Don’t change motorway route, says councillor

Changing the route for the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway away from the original plan via Mallow and Charleville would be a major blow, not just for North Cork, but for the whole of the south-west and mid-west regions, including the crucial tourism sector in West Cork and Kerry, according to local councillor James Kennedy who was com-menting on news that an alternative route joining Cork to Limerick via Cahir is being considered. Cllr Kennedy said, “It [the Cahir route] would stall the development of a western economic corridor from Cork to Limerick, and, on to Galway and Sligo. Towns like Mallow would continue to experience massive traffic congestion, which is now almost a daily occurrence, and it would have a huge impact on the economic development of an area that has declined over many years.
“Various independent economic reports commissioned over the years clearly identified the most efficient and most economic route for the M20, and its associated relief road around Mallow. Mallow Development Partnership and Mallow Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study on the Mallow Relief Road. Cork and Limerick Chambers of Commerce did likewise on the M20 itself. Are all these studies now to be completely disregarded by this government?
“The present Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, was unambiguous in late 2017, stating in the Dáil that the M20 route would be from Cork to Limerick through Mallow, Charleville and Buttevant,” he added. “Towns like Mallow, Charleville and Buttevant have again been deemed to be of lesser importance than our so-called eastern region betters.
“It is time that towns like Mallow, Buttevant and Charleville be given priority funding for badly-needed investment,” he said.