PLANS are in place to build new cycle paths between the county boundary and the University of Limerick.
As part of the €9m ‘Smarter Travel’ scheme, which is designed to get people out of their cars and into more sustainable means of transport, the county council has acted to improve one of the key routes into the city.
According to plans lodged with County Hall at present, the scheme will consist of the “construction and improvement of cycle ways, footpaths, pedestrian crossings and ancillary infrastructure from the County Boundary at Singland/Rhebogue to the Groody Roundabout”.
The scheme will happen in two phases with the second from the Groody Roundabout to the main entrance at the University of Limerick, via Plassey Park Road.
The main objective of the smarter travel project is to connect four key hubs of the city and its suburbs - Castletroy, Corbally, the city centre and the regeneration areas - for public transport use.
It is hoped that by 2015, the number of people cycling could rise by some 4.7%, with car use reduced in the opposite direction.
Labour city councillor Orla McLoughlin, welcomed the plan for the cycle lanes - but said she hopes there are further improvements to other parts of the city.
“This is ideal, this is what we want. These routes are vital. A lot of people do use this road, especially students. It is a good access into the city. It is a great starting point because most students are living in that part of the city. They want to come in and out of town. But in the city centre, there is a dire need for [cycle lanes],” she said.
Cllr Maria Byrne, who also sits on the transport group, added: “The Smarter Travel budget is being used very successfully. It is obviously very healthy for people to be cycling. On a daily basis, you see more people cycling than you would have done in the past. You see more families cycling, and there are a lot more clubs involved, and this has to be encouraged.”