Fine Gael Senator for Limerick, Maria Byrne, has said that the National Transport Authority (NTA) is working to provide direct services from the city centre to the new LIT Coonagh Campus.
The NTA confirmed that they are in the process of developing proposals for a revised network of city bus services in Limerick and as part of this network, city services will be expanded to incorporate direct services to LIT.
“It makes absolute sense for a city bus service to operate between the city centre and the new LIT Coonagh Campus as 800 staff and students are expected to make the move to the new campus by the end of the 2019/2020 academic year,” said Senator Byrne.
“I have requested the NTA as part of its review to look at extending a city bus service to service the parts of the Ennis Road and Clonmacken that currently have no city bus service operating in the area.
“The improvement of the public transport system in Limerick is a bread and butter issue that I have been pursuing for some time and I hope that the NTA move to introduce these direct bus services as soon as possible.
“This is a positive move, and means our transport system gets closer to reflecting the needs of the city,” she added.
Despite this, Senator Byrne has raised concerns that such services will not be in place when the new engineering-focused campus beside Tesco at Coonagh Cross opens its doors next year.
Bus Éireann Route 343 currently operates an hourly service to the area during off peak hours, and this increases to every 30 minutes during peak time.
Acknowledging the Limerick to Shannon and Ennis Bus Éireann Route 343 which stops at the Coonagh Roundabout, Senator Maria Byrne also noted that an out of town service, which serves Shannon Airport, will be unable to cope with 800 new staff and students.
With this in mind, she has urged the NTA to revise its city bus services in Limerick as a matter of urgency to incorporate direct services to LIT.
Following correspondence with Senator Byrne, a spokesperson for the NTA confirmed that the public transport licensing agency currently has no short-term plans to provide a city service to the Coonagh LIT campus when it opens next year.
“In the longer term, the NTA is developing proposals for a revised network of city bus services in Limerick.
“We can confirm that as part of this network, city services will be expanded to incorporate direct services to LIT.
“However, as this process is at an early stage, it is not possible to indicate when changes may be implemented.”