Written answers

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Network

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael)
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123. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has reflected on his position regarding the second phase of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road given its importance to the mid-west region (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29333/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Transport investment in our five cities is now guided by the development of metropolitan area transport strategies, including the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS).

As you are aware, a revised draft LSMATS was published by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in April 2022 for public consultation. In line with the funding commitments in the National Development Plan and following my request to the NTA, the revised draft strategy does not include proposals for the development of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road.

I believe that the rejuvenation, growth and economic development of Limerick is best met through the prioritised delivery of active travel and public transport infrastructure and services, rather than through an over-emphasis on road-based development. This is central to ensuring that we meet our challenging commitment to deliver a 51% emissions reduction by 2030 and supporting the National Planning Framework (NPF) objective for compact growth.

In my view, proceeding with the Limerick Northern Distributor Road would be contrary to the NPF’s objective of compact growth, would undermine the investment planned in active travel/public transport and would accentuate and continue a dispersed, unsustainable development model in the region. I strongly believe that the focus of transport investment for the region in the coming years should be on improving active travel infrastructure, delivering BusConnects, and adopting a more transport-orientated development approach through the expansion of the rail network. This will allow us to provide a commuter rail system that serves existing and future development.

I would point out that both the NDP and the revised draft LSMATS do include proposals for road investment in the region where they contribute to overall sustainable transport objectives.

I look forward to seeing the delivery of much needed transport infrastructure under LSMATS in the coming years to better serve the citizens of the region, improve accessibility and the public realm in a sustainable manner.


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