Saša Novak Uí Chonchúir

Green Party Councillor for Limerick City North

Candidate in Local Elections on 7th June

Access. Community.

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The residents of Moyross deserve far more than a drive-through. Let’s open up a network of routes, spanning East to West (Watchhouse Cross to Coonagh), and North to South (Community Centre to LIT). A network for all ages and abilities. One that enables sustainable economic development and real social inclusion.

We need roads to provide access to places of education, work, hospitals, shops. You can drive there if you have a car, or you can take a bus, walk or cycle (or scoot, says my 5 year old). The question is, do all roads provide access for all people? Do they serve the community?

There are walls most of the way around Moyross that segregate the community from the rest of the city on purpose. The walls blocking social and economic access make isolation worse by preventing access, integration and social inclusion.

Remove this wall and Moyross is no longer a cul-de-sac.

We need appropriate development and we need proper infrastructure. In order for Moyross to thrive socially and economically the community needs to be accessible and the rest of Limerick has to be accessible to it. Access is what people are asking for. Regeneration plan identified the lack of access as one of the key problems.

This is how people see LIT from Moyross, a tall building behind a wall:

Remove this wall and Moyross is no longer a cul-de-sac

This is how far people have to walk to LIT from Cliona Park, 2km (but there is a much shorter route possible, but blocked by walls):

The red lines show how close LIT is to Moyross and how access could be opened up easily:

Don’t just take my word for it, here is the proposal from the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan 2013 (the image is large and hard to capture, the original is on page 189 of the LRFIP, 2013: the pink lines are access points and connections that complement access point from the West/Coonagh Cross

This Regeneration Plan was launched back in 2013. The basic connectivity work in respect of permeability and active travel has not happened. Why not? These are relatively quick interventions that give almost instant access to places of education, shops and amenities. Why haven’t they been delivered?

We need to provide access from the West, that is clear. Why are we selling the residents of Moyross short by giving them new access only from the West? This turns an area from a cul-de-sac to a drive through. In order to give the community a chance to thrive it needs access, integration and social inclusion. It needs a road, but it needs the right type of a road that serves the people and the community as a priority.

In addition to opening the access from the Coonagh side, a network of smaller and efficient roads can open up access to the Old Cratloe Road (at Galtee Avenue), to LIT along the road of Thomond College and along the pitches there. There are even more access points identified on the map from the Regeneration Plan (pages 189 and 190).

Well-designed smaller routes can also provide for people who do not or cannot drive – disabled people, older people, children. More bus routes are needed and more paths for walking and cycling.

If more people in power were serious about access, regeneration and integration they would ask for those walls to be demolished and housing and amenities built in between the existing communities to connect them and bridge the divide. This is social inclusion through physical development. Building a fenced corridor (dual carriageway) from a walled community to a place of work or education is not social justice, it’s not social equality, it’s not social equity and it does absolutely nothing for people in Moyross. What it does is enable easy greenfield, sprawling projects that benefit the rich developers around Moyross, but not in Moyross and not for Moyross.

Berlin wall

One response to “Access. Community.”

  1. Very well made points. I have never been in or through Moyross. It IS literally a Cul de Sac cut off from the rest of the community and only people who live or work there go there. This isn’t right! They built new housing estates in West Dublin in the 90s and walled them all off. A kid in the school I taught in in Lucan, looked into the yard from his front bedroom yet had to walk 3km around every morning! Communities need to be integrated to grow and develop, and a road through, making a rat run for drivers, is just not enough as this Green Party Counsillor so correctly points out. More of this kind of joined up thinking will get my vote every time!