Taoiseach confirms funding for new Cork to Limerick motorway
CORK and Limerick have welcomed the Government confirmation the €1bn M20 motorway will be included in a programme of priority capital projects.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that enhanced funding will be provided for the project to link Ireland's second and third cities by a modern motorway.
The total amount has yet to be confirmed.
The funding will be to allow design, route identification and land acquisition works to proceed by 2021.
Construction on the 80km motorway, to replace the old N20 road, is expected from 2021.
Sections of the N20 have ranked as amongst the most notorious stretches of roadway nationwide in terms of fatal accidents per kilometre.
Cork Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Conor Healy, said the M20 funding was a major breakthrough.
"The 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," he said.
"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 €128m per annum."
"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," Mr. Healy concluded.