Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Think tank for traffic shake-up
By Marie Hobbins
RADICAL action by City Hall to instigate a new and comprehensive traffic plan for the city is being called for, in view of the number of high profile inner city developments set to come on stream next year.
This week Limerick City Council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) set January 31 as the date for a special seminar to spearhead the drive for a major upgrading of traffic management and transport infrastructure to also include the provision of strategically placed car parking spaces, taxi ranks, bus lanes and a light rail network.
With increased pedestrianisation coming on stream in the city centre and a number of major developments that will include the Limerick Opera Development, the Greenpark Racecourse site, Punches Cross hotel and residential development, the Redemptorist site and the Bedford Row site, just to name a few, Limerick city is on the brink of a dramatic regeneration that has been welcomed by the commercial sector as the major boost the city so badly needs.
However, a note of dissatisfaction that the SPC spends “too much time on discussing pot hole issues rather than focusing in on strategic planning” comes from committee member and travel agent, Tony Brazil who insists: “the committee’s role should be to engage in “the strategic planning of a new traffic plan for the city.”
‘The number of parking spaces in the city will not be adequate for the increased business that the new developments will bring on stream and we should be doing everything to remedy this and I’m certainly happy to do so but we, as a committee need to put more effort into this. We need to be seeing the bigger picture for transport in this city. What is the point to a beautiful 300,00 euro development for Bedford Row if we don’t provide the appropriate infrastructure to go with it,” he commented.
Mr Brazil who was critical of the poor attendance at last Monday’s meeting of the Transportation SPC said this was not surprising “considering what is on the agenda.
“There should be something on the agenda to attract members to contribute their tuppence-halfpenny worth – after all we represent a sector that is crucial to the city going forward and we all want the best for the city but have little or no opportunity to do this, with the way the agendas are assembled,” he said.
Mr Brazil was reassured by committee chairman, Cllr Joe Leddin that one of the prime objectives of the upcoming seminar is to allow members to agree on what precisely is put on the agendas.
Pointing out that there is a move to separate the operational and strategic issues that arise within SPCS, Mayor Diarmuid Scully told the Limerick Post that this could be achieved by holding more Ward meetings specifically for operational issues.
He said the seminar will look at every aspect of a major new traffic plan for the city including a Luas and light rail system for Limerick.
Stressing that “tough decisions will be called for”, Cllr Leddin said that with pedestrianisation eliminating so much on- street parking, an alternative will have to be provided.
“We have the funding for bus lanes and we will push for a rail network, a Northern Relief Road to link from Daly’s Cross as well as an inner orbital route,” he said.
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan has written to city manager, Tom Mackey urging him to pursue this week’s recommendation from the Railway Procurement Agency that it would work with local authorities to procure light rail systems for Limerick, Cork and Galway.
“We have long advocated a commuter rail network for the city and surrounding areas which could be developed using existing tracks. Already the Limerick/Ennis route is a great success and a spur to Shannon Airport must follow. The Nenagh line has an improved service with more trains promised for next year and we are pressing for the Foynes line to be reopened to passengers,” she said.”