“Transformative” cycling project in Limerick at risk due to misinformation and scaremongering

— Limerick residents supportive of walking and cycling urged to urgently respond to public consultation by 4pm this Thursday.

Cycling campaigners in Limerick are asking residents of the city not just to make a submission supporting the project but also to talk to a friend and ask them to do the same — the aim is to counter misinformation and scaremongering being spread about the South Circular Road to City Centre Active Travel Route.

The project includes a mix of filtered permeability and cycle paths. Similar projects in Dublin and elsewhere have been subject to similar level of scaremongering, but gained stronger support from councillors and residents after implementation when it was shown that there’s wider benefits to such projects, such as stopping rat-running and making streets safer and more attractive generally.

Local media, limerickleader.ie, are uncritically repeating unsubstantiated claims that there are “fears of access for emergency vehicles, and the safety of elderly people forced to leave their cars away from their homes” — common claims of misinformation against walking and cycling projects.

However, the project is the “most transformative” for walking and cycling in Limerick according to David Tobin, a member of the Limerick Cycling Campaign and the vice-chair of Cyclist.ie, the national umbrella group of cycling campaigns.

Tobin said: “The South Circular Rd to City Centre Active Travel Route is the most transformative project we’ve ever seen from Limerick Council. It’s the key artery by which over a quarter of the population of the metropolitan area move from the suburbs to the city centre.”

“We would strongly encourage everyone to submit in favour before the consultation period ends at 4pm on Thursday the 10th of November. Talk to your friends and encourage them to submit in favour. It’s essential that we see quick deliver of this project to the highest standard if we’re to do our part in helping to switch to active modes and reduce our transport emissions,” he said.

The campaign has set up a page outlining the details of how to make a submission.

“The project serves nearly 7,000 students from primary, secondary and college campuses along the route. It will link to existing parts of the network in City West servicing the 6,000 staff of University Hospital Limerick and well as huge employers such as the Crescent Shopping Centre and the many large businesses in the Raheen Industrial Estate,” he said.

He added: “We’re looking forward to the huge increase in quality of life that will be afforded residents along this route with the shift to active modes for so many going either direction for work, education, shopping and more. This project has the potential to provide huge wins for everyone and it’s essential we see it garner as much support via the consultation process as possible.”

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