Cork to Limerick rail and greenway plans ‘a boon’ for the region

For too lengthy in Eire, connectivity has been a code phrase for motorways and new and wider roads. Our transport coverage has constantly ignored the proof that increasingly more roads merely result in increasingly more automobile journeys.

Hopefully the announcement of the N/M20 highway improve and built-in journey choices between Limerick, Cork, and the cities in between indicators an finish to the dominance of roads as our default transport choice.

The plans for connecting our second and third largest cities have to be broadly welcomed by these of us that criticised the earlier, extreme full motorway choice.

The councils must be recommended for listening to the submissions that argued that the protection considerations and the necessity to free the cities alongside the route from the choking grip of visitors didn’t require a full motorway.

The proposed motorway was an over-engineered resolution to an issue that didn’t exist. It was inconsistent with our local weather motion targets for transport and makes an attempt to cut back our automobile dependency.

On prime of that, the seemingly price was rising steadily. A twin carriageway that makes use of 40% of the prevailing highway and that by-passes the cities alongside the route is a far superior choice by any measure.

The brand new highway will take away these elements which have accounted for the extreme highway fatalities and crashes and in addition ease the choking visitors in Charleville and Buttevant. 

That is excellent news for the residents and companies in these cities, whose fundamental streets will now be reclaimed from the logjam of personal vehicles.

A dual carriageway that by-passes the towns along the route will ease the choking traffic in Charleville, above, and Buttevant. Picture: Larry Cummins
A twin carriageway that by-passes the cities alongside the route will ease the choking visitors in Charleville, above, and Buttevant. Image: Larry Cummins

The bypasses are a possibility for these cities to have public realms that entice folks to spend time buying, socialising, and visiting.

The supply of extra frequent, no-change rail companies between Cork and Limerick is lengthy overdue and offers large potential for the area. 

Will probably be, for a lot of, a greater various to personal automobile journeys between the 2 cities, linking the centre of Cork metropolis to the centre of Limerick metropolis — and the brand new Colbert Quarter.

The necessity to change trains at Limerick Junction — the platform of which is presumably the coldest place in Eire — is a major obstacle to higher use. 

The journey time is longer than it must be due to the co-ordination of the necessity to make connections with the Cork and Dublin certain trains.

Greenway alongside the route

The supply of a greenway alongside the route is a possible boon for most of the cities alongside the route, simply because the greenways already in place countrywide have been an attraction to home and international vacationers. 

Eire’s tourism providing depends on experiences and actions that greenways can present.

Though the brand new proposal for the N/M20 is welcome and reveals the advantage of engaged public session, there are nonetheless some points that must be saved entrance and centre.

The upgraded highway can’t develop into one other enabler of sprawl; the Nationwide Growth Plan and its emphasis on compact metropolis and concrete progress should stay the first focus of improvement.

It will be too straightforward, and a mistake, to have extra relaxed planning in Limerick and Cork councils alongside the brand new route, rising automobile commuting into the already congested cities.

Whereas the addition of a no-change rail line and a greenway to the proposed highway improve could be very welcome, they can’t be an try and greenwash the highway improvement. 

There is no such thing as a want to attend for the supply of the highway improve to maneuver ahead with the rail and greenway developments.

Certainly, offering a frequent and faster rail connection between the cities could cut back non-public automobile visitors and mitigate the highway’s security and environmental points. 

The rail connection could be delivered comparatively shortly and there’s no want for these enhancements to be delayed by the planning and land purchases required for the highway improve.

For the greenways to make their full contribution, it’s mandatory that they permit commuting in addition to tourism. 

A cycle from Limerick to Cork could also be asking an excessive amount of for a day by day commute, however the prevalence of electrical bikes now make commuting distances of as much as 20km very manageable for most individuals.

The proposed greenways should have secure and segregated connections to the town centres and to the cities and villages alongside the way in which; in any other case they’ll merely be a vacation spot to which individuals drive to take some train.

The response to the proposal for connecting Cork and Limerick has been optimistic, although many are cautious primarily based on expertise of lively and public transport infrastructure delays. 

It is crucial that we see motion on these parts, like rail and greenway, that may occur shortly.

  • Dr Declan Jordan is Senior Lecturer in Economics at Cork College Enterprise Faculty

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