter, addressed to planning director Caroline Curley, Cllr Kennedy outlined a series of issues surrounding the controversial proposals.

These include that they would cause traffic and safety issues, be “inconsistent” with the character of the southside neighbourhood.

He also suggested the plan is “totally unnecessary and is vigorously opposed by 94 per cent of the residents in the area and by the business and professional community.”

Cllr Kennedy, a barrister at law, also made reference to the landmark case the Ballinacurra Road residents association took in the High Court against City Council.

In January, Justice Nicholas Kearns ruled that City Hall executives had not carried out the correct planning procedure in surveying the residents correctly. This prompted City Council to re-advertise the plans - which will be bankrolled by the Department of Transport.

In his letter, Cllr Kennedy made reference to city manager Tom Mackey’s 2008 comments where he described the Part Eight process - where residents are surveyed on major public projects - as “a red herring.

He wrote: “The city manager repeatedly advised the members of Limerick City Council that the decision on the provision of bus corridors was an executive function and not a reserved function. He went so far as to describe the Part 8 procedure as a red herring in relation to the provision of bus corridors.” Limerick City Council is expected to come back with an alternative plan for bus lanes later this year. The controversial plan has divided the council, with the majority of the southside councillors opposing the €5m scheme. But members from other wards have supported the plan.