The decision by the Minister for Transport not to sign off a road construction project in Limerick has caused consternation locally, according to Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea.

The €45m Coonagh-Knockalisheen road is one of the biggest infrastructural projects under the Limerick Regeneration plan.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr O'Dea said €17 million has already been spent on preparatory works.

Minister Eamon Ryan said the Government "has to deliver for the people of Moyross" and will build access and connectivity in the area and a section of the road will be built from Moyross Avenue to the Cratole and Ennis Road roundabout.

But, he said, he wants to work at the same time with city management to open up proper pedestrian and public transport access.

Mr Ryan said that a second section of the road would be examined to see if it could integrate with other new housing or transport developments at the same time as building the road.

Mr O'Dea claimed these amended plans would lead to a "a rat run though a residential area of Moyross", which would prevent investment linked to the development of the road.

He said support for green policies will depend on support for the policies of other parties, including this road, which is part of the "compromise" agreement that is  in the Programme for Government.

Minister Ryan said his plans will not delay development of the infrastructure but he is "keen to get it right" and make it sustainable.

He said it is part of a bigger plan for radical investment for Limerick to help modernise the transport system.