THE National Transport Authority (NTA) has confirmed to Limerick City and County Council that a two-way bus lane is its preferred option for O’Connell Street when the regeneration work resumes in the New Year.
Members of the council’s Travel and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee received a presentation on the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Transport Strategy (LSMATS) last week.
According to the strategy, Limerick City Centre has an extensive one-way traffic system that has a negative impact on public transport operations as bus routes are separated on inward and outward legs.
“This can be confusing for infrequent bus passengers and visitors to the city unfamiliar with the bus network. Certain bus routes are also separated due to restricted road widths”.
Briefing council members, NTA Director of Public Transport Services Hugh Creegan confirmed that a two-way bus corridor was their preferred option for O’Connell Street.
“We have to find a solution there,” he said.
Speaking to the Limerick Post after the meeting, Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely said that she has told the NTA that a two-way bus lane for O’Connell Street to turn it into a bus corridor “is not happening”.
“Let it alone and let businesses get back to normal. This is a high level document. They can keep it up there in Dublin. We don’t want it,” she added.
The strategy sets out the framework for the delivery of the transport system required to further the development of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area as a hub of cultural and social development and regeneration; as the economic core for the Mid-West; as an environmentally sustainable and unified metropolitan unit; as a place where people of all ages can travel conveniently and safely; and as a place that attracts people, jobs, and activity from all over Ireland and beyond.
Transportation Planner at the NTA David Clements explained that the strategy had a clear objective for the central revitalisation of the city centre and to serve it as much as possible.
He said they were looking at making the city more amenable and people-centred.