Report highlights benefits of M20 Cork-Limerick Motorway

News that a major report has come out in support of the building of the long-awaited M20 Motorway between Cork and Limerick has prompted calls for the government to prioritise the building of the 80 kilometre road. Deputy Seán Sherlock said he welcomed a new report commissioned by Cork and Limerick Chambers which confirmed the benefits of financing the motorway, and said that government plans to designate a large portion of the so-called rainy day fund for increased capital expenditure should see the M20 prioritised. “The most recent council delegation to Shane Ross didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but it’s good that the pressure is being maintained by our local councillors at that level also.”
Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan said that the forthcoming Development Plan must include full funding for the motorway, otherwise local communities in North Cork will feel that they have been ignored again by the government. “The Taoiseach has a chance this week to show to the people of Munster that his government’s priorities don’t stop at the M50 in Dublin,” he said. “He must take the opportunity available to him now to deliver this crucial piece of infrastructure and connect two of Ireland’s most economically vibrant cities. This project is absolutely required to stimulate the rural North Cork economy. However, fig-leaves from the Government over the past four years have sucked any optimism out of the project for locals.” The report, titled ‘Gearing up for the M20: A Route to Success,’ by Indecon Economic Consultants and RED C Research, finds that the motorway would have the potential to support an estimated additional 4,000-5,400 direct jobs in the region. In gross terms, excluding displacement impacts, these additional direct jobs could provide an annual gross exchequer impact of up to €128 million, depending on the nature of investment attracted. The findings confirm that the existing N20 between Cork and Limerick has significant capacity constraints that inhibit economic development. The report also says that development of the M20 would reduce the Blarney to Patrickswell journey time by 16 minutes, to approximately 47 minutes, and would prevent about 118 accidents per annum.
(More on page 11.)