Monday 19 November 2007

€350m tram system could clear city traffic jams

Limerick city's leading architects, planners and officials have been presented with ambitious plans for a €350m tram system which it is claimed would greatly remove traffic congestion from busy streets and black spots.

The proposals by EML architects may seem far fetched, but a company director has urged the relevant parties to consider the transport system for the future progression of the Munster city.

EML director Michael Landers told a high-powered meeting that proper infrastructure was needed before any future developments for the city could be contemplated.

"Infrastructure needs to be planned for the growth of the population," he said.

Mr Landers proposed a state of the art tram system which would link suburbs to the city centre.

The city's officials heard that a 25km tram system, modelled on one currently in operation in the London borough of Croydon, could be delivered for between €300m and €350m.

According to EML, there are 12 bus routes servicing Limerick city and its suburbs. Six of these stop at 6pm while the remaining buses stop at 11pm.

"People have tried it (the bus service), get disappointed and get back into their cars," Mr Landers said.

However, Bus Eireann is currently conducting a feasibility study for a bus rapid-transit operation in Limerick.

Regional manager of Bus Eireann, Miriam Flynn said such a system could also be introduced in Cork and Galway. "This is something which could be explored in provincial cities and it tends to operate in areas where the population wouldn't qualify for a light rail system.

"It's also only a fraction of the cost of a light rail system," said Ms Flynn.

Barry Duggan
Irish Independent

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