Traffic in Limerick has increased in recent months as more people are commuting to work. AA Roadwatch, the organisation that monitors traffic throughout the country, told Limerick Life that more people are on the roads in Limerick now than in the recent past.
“For the most part, evening traffic tends to be worse than the morning commute,” an AA Roadwatch spokesperson told this newspaper. “But we have noticed an increase in traffic volumes over the past number of months. More and more people are now travelling to work, and with the schools starting back in September, the roads, not just in Limerick City but right across the country, are busier.”
“In the city, the Corbally Road tends to be the heaviest route morning and evening with regular delays between Bridge St and Westbury, the Dock Road, Ballysimon Road and O’Connell Avenue are others (the latter given the schools on the route),” AA Roadwatch told Limerick Life. “Throughout the day, the Childers Road can have delays, especially around the Parkway, and it is a similar story at times around the Crescent.”
Limerick drivers have noted the worsening traffic anecdotally, particularly around the O’Connell Avenue area. This may be partly due to the temporary relocation of St. Paul’s National School. Formerly in Dooradoyle, the primary school starts classes at 8.30am and is one of several schools in the area, including 3 primary schools on O’Connell Avenue alone. St. Paul’s is expected to remain on its current site for 2 or 3 years.
“We have also noticed the Dublin Road as a route which has seen increases in volume, around Annacotty in particular. Then in the west of the city, Thomond Bridge out as far as Thomond Park is getting busier, while Union Cross is also a regular bottleneck.”
According to the latest figures from Census 2016, commute times in Limerick vary widely, with 41,047 people reporting a commute of less than a quarter of an hour and 38,687 people saying their commute lasted 15 to 30 mins. 5,304 respondents said their commute lasted over an hour. The national average is 28.2 minutes, an increase of 2 minutes per day since 2011.
The Census also recorded an increase of 11 percent in people commuting to work. This figure is in line with the fall in unemployment and it may go some way to explain why traffic in Limerick is on the increase. While Limerick still suffers some of the highest unemployment in the country, with the Census noting ‘unemployment blackspots’, the region’s job vacancy rate is the fastest growing in the country.
As the local economy improves and more people return to work, traffic is likely to increase further and major building projects planned in the city centre may add to commute times as diversions are put in place.