A milestone has been reached in the development of the M20 Limerick to Cork Motorway with a public consultation on proposed routes beginning today, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Limerick Deputy Kieran O’Donnell welcomed progress being made on the project after he attended an M20 progress update briefing on Phase 2 of the development hosted by Limerick City and County Council.
Deputy O’Donnell said, “I very much welcome today’s briefing update from Limerick City & County Council that two route options have been identified within the already selected corridor (being the existing N20 road; Patrickswell to Blarney, incorporating Croom, Charleville and Mallow respectively) for this new M20 Motorway. These two route options involve;
- Road-based Option Part 1 – A new Motorway or dual carriageway along the existing N20 Route Corridor, with 6 route variations
- Road-based Option Part 2 – Improvements to existing N20 road, with 2 variations, including one being bypasses of Buttevant and Charleville and the second, involving a dual-carriageway running from Blaney to north of Buttevant and a bypass of Charleville
“The M20 is a major part of the National Development plan (NDP) and Project 2040, being a key component for balanced regional development and is the missing link to complete the Atlantic Economic Corridor.
“I have strongly advocated for the M20 motorway, because apart from promoting balanced regional development, I believe that in terms of reduced travel times and improved safety it is the only way forward.
“Furthermore, three options to enhance rail connectivity between Limerick and Cork are also being considered as part of this process which I really welcome. This would involve the use of existing and new rail lines:
- Rail-based Option 1 – use of existing Charleville-Limerick Junction-Limerick City rail line, with increased 30 minute frequency;
- Rail-based Option 2 – new rail line between Charleville and Limerick City using part of existing Limerick to Foynes rail line, with 30 minute frequency and
- Rail-based Option 3 – new rail line between Charleville and Killonan Junction, Ballysimon using part of existing Limerick/Limerick Junction rail line.
“At the briefing, I was informed that road and rail options are not mutually exclusive. I was advised that there could be a combination of road and rail options, which would be complementary and present exciting opportunities to improve overall connectivity and including reduced journey times, as well as creating enhanced synergies between the two cities of Limerick and Cork.
“I would strongly encourage everyone to avail of the public consultation process which will be open up to Friday 18th December. The public can interact with the website www.corklimerick.ie and view the plans. You can book a consultations on-line or by phone 061-973730.
“This Stage 2 assessment and appraisal will lead to the identification of the best performing option or combination of options, which will be taken forward as the preferred option. This will be displayed at a future public consultation, which is expected to take place in Summer 2021.
“It is extremely important that Limerick City & County Council actively engage with all landowners along all the potential routes, both road and rail options identified under this phase 2.
“The M20 Motorway is key to fully unlocking what this region and the western seaboard has to offer as a counter-pole to Dublin and the Eastern seaboard as well as competing on the International stage.
“Having campaigned strongly on the M20 over the last number of years, I am pleased to see firm progress here and will continue to work to ensure that it is built as quickly as possible. Furthermore, I welcome consideration of enhancing rail connectivity between Limerick and Cork.