James Ring with Matthew Thomas
THE chief executive of the Shannon group says the €150m Northern Distributor Road (NDR) is vital for the region’s development.
Matthew Thomas was speaking this week following a meeting on the road with the Limerick Chamber.
The link road will stretch from Coonagh on the northside, opening up Moyross, before traversing Corbally, the Mountshannon Road and potentially linking to the M7 motorway.
It has been opposed by many residents who live along its route, with the chief fears flooding and a devaluation in their home value.
But Mr Thomas believes the road will ensure Limerick can maintain the growth it has seen.
“When Limerick grows, Shannon does too. Just look at the past three years. There’s no coincidence that both have been resurgent over that period. There’s potential for further growth but it is not just going to happen. We have to create the environment that will make it happen and the NDR will be critical as it has the potential to free up a very large area of the city that at present is constrained and congested,” he said.
“Everything suggests that if we can deliver this road and open up the north side of Limerick, further investment will flow,” he added.
The building of the road was earlier this year backed by IDA regional manager Niall O’Callaghan and a number of high profile business leaders in an unprecedented intervention.
A failure to back the NDR would be “disastrous for future jobs”, three business leaders warned.
Barry O’Sullivan, Johnson and Johnson, Bill Doherty, Cook medical and Catherine Duffy, Northern Trust spoke out as councillors prepare to vote on plans to vary the development plan to allow the road go ahead.
The bosses at three of the largest foreign direct investment employers in the city joined with the IDA’s mid-western manager Niall O’Callaghan to warn rejection of the massive scheme would “send the wrong signal to investors”.
Councillors are preparing to vote on plans to vary the development plan to allow the road go ahead.
The link would cross the Shannon from the city’s northside – where it would open up Moyross – bypass Corbally and traverse the Mountshannon Road, before continuing to the Cappamore Junction and the Dublin Road.
A roundabout would be built to provide a link to the old Dublin/Castleconnell Road, with a second roundabout included near to the Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry to link in with the Dublin Road, which connects Annacotty and Castletroy to the city centre.
The R445 would be reconfigured to connect to the new roundabout, with another exit connecting to the Cappamore/Murroe Road.
And crucially, a spur is proposed across the Mulcair River to provide a link with the National Technology Park, while the Northern Distributor Road would eventually continue and connect to the Mackey Roundabout to allow M7 access.
Many see the Northern Distributor Road as the solution to existing capacity constraints on the main road through the National Technology Park and the university which can see 40 minute delays.