*Photograph: John Mangan
Three additional stops have been proposed for the Ennis to Limerick railway line in a plan that also highlights a potential rail link for Shannon Airport.
Iarnród Éireann in a response to the National Transport Authority’s draft transport strategy for the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan area have submitted the three proposals.
As part of this reponse, Iarnród Éireann CEO Jim Meade has include potential stops at the Parkway servicing UL, Moyross for residents in the area and LIT students and one stop in Clare at Cratloe that is being viewed as a potential park and ride location.
A potential rail link to Shannon Airport is also included in the plan. Cllr John Crowe (FG) is not optimistic that this will materialise, “There are two sterilised rail links to Shannon, they are there for a good number of years. I don’t think it will happen in our lifetime, 92% of the flights in Ireland are coming into Dublin and they haven’t a rail link so what hope have we”.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) criticised the lack of engagement between the NTA and councillors on the plan. He said the planned rail link was hindering individuals from getting planning permission in Cratloe, Bunratty and Sixmilebridge.
Should the Shannon Airport rail link come to fruition, Bunratty must be included on the route “to accommodate tourists” Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) flagged.
Director of Service with Clare County Council, Liam Conneally confirmed that the rail link can be changed as part of the County Development Review. He recalled that it was the subject of “a very detailed and costly study” by the Mid-West Authority in 2007. “If we are to change it in favour of another route it would require an equally comprehensive study to show it is workable and suitable”.