METROPOLITAN Mayor Daniel Butler has called on the University of Limerick to introduce a bus lane on its campus.
This is following continued frustration with the local bus service especially the 304 bus services and a recent meeting the Raheen-based councillor had with Bus Éireann.
“During my meeting with Bus Éireann, we identified a number of pinch points in the service. One of the issues identified was a 20-minute delay at peak times on the UL campus due to traffic, which is unacceptable. In order to reduce times and for the service to continue to serve the users on campus I have called on the university to introduce an on campus bus lane to reduce the time on campus to five minutes,” Mayor Butler explained.
The University of Limerick recently expressed its desire to be based in the city with potential plans mooted before Christmas.
Cllr Butler pointed out that the key challenge in this is transport links in order to move students from one campus to another.
“The reality is that a university presence is vital in our city so all options need to be explored to address this significant obstacle including private service options.
“I would also like to see the Canal Bank renamed University Way and further developed in terms of infrastructure and safety to establish it as the primary access route to the city for UL students and staff and also primary access to UL from the city centre,” he suggested.
The idea of renaming the Canal Bank University Way was first suggested by UL President Des Fitzgerald at a Metropolitan District meeting of Limerick City and County Council as a way of having a physical connection to the city reinforcing Limerick as a University city.
“I would also add that accommodation is tied up in the congestion issues in the university. With rising accommodation costs students throughout Ireland are investing in cars and travelling distances to university as its much cheaper than the extraordinary costs students are currently experiencing.
The university must include this in addressing transportation issues and seriously look at developing student accommodation with any expansion into the city centre providing a great opportunity to deliver that,” Mayor Butler concluded.
A spokeswoman for the university explained that UL has been working with Limerick City and County Council on design reports, to tackle the lack of dedicated bus lanes between Limerick City and UL, and with the aim of securing a 10-minute bus journey between the two points.
However, she said that a dedicated bus lane on campus would not solve this current connectivity issue.