Private funding is urged for stalled €1bn motorway plan
Published 14/05/2015 | 02:30
Limerick and Cork business leaders have urged the Government to consider private funding for a stalled €1bn motorway.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe is to meet with business leaders and politicians from the mid-west and south-west after his shock decision not to allow the proposed Cork-Limerick motorway to even go to the design stage.
The decision to shelve the 80km roadway came despite warnings that sections of the existing route rank amongst the most dangerous in the country.
Fine Gael and Labour politicians are now urging the minister to at least sanction by-passes and relief roads for the two worst bottlenecks, Mallow and Charleville.
Business group Ibec warned that the Government should consider a special Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a motorway regarded as one of Ireland's priority road projects.
Ibec economist Fergal O'Brien said it was astonishing the Coalition wasn't availing of historically low interest rates to tackle capital projects that would have obvious long-term economic benefits.
"The M20 is a perfect candidate for a PPP approach," he said.
The proposed motorway aims to slash 30 minutes from the commute time between Ireland's second and third largest cities.
The existing N20 Cork-Limerick road has some of Ireland's worst accident black-spots, particularly around the infamous Limeworks in Buttevant which has been the scene of multiple fatal accidents.
The planning request had been lodged by the National Roads Authority (NRA), which identified the proposed M20 Cork-Limerick motorway as one of Ireland's priority road projects.