Group urges review of road plan

Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 01:00

Opponents of a proposed Limerick northern distributor road have called for the scheme to be reassessed in the context of reduced traffic levels, impact on communities and environmental considerations.

The Lisnagry-Annacotty Action Group commissioned Limerick-based Punch Consulting Engineers to inform its submission to Clare County Council, arguing much of the objective of the road plan has been met by the Shannon tunnel.

It said no consideration had been given to the cost to the exchequer in compensation payments to Direct Route – operators of the Shannon tunnel – arising from its under-use, which, it said “will be exacerbated by the provision of a toll-free alternative . . . road”.

According to the submission, “no consideration has been given to the fact that the Killaloe bypass will provide a further new crossing over the Shannon” or to surveys showing traffic in Limerick has fallen to 2003 levels. “No consideration has been given to the economical unviability of constructing the route through circa 1.75km of flood plain, where the last extensive flooding occurred in 2009.” This would “increase the construction cost by a multiple of four”.

It noted no strategic flood-risk assessment appeared to have been undertaken to inform the selection of a preferred route. The proposed distributor road “will impact dramatically on the intrinsic character of the landscape and quality of life...[and] will result in changes in water quality and levels, air quality, noise and light levels”, it said, noting the “preferred route” was selected without assessing its impact on the proposed Lower Shannon Special Area of Conservation.