There has been widespread opposition to the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan area transport strategy, which outlines proposals to improve cycling, rail and road infrastructure for citizens in the region over the next 20 years.

The strategy drawn up by the National Transport Authority in collaboration with local councils in Limerick and Clare was published in September and had as one of its main aims the improvement of infrastructure in the Limerick Shannon region for cyclists and walkers up to 2040.

However, it falls far short of those aims according to a cross-section of political, community, business and cycling groups in the city who have studied the plan, and submitted opinions on it.

Limerick cycling and pedestrian groups, as well as the Limerick Georgian society, have now penned an open letter to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and to CEO of the NTA Anne Graham calling for a review of the draft document calling for it to be paused and redrafted.

The strategy has also been widely criticised by political parties across Limerick's metropolitan division, and by the city's Chamber of Commerce which represents 400 businesses across the region.

Councillors from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Labour along with TD's from the Limerick City area have all described the plan as lacking vision and ambition for the city and that it's not aligned with either the Programme for Government or the Climate action plan over the coming decades.

The opposition to the plan has been outlined as the six week period inviting submissions on the strategy ends today.

In its letter, Limerick Cycling campaign, along with Limerick Cycling bus, the Limerick Pedestrian network and Limerick Georgian society says the strategy has five core deficiencies.

It has set no targets to be achieved, without which its success or failure cannot be measured. 

It says public consultation on the strategy has been negligible, its uses out of date data, there is little accessibility planning in areas of social and economic isolation, and it is not climate action plan compliant in that there are no targets for reducing emissions.

In their letter to both Mr Ryan and the NTA the advocacy groups have called for the process to pause to allow for additional layers of stakeholder and public engagement to be added as the lack of consultation with the wider public is very disappointing.

Whole sectors and communities have been completely excluded from any involvement in this process, and the draft has shown itself to be out of touch with Limerick's needs, its people and its public representatives, the letter says.

A spokesperson for the National Transport Authority said the strategy is a draft rather than a final document and was published so the public could provide feedback, and the NTA will respond to that in the coming months.

But, it says, the strategy is aligned to national policy documents such as Project 2040, and the Climate Action Plan, and offers a framework for the delivery of an ambitious transport network for the region.