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Update issued on cycle lane plan for busy Limerick road

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CONSTRUCTION of a two-sided bike lane along a busy suburban street in Limerick is set to kick off next month.

Segregated cycle lanes are to be erected on both sides of Fr Russell Road from Quinn's Cross to its junction with the Gouldavoher estate.

On top of this, footpath and cycling facilities at Racefield Roundabout will also be upgraded, while there will be overall improvements to crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists at junctions.

Work is to begin on Monday, October 16, and are scheduled to take nine months to complete.

They will be done on a phased basis, beginning around the Gouldavoher section.

Construction will then move to High Meadows, Ballinvoher, Cragaun and finally on to the Racefield Roundabout.

Works are anticipated to run on weekdays, from 8am until 8pm in the summer period and 8am until 6pm in the winter period.

A traffic management system will be in place for the duration of the works, while a designated pedestrian walkway will be put in place to guide pedestrians and vulnerable road users around the construction site and across the road.

Councillors approved the development last year, but there was opposition from local residents.

They pointed out the road was too narrow as it is to accommodate cycle lanes, while there was unease at the loss of car turning space in their front yards.

This in turn, it was argued, could pose a danger to any cyclist, with a vehicle having to turn around on top of a bike lane.

Senior engineer with the Active Travel team, Sean McGlynn, said: "The Father Russell Road Scheme is going to be a really important Active Travel link for those living and working in the Raheen and Dooradoyle areas when completed. The project is intended to facilitate onward connections to the city centre."

He continued: “We appreciate there may be some short term difficulties in terms of traffic flow on the road and appreciate the patience required of local residents in the next number of months. However, in the long term, the scheme will be a key residential, commercial and employment connector and deliver significant benefits to the area, as identified in the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy.”

The project received an allocation of €1m in funding from the National Transport Authority in 2023, having been allocated €200,000 in 2022.