New proposals for investment in rail have been included in the revised draft Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (LSMATS) published today by the National Transport Authority. Among the rail proposals are:
- Additional stations at Moyross and Ballysimon (including Park and Ride);
- More frequent train services on the Ennis line and on the Ballybrophy line;
- Dual tracking of the line from Limerick Junction to Colbert; and
- Upgrading of Colbert Station.
In addition, a detailed Study to determine future investment in rail infrastructure and commuter services in the Limerick area is to be undertaken. The proposed study will assess future development in the region, evaluate future demand based on projected increases in population and economic activity and outline medium to long term options for investment in rail. Options around investment in improving existing infrastructure and investment in new infrastructure will be examined in detail, including:
- the re-use of the Foynes and Mungret lines;
- a future line to Shannon; and
- future stations at appropriate locations integrated with high-density Transit-Oriented Development.
This is the second round of public consultation for LSMATS. The Strategy first went out to public consultation when it published by the NTA in 2020.
The overall objective of the Strategy is to provide a radically improved bus network, major investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, all supported by investment in rail and road where they contribute to the overall sustainable transport objectives.
This revised draft takes full account of the feedback received on the first draft in late 2020; changes to Government policy which have occurred since then; and on-going developments in the NTA’s approach to strategic transport planning. Among the main changes reflected in the revised draft:
- A new vision for Transport in the Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Area
- Greater focus on sustainable land use planning
- Specific transport measures to support Limerick Regeneration
- New rail proposals
- Rebalancing of investment priorities to favour sustainable transport
- Additional cycling routes crossing the River Shannon River in Limerick City; in Shannon, Co Clare; other local routes in South Clare
The Revised Draft LSMATS is the outcome of several years of transport planning analysis using the most up to date data and assessment techniques.
The NTA, once this period of consultation is complete, submissions reviewed and changes made to the report, intends to finalise the LSMATS and commence its implementation in 2022 as follows:
- Commence preparation of an initial draft Limerick Metropolitan Bus Network Review;
- Initiate work on other elements of BusConnects Limerick, including commencing the electrification of the bus fleet and the development of proposals for bus lane infrastructure;
- Continue the roll-out of the Limerick Cycle Network Plan under the NTA Active Travel programme;
- Prepare the Shannon Local Transport Plan – to be led by Clare County Council; and
- Develop an investment programme for rail in association with Iarnród Éireann.
The NTA has published the revised Draft LSMATS for public consultation from Tuesday 26th April to Friday 10th June 2022. Members of the public are invited to consider and provide feedback on the revised Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Transport Strategy draft.