Limerick transport strategy should consider pedestrianising O’Connell Street

Limerick Chamber Chief Economist Seán Golden

PEDESTRIANISING O’Connell Street during off-peak times could be looked at as a way of making the city more attractive as a shared space, according to Limerick Chamber.

As part of the new BusConnects plan and talks about wider public transport infrastructure in the city, the Chamber has canvassed its members and prepared a submission on the scheme.

Based on the feedback from members, the Chamber have now come up with six key asks as part of the BusConnects scheme, including a bus route serving Annacotty Business Park, an orbital route serving areas like Raheen and Castletroy, a focus on Park and Ride facilities and exploring the possibility of making O’Connell Street pedestrian only during certain times.

Limerick Chamber Chief Economist Sean Golden said taking traffic off the main thoroughfare during off-peak times could be a solution in making the city work better for everyone, when other transport or mobility plans are in place.

“You could look at pedestrianising it for off-peak times and any other times throughout the weekend that might work for various events. If you look at the bottom of Bedford Row, there’s automatic bollards, you could use something like that, if there’s a barrier or something just to create more of a shared space.”

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“I think the idea that the National Transport Authority are examining now is a two-way bus corridor and that’ll obviously be great for people who will use buses, it’ll get them in and out of the street pretty quickly, but I think a lot of investment has been made in O’Connell Street.”

“It’s just about creating more of a public realm around the place to encourage more people in and out,” Mr Golden said.

Orbital routes around the city should also be considered the Chamber say, which would make travel around the outskirts of the city easier for people so they wouldn’t have to come through the city to get to the opposite side of it.

“If you want to go from Foynes to the Technology Park in Castletroy, you have to come through town, you’ve to come through the congestion, that’s added time. Is there a way that we could make it work whereby you can connect these villages and towns up to main employment nodes and not necessarily have to come through the city?”

“That’s where the whole orbital idea comes in… connecting highly residential areas of Castletroy with highly residential areas of Raheen and they both have the added benefit of having business parks with them,” he concluded.