RESIDENTS and communities who would be affected by the completion of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road have called for all lands designated for the project to be freed up and the plan to be formally dropped.
Residents this week issued a statement welcoming the decision to leave the road out of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy.(LSMAT)
Locals and farmers took to the streets to protest when the preferred route for the road was first unveiled, highlighting their rejection of the plan, which they pointed out would tear communities and family farms apart, threaten the local environment and take traffic off the toll road, resulting in mounting payments by the taxpayer to the Limerick Tunnel company.
The statement said “For many years we have highlighted concerns related to environmental damage to the area and social damage to the villages and towns along the route.
“The suggested economic requirement for the road remains unproven and has not been shown to outweigh the cost that will be incurred in additional compensation that will have to be paid to the Limerick Tunnel operators.
“Since this road was first proposed the climate crisis has only deepened. Ireland cannot meet its climate commitments whilst continuing to promote single occupancy, carbon intensive, private car based transport.
“The shift in direction towards public transport, particularly rail, for the Limerick region is welcome and represents further confirmation that the Northern Distributor road is neither economically required nor sustainable in the midst of the climate crisis.”
When the preferred route was outlined, a holding order was put on large tracts of land to freeze it for a future build, resulting in land and home owners being stopped from developing their property.
The Northern Distributor Road is neither economically nor environmentally required or sustainable we call on the proposal to be formally dropped by Limerick and Clare local authorities, and the lands on and around people’s homes, farms, and businesses to be unfrozen so they may continue as normal without this threat hanging over them,” the statement concluded.