ONE of the main ambitions of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS) is to radically transform the region’s cycling environment.
A draft of the document was published this Wednesday in collaboration with Limerick City and County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
Public transport, walking and cycling are set to be the big winners in the strategy, with plans to transform the cycling environment so that anyone of any age will feel safe and confident enough to cycle to work, school, college and other activities.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) hopes that this will lead to a rise in the numbers of people cycling within Limerick City and suburbs, Shannon and other towns and villages.
A cycling network totalling 184km is proposed, of which 103km is to be cycle tracks and greenways that are fully segregated from traffic. That is in comparison to the total 34km cycle infrastructure of mixed quality that is currently in existence.
Limerick City and County Council chief executive Pat Daly described the strategy to be an ambitious project that will help transform Limerick into a sustainable city, with cycling, walking and public transport key elements.
“Providing quality bus corridors on routes into the city will help to entice more people from their cars on to public transport. Some of the proposals will involve change and the prioritisation of public transport over private cars so I would encourage everyone to get involved in the consultation process and have your say around the future of sustainable transport in Limerick,” he said.
The draft document envisages a fully-connected high-quality cycle network linking all major origins and destinations within the area and an inter-urban network connecting Limerick City and metropolitan town centres.
As part of the Strategy, bus priority will be dramatically improved by reallocating road space, investment in Advance Bus Signalisation, development of bus gates, and the acquisition of land to accommodate bus lanes where required.
“The Strategy we are presenting today is a potential game-changer for the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area. We want to make it easier for people to get around by reducing congestion, and to make this place more attractive for people who live here, work here, or who want to visit here,” Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer, National Transport Authority commented.
“We also want to make sure that more and more people will have a sustainable alternative when it comes to transport.
“The Public Consultation begins today, so I would urge everybody to look at our plans and participate in the process. That’s the best way for us to get a good understanding as to what people are responding positively to, and what concerns there may be.”
For details on the public consultation visit www.nationaltransport.ie/public-consultations/.