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M20 is among vital projects for Cork’s future

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 1:01am

A business group say that Cork has a great opportunity to become the leader of Ireland’s Atlantic cities if it is supported through major strategic regional infrastructure projects.

Yesterday, IBEC said that Cork should be backed by the Government as part of their submission to the National Planning Framework.

This comes in the wake of a survey of businesses in the Munster region, who backed the proposed M20 motorway from Cork-Limerick by a huge majority.

A Red C survey found that 98 per cent of businesses in the Munster region have given their overwhelming support to the proposed M20 motorway, with 98 per cent stating it will enhance economic linkages between Cork and Limerick.

97 per cent of those surveyed believe the M20 will reduce traffic congestion between the two cities and reduce journey times.

Initial findings from the survey, part of an ongoing study into the proposed motorway, also found that an equal amount believe that it will lead to increased road safety.

There has been sustained support from people in Cork and Limerick for a number of years for an upgrade between two of the biggest cities in the state.

Meanwhile IBEC’s submission to the public consultation on the National Planning Framework, calls for an ambitious long-term planning and investment strategy for Ireland to address the growing imbalance between the regions and the greater Dublin economy.

IBEC Cork Regional Director Peter O’Shaughnessy said: “Inter-regional connectivity, by means of motorway between major urban centres, is vital in facilitating the co-ordination of development across wider regions. Connecting cities and their regions will help spread the economic and population growth which is currently concentrated on the east coast. “For Cork, completion of the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway and connecting second and third cities is a key enabler to the overall growth of the entire region. Enhancing the national road network including the N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy, the N25 Cork-Rosslare, the N8/N25 Dunkettle interchange and the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom would greatly enhance the capacity of the region to attract and retain FDI,” he said.

The IBEC submission outlines the significant opportunity that exists for Cork to develop and position itself as a leader of Ireland’s Atlantic cities. Relocation of the Port of Cork to Ringaskiddy, the rejuvenation of the city centre and the development of Cork harbour and Cork Docklands are some of the major infrastructure projects cited in the submission.

Poll

The Red C poll was conducted in March as part of the joint campaign by Limerick and Cork Chambers in support of the M20.

Cork and Limerick Chambers have jointly commissioned Indecon Economic Consultants and RedC Research to undertake the studies into the benefits of the proposed 80km motorway.

Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber said: “The M20 is needed as a natural complement to Dublin and as a fulcrum point for economic development all the way from Cork to Galway. Investing in the route will save time, increase choice and opportunity for people and business throughout Munster with knock-on effects for the national economy.”

James Ring, CEO of Limerick Chamber said: “The support for the M20 among businesses is overwhelming, as this survey shows. The M20 is essential to further stimulate economic growth in the two cities and benefit all areas in between and across their wider hinterlands.”

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