Kirkland Development in Ballysimon
It is good to see development interest in our city. This particular proposal is interesting because it is just 650 metres from the main railway line that connects Colbert Station with Limerick Junction. There is provision in the city’s recently published transport strategy for a new train station on that line at Ballysimon. If planned well, with the appropriate population density, the Kirkland project could support the development of the train station. Large employers such as Northern Trust are already in the area and the Bon Secours Hospital and the Limerick Educate Together school are under construction. Taken together, and with significant future development potential there, the case for a train station at Ballysimon, with regular services to and from the city centre, is strong.
We have an ambitious transport strategy now, but it is important that it is seen as a land development strategy as much as it is about transport. It outlines the potential for new stations at various points, but many of these will only be viable if the land near the stations has high density development. In the context of Limerick City growing in population by 50% by 2040 - as per the National Planning Framework - it makes sense to develop housing, retail and other commercial development near the sites of the proposed train stations.
The indicative location for the Ballysimon train station on the transport strategy map is considerably further out of the city than the proposed Kirkland project, and the other large developments mentioned above. In my view it should be brought to the point on the line closest to these developments.