Adare bypass turned down

 

AN BORD Pleanála has refused permission for a bypass of Adare in Co Limerick. Traffic gridlock around the scenic town is blamed for major delays at weekends and during the peak tourist season.

The N21, the main route from Shannon Airport, Dublin and Limerick to Kerry and the southwest holiday belt passes through Adare village.

Some 10,000 cars a day pass through Adare, it is estimated, and delays are a constant feature at weekends and daily during the summer.

Local TDs have reacted angrily to the decision. However, the bypass was linked to plans for the Cork-to-Limerick motorway withdrawn earlier this year, and the board now sees the bypass as “isolated infrastructure”.

The bypass was to run from the proposed M20 Limerick-to-Cork motorway, north of the village of Croom, to a point southwest of Adare.

Limerick County Council expressed disappointment with the board’s decision.

The local authority said it would review the decision in the coming weeks and would also discuss the matter with the National Roads Authority.

Tim Fitzgerald, senior engineer, said: “A bypass of Adare has been an objective of Limerick County Council for many years.

“The provision of this vital infrastructural project would remove a major bottleneck on the national primary road network thereby improving economic efficiency and journey time reliability for approximately 15,425 vehicles per day; improve safety for all road users; divert through traffic away from the town centre; and further improve the local town environment for residents, commercial businesses and tourism.

“The decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse the approval of the scheme is, therefore, very disappointing for Limerick County Council.

“It means that approximately 10,000 vehicles per day that would have used a bypass will continue to have to needlessly traverse the town of Adare for the foreseeable future, resulting in the delays and tailbacks experienced by the N21 motorists on a near-daily basis.

“It is disappointing that Limerick County Council and the landowners affected along the route have had to wait over 2½ years from the application date to get a decision.

“Limerick County Council will now review the decision and will be in discussion with the National Roads Authority in relation to this decision,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said the decision was “a huge blow”.

Adare is a massive bottleneck for traffic travelling to and from Kerry and west Limerick and this decision would do nothing to enhance the county’s already struggling economy, he said

He added that Kerry Group’s recent decision to locate 900 new jobs in Naas was a stark reminder of the neglect the Limerick region had faced from central government.