Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has said that the exclusion of the Northern Distributor Road from the draft Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy is hugely disappointing and a retrograde step which will damage job creation potential in Limerick and South East Clare.
Teachta Quinlivan said:
“It is a retrograde step and not good news for Limerick. The National Distributor Road would offer a great opportunity to develop Limerick and the decision to exclude it from both the draft LSMATS and the National Development Plan is extremely bad news for Limerick.
“It seems that the Minister for Transport is determined to torpedo this project as he tried to do with the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Road.
“The community in Moyross and across Limerick had to fight tooth and nail for the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Road to be delivered.
“The construction of the Northern Distributor Road would remove vast amounts of traffic from the city and could provide a link from the residential areas of northside of the city to the University of Limerick and its surrounding industrial estates.
“Its removal from the draft is a disappointing and ideological-based interference by the Minister for Transport.
“The Green Party leader has once again missed the mark when it comes to Limerick.
“It is now crystal clear, as we all knew, that the opposition to the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Road previously was because the Green Party wanted to torpedo Northern Distributor Road.
“The draft Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Areas Transport Strategy had a number of positive proposals in it but these proposals are totally overshadowed by the exclusion from the strategy of the Northern Distributor Road.
“We have for a long time needed a direct public transport link between the northside of the city and the University of Limerick.
“This journey currently can take over one hour and thirty minutes to complete by bus. The Northern Distributor Road would have shortened this journey and would have made public transport a viable option for travel within the city.
“Traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels, which will mean that traffic will be backed up on the M7 as they exit at the Mackey Roundabout in Castletroy. No doubt this will cause road traffic accidents and possible fatalities.
“This city is crying out for inward investment, the northside in particular needs it. Without this road economic activity within Limerick will stagnate and leave Limerick lagging further behind other major cities.
“Minister Ryan lost the last battle in Limerick on the Coonagh-Knockalisheen and I am sure he will eventually lose this one as well.”