â€œThe remodelling of Limerick will complement the major regeneration of the city centre that is currently underway with the private sector investing over â‚¬1 billion in developments such as the Opera Centre, new hotels, commercial and residential projects,â€ Mr Mackey said. And the new proposed Orbital Route will still give traffic access to the city centre while giving pedestrians and cyclists better access to quality public space, Mr Mackey added.
Limerick city is one of the nine National Spatial Strategy Gateway Centres targeted in the National Development Plan for regional investment. The Exchequer is to provide â‚¬300 million in a Gateways Innovation Fund to these local authorities for local economic infrastructure.
The National Development Plan lists among its priority investment for the Limerick-Shannon Gateway; â€œthe significant upgrading of the public areas and streets in Limerick City centre and re-imaging of Limerick through a major urban renewal initiativeâ€. Mr Mackey said: â€œLimerick City Council has developed a comprehensive Public Realm Strategy and is in the process of advancing many schemes to design and construction stage that could avail of the Gateway Innovation Fund.â€ The â‚¬50 million Limerick City Centre Regeneration Plan was unveiled to the 17 local councillors at a meeting in City Hall.
- The full pedestrianisation of Oâ€™Connell Street between William Street and Roches Street.
- The widening of footpaths and improved landscaping of the remainder of the Oâ€™Connell Street to give priority to pedestrians.
- Pedestrian priority treatment for all of William Street with the widening of footpaths and improved landscaping.
These new works are part of an overall strategic pedestrianisation plan that has already started, or is under construction, with the remodelling of Baker Place; pedestrianisation of Bedford Row and the remodelling and pedestrianisation of Lower Thomas Street, Little Catherine Street and Augustinian Lane at a cost of â‚¬10 million.
And Limerick City Council is shortly going to tender for the:
- Remodelling of Upper Thomas Street and Catherine Street (Thomas Street to Roches Street.)
- Rremodelling and pedestrianisation of Foxes Bow and Limerick Lane.
Limerick City Council Director of Traffic and Infrastructure Pat Dromey said: â€œThe history of pedestrianisation is that it brings increased footfall to streets and a better trading environment. Limerick traders who experienced pedestrianisation to date have stated publicly that it has improved their business.â€
Mr Dromey added: â€œThe one way orbital routes in city centres are considered a very efficient and safe way of moving traffic with up to 50% less turning at junctions and a decreased risk of collision.â€
This Public Realm initiative will also complement the major regeneration and improvement works planned for the Shannon riverside along, Clancy Strand, Curragower Bund, Oâ€™Callaghan Strand, Steamboat Quay and Sir Harryâ€™s Mall, Mr Dromey added.
As well as facilitating the pedestrianisation works on Oâ€™Connell Street, the Orbital Route will also allow wider footpaths and board walks to be constructed between Bishops Quay and Arthurs Quay along the riverside, Mr Dromey said.
The proposed Orbital Route around the city centre will create a mainly one-way two lane clockwise traffic system that will be divided into three sections: Northern, Central and Southern.
- The Northern Section travels along: Arthurs Quay, Charlotteâ€™s Quay, Clare Street, Saint Lelia Street, New Road and Cathedral Place.
- And the Central Section travels along: Sarsfield Street, William Street, Upper William Street, Sexton Street, Roches Street, Shannon Street and Henry Street.
- The Southern Section travels along Parnell Street, Mallow Street and Henry Street.
The proposed remodelling works will include high quality pavements, improved pedestrian crossings, new street furniture, tree planting and the removal of some on-street parking.
The Contents of the Plan can be Viewed in the Attached Documents: (Limerick City Council)