What we are looking for
The Limerick Cycling Campaign is calling on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to urgently pause the consultation around the Limerick/Shannon Metropolitan Transport Strategy and withdraw the current draft of LSMATS pending a full ministerial review.
Why the plan does not deliver for Limerick
The current draft is outdated and flawed in its modelling data and its targets. Bus passenger numbers were taken from June 2009 in the middle of the recession. The plan is not aligned with climate change legislation, it is not aligned with the programme for government and is limited in its vision to guide Limerick to 2040. It’s a retread of the transport strategies that have failed Cork and Galway and is focused on increasing car traffic on our streets by 28% which will cause gridlock within our city. We deserve an ambitious plan with a forward-thinking and holistic vision for Limerick at its centre that empowers everyone who lives, works, plays, cycles, scoots, drives and rides bus or rail in our city.
The current draft of LSMATS is already over a year old. It comes from a time before the Climate Plan 2019, before the Programme for Government and before the health crisis of Covid-19. The current draft does not address the needs of Limerick in 2020 and does not provide a comprehensive strategy to bring us to 2040.
What is a Ministerial Review?
A ministerial review will pause the consultation for a period of months while the Minister updates and improves the draft strategy to bring it in line with national policy and the programme for government. This will ensure it is something that will properly and holistically develop, connect and support a Limerick that benefits everyone as we move towards 2040. It will also ensure that it is aligned with our responsibilities under the Climate Action Plan and the carbon reduction, active and public transport measures outlined in the current Programme For Government and open up opportunities for national and European funding sources.
The current draft of LSMATS is already over a year old. It comes from a time before the Climate Plan 2019, before the Programme for Government and before the health crisis of COVID-19.
Why consultation won’t be enough – the gap is too far to close
A bad plan in draft form can only become a bad plan with some tweaks after consultation. The gap is simply too far to close. This is especially concerning when public consultation is hampered by public health restrictions and a lack of access to the consultation process for so many of our citizens. A ministerial review will also allow time for meaningful engagement with all stakeholders and the general public to take place.
The need for a review is urgent as we’ve seen how limited plans such as the Cork and Galway transport strategies have failed to meaningfully engage in consultation. Despite huge amounts of submissions by the public very little changed from the first draft to final plan. To think that LSMATS consultation will be treated any differently would be very shortsighted.
A bad plan in draft form can only become a bad plan with some tweaks after consultation. The gap is simply too far to close.
The pressure to deliver on Minister Ryan
Minister Eamon Ryan has a strong history of advocating for better active, public and sustainable transport. If LSMATS is reviewed and redrafted into a plan that reflects his party’s policy it has the potential to transform our city to the betterment of everyone over the coming two decades and beyond. As the first significant transport strategy to arrive from the Minister, it falls significantly short of the standards he has previously set. We urgently call on him to bring his lifelong commitment to improving transport for all to his new ministry and allow him, his government colleagues and all our Limerick members of Dáil Eireann to come together to ensure Limerick isn’t left behind yet again.
Limerick deserves better.