Plans to ‘delete’ Limerick bus lanes in city are voted down

OPPOSITION councillors this week voted down a motion to “delete” any plans for bus lanes from the City Development Plan.

OPPOSITION councillors this week voted down a motion to “delete” any plans for bus lanes from the City Development Plan.

The eight remaining Fine Gael councillors - and Independent member Kevin Kiely - put a proposal before this week’s council meeting that the local authority vary its city development plan “so as to delete from the said Development Plan any proposal or map designation for the provision of Green Routes/Designated bus corridors on the Ballinacurra Road/O’Connell Avenue.”

They argued erecting such a bus lane would interfere with parking and amenities on the city’s southern exit, be inconsistent with the character of the area, and would have a negative effect on resident’s quality of life, and “is totally unnecessary”.

The proposal was supposed to go before the next meeting of city council’s transport and infrastructure committee to be debated.

But Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan voted to oppose the motion. And his proposal - seconded by Cllr John Gilligan - was voted through 5-4 by a then diminished council chamber.

Labour councillors Orla McLoughlin and Gerry McLoughlin, and Tom Shortt, joined Councillors Quinlivan and Gilligan in backing a proposal to reject the motion. Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillors Maria Byrne, Cormac Hurley, Ger Fahy and Diarmuid Scully voted to keep the motion on the agenda.

However, the issue of building a bus lane on the city’s southern exit is to remain on the agenda, as city manager Tom Mackey confirmed to councillors that the local authority is to launch a public consultation on the matter.

Three representatives of the Ballinacurra Road residents association had managed to halt the plans for green bus routes in January through a High Court judicial review, when Justice Nicholas Kearns ruled they must carry out a full consultation, as is stipulated for public projects under part eight of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

But the proposals to construct a bus lane from the county boundary to Punch’s Cross are still likely to face opposition, with the majority of city south councillors voting against the proposal in previous meetings. The survey on bus lanes is to get under way shortly.

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