Public backlash to Council’s ‘University Avenue’ plan

The proposed University Avenue.

THE Council’s plans for a new road between the Old Cratloe Road through Woodview into Moyross has been met with strong opposition.

Limerick City and County Council have announced that University Avenue will be a new 650m long pedestrian, cycle, and low speed vehicular link. The local authority deemed the road a key strategic infrastructure proposal for the northside of the city with a road, cycle, and pedestrian link between communities in Moyross and Caherdavin.

The scheme incorporates the current access road to Thomond Community College (TCC), the adjacent campus of the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), and other public and private lands.

The local authority takes the view that the scheme will act as a driver for economic development across this part of the city.

“The new route will provide a pathway from primary to third level education between Corpus Christi National School, Thomond Community College, and the TUS, Moylish Campus, all located within a 500m space. It also provides sustainable and safe access for the approximately 55 students from Caherdavin currently attending Corpus Christi in Moyross,” a statement from the Council read.

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However, local Fine Gael councillor Olivia O’Sullivan has said she does not support the scheme.

Cllr O’Sulilvan says there has been a huge public outcry ahead of a consultation event advertised for this Thursday (September 7) at the TUS Millenium Theatre.

The Caherdavin-based representative told the Limerick Post that residents from Woodview, the Old Cratloe Road, Brookville Gardens, Caherdavin, and Clareview have been contacting her to express shock at this proposal.

“There is huge opposition to it locally. This area is still waiting on completion of the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road which will change the fabric of the area dramatically, with increased traffic through the Old Cratloe Road,” Cllr O’Sullivan opined.

“We have yet to see how this change will bed in, with frustratingly long delays in the project following Roadbridge going into receivership. The Council bringing forward these plans at this stage is staggering in the eyes of a lot of local residents, and I can understand it.

“I have been doing my utmost to support my neighbours and all the residents living out here throughout this fiasco as we await re-commencement of construction of the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road.”

The former Cathaoirleach of Limerick City also pointed out that, when this new road was first mooted to City North councillors, a mere “linkage” off the TUS campus was discussed.

“Since Sinn Féin got that linkage changed to a road, the University Avenue project has emerged. I cannot see how the Council expected to garner public support for this.

Limerick City and County Council does not have my support on this,” she hit out.

Residents met with Limerick Regeneration this week to protest over the proposal. One local man told this publication that the scheme will meet stern opposition.

“Woodview is a private estate of some 264 houses and about 1,000 residents, most of them elderly. It is a cul de sac. Currently the right of way out of Woodview is up Dooneen Road and out onto the Cratloe Road. Kilbranish Drive meets it at Woodview Shopping Centre,” he explained.

“It is already difficult to get out of Woodview in the morning and afternoon due to traffic buildup. This ludicrous proposal, which was put forward by the Greens and Sinn Féin, will cause traffic chaos, loss of right of way, noise, loss of privacy, have a detrimental effect on the value of property in this tranquil oasis in the middle of a busy city.

“It also has the possibility of anti-social behaviour from those people that use scrambler bikes and terrorise the poor people in Moyross and Ballynanty,” he concluded.