N/M20 Cork Limerick dual carriageway and bypasses announced

The map of the proposed N/M20 Cork Limerick Project, showing the route of the proposed dual carriageway and bypasses of Mallow, New Twopothouse, Buttevant, Charleville and Banogue.

A long-awaited announcement regarding the N/M20 Cork-Limerick road project was made yesterday, Wednesday, with a proposal for an 80km dual carriageway between the two cities, plus bypasses of roads along the route.
The preferred road option starts from the existing N20 dual carriageway between Cork city and Blarney, and then continues on the N20 until Mourneabbey. The road then leaves the current N20, passing to the east of Mallow, New Twopothouse and Buttevant before rejoining the N20 north of Buttevant. It then veers left again to the west of Ballyhea, Charleville and Banogue before joining the Croom bypass and then connecting to the M20 Motorway at Attyflin near Patrickswell. The preferred road-based option broadly follows the previous 2010 M20 Cork-Limerick motorway scheme from 15 years ago. It is expected that the project will go to planning within two years.
The project will deliver 80 kilometres of trans-formative walking and cycle infrastructure, connecting the communities of Cork, Blarney, Grenagh, Rathduff, Mallow, New Twopothouse, Buttevant, Charleville, Bruree, Banogue, Croom, Patrickswell and Limerick. The new route will cut journey times by bus, and improvements in rail travel are also proposed.
“Thankfully, the towns of Mallow, Buttevant and Charleville will now be bypassed.  62 people have died on the existing road in the past 25 years. We must see funding secured and proceed to planning stage so that we can have a safer road between the two cities,” said Mallow-based Cork East TD Seán Sherlock.
Cllr Gearóid Murphy said that, while a dual carriageway along the N20 would be better than the current road, he couldn’t see a reason why the authorities couldn’t build a motorway while they were at it. “Given the predicted expansion of Cork and Limerick in the years ahead, I believe it to be very shortsighted not to build a motorway. “I will continue to advocate for a motorway as this process goes on,” he added.
Owners of property along the route have been notified by post and invited to consult with the project team, either in person in Limerick or Mallow, or by online or telephone meetings during the next phase of the project. A number of public online webinars will be hosted by the project team on 6th and 13th April, with further details available on the project website.
The next phase of the project, Design and Environmental Evaluation, will involve further development of the project, including design of the road, cycle lanes and junctions, identification of the land required, detailed environmental evaluation and the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Business Case. Subject to Government approval, the formal planning submission will then be made to An Bord Pleanála. For further information visit www.corklimerick.ie or contact the N/M20 Project Office at info@corklimerick.ie or telephone (061) 973730.
(See map on page 43).