Friday 19 October 2018

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Cork Independent


Cork to Limerick motorway moves a step closer

Friday, 13th October, 2017 10:38am

“All roads will no longer lead to Dublin.”

That was the sentiment of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressing a Cork Chamber of Commerce briefing this morning as he announced that the Cork to Limerick motorway will be part of the Government’s 10 Year National Investment Plan. 

The post-budget breakfast briefing, held in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, was An Taoiseach’s first official visit to Cork since he assumed the office this year. 

An Taoiseach said at the briefing this morning: “The M20 is a huge project with a massive pricetag but it is, however, worth it. So I think it will please everyone in the room to know that Minister Ross has confirmed that funding has been secured to bring the M20 to route selection and into An Bord Pleanála and that process of planning and design can begin immediately, as money is no longer a barrier.

“Once planning permission is secured, the major costs occur in construction and land purchase. These costs are unlikely to rise in the current capital programme which runs until 2021. However, they will arise very soon thereafter. So I want to confirm that M20 will be included in the 10 year capital plan.

“It’s a project that is essential to our future national development and one that I’m personally committed to achieving.” 

The confirmation of the 80 kilometre M20 was announced at the sell-out briefing in Paírc Uí Chaoimh. It was attended by 400 people from across business, Government and local government. 

Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, said: “Today’s commitment to the much-awaited M20 finally going ahead is a significant vote of confidence in the growth potential of all of Munster, and we commend Government in the foresight of investing in a motorway link between our second and third cities.”

“The socio-economic report commissioned by Cork and Limerick Chambers earlier this year confirmed that the M20 has the potential to support up to 5,400 new direct jobs in the region, which would benefit the Exchequer by up to €128 million per annum.”

Mr Healy added: “I have no doubt that the M20 will be of huge benefit to our country overall, and in light of its importance we hope to see the M20 top of the list of new infrastructure projects to be delivered in Government’s forthcoming 10 year investment plan.”

Dr James Ring, Limerick Chamber CEO, said: “This is one of the most significant moments in terms of rebalancing the national economy. This now means we have a seamless motorway from Cork to Limerick and Galway, which creates enormous possibilities for economic development along this Atlantic corridor. Once delivered, people will be able to travel between Limerick and Cork in only 47 minutes which is a game changer for business, workers, and tourism in the region.”

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach Varadkar that the M20 motorway will also be included in the Government's Strategic Infrastructure Plan. “I am delighted to learn of this important announcement. The plan will see €20 million committed to the scheme, which will now go through a phase of planning and design before construction commences, with a two to three year time frame."

He added: "The M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick will provide connectivity and enable the realisation of a number of opportunities for social, economic and tourism growth between both cities." 
The Mayor also said that the commitment to the much awaited M20 signifies the recognition from the government to maximise the unique capacity of Cork to complement Dublin.

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