Planning for new Foynes-Limerick road scheme begins

Limerick City and County Council has commenced the planning and design of a proposed new road linking the Port of Foynes with the M7/N18 at Limerick city. The Council says that the Foynes to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme will provide a high quality road connection between Lim-erick city and the Port of Foynes, leading to reduced journey times and improved safety for all road users. The local authority, which will manage the scheme through the Mid West National Road Design Office, says the new road will also support the envisaged expansion of Port of Foynes’ capacity and usage as outlined in the government’s National Ports Policy 2013 and its desig-nation as a Core Port under EU legislation (Trans Euro-pean Network TEN-T). Upgrading the road infrastructure to the Port of Foynes from Limerick is also a key recommendation in the Shannon Foynes Port Company master plan Vision 2041, published in 2013.

Paul Crowe, Director of Ser-vices, Travel and Transpor-tation, explained that the scheme is currently being progressed through a number of phases, the first of which is a series of feasibility studies aimed at assisting the planning of further phases. He continued: “The feasibil-ity studies are currently being finalised and once completed will be followed immediately by Phase 2, which comprises a Con-straints Study and Route Selection. Phase 3 of the process will be the develop-ment of the preliminary design for the preferred route corridor, while the final phase will involve the preparation of an Environ-mental Impact Statement (EIS) and the completion of the statutory planning pro-cess through An Bord Pleanála.”

Mr. Crowe added that a major consultation process with the public, landowners and other key stakeholders will also be undertaken during the coming months. “The public will be informed and have the opportunity to actively engage with the process through the estab-lishment of a project web-site. Formal public consul-tations will also be held during the route selection process,” he concluded.