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04 Jul 2022

Second phase of key Limerick road project left out of transport plan

Second phase of key Limerick road left out of transport plan

The first phase of the Northern Distributor Road is under construction | Picture: Adrian Butler

THE SECOND phase of a key local road project has been left out of Limerick’s new transport plan on foot of a request from the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

The second draft Limerick Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS) was published today, and the document reveals Mr Ryan has intervened to block the Northern Distributor Road phase two from being included.

In the strategy document, it is stated that the Green Party leader feels the second phase of the road would run contrary to the National Planning Framework's objective of compact growth, as well as undermining the investment planned in both active travel and public transport.

The document also states that he feels it would "accentuate and continue a dispersed, unsustainable development model in the region".

Seen as crucial for the development of Castletroy – and in particular the University of Limerick’s new strategic development zone – the route is projected to see the road continue from the Knockalisheen first phase, which is under way, cross the Shannon, bypass Corbally and traverse the Mountshannon Road, before continuing to ultimately link up to the M7.

But it's lack of inclusion in the strategy will now raise major question marks as to its future.

Elsewhere, new railway stations at Moyross and Ballysimon, along with enhanced services on the Limerick to Ennis and Ballybrophy lines are planned.

The NTA has published its revised draft Limerick Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS) which also includes dual tracking of the line from Limerick Junction to Colbert station, and the upgrading of the city’s main rail terminus.

On top of this, a detailed study to determine future investment in rail infrastructure and commuter services in the Limerick area will be undertaken.

This will assess future development in the region, evaluate future demand based on projected increases in population and ecomomic activity and outline medium to long-term options for investment in rail.

Among the measures to be examined in detail are a re-use of the Foynes and Mungret lines, a rail spur from Sixmilebridge to Shannon Airport, and other future suburban stations.

Members of the public are being invited to view the revised draft and provide feedback at nationaltransport.ie.

The deadline for submissions is in June.

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