independent

Sunday 17 December 2017

Report: M20 motorway has the capacity to trigger 5,400 jobs

Bill Browne

With hopes high that provision for the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway will be included in the government’s review of its Capital Spending Plan, a new report has said the route could generate up to €128 million for the local economy.

Entitled ‘Gearing up for the M20’ the report, commissioned jointly by the Cork and Limerick Chambers, said the 80km stretch of motorway had the capacity tocreate 5,400 jobs and would “enable a balanced economic development on a scale not seen before on the island of Ireland.”

The report, which was undertaken by Indecon and Red C, makes a compelling case for the construction of the much-hyped route providing what its authors described as an “independent assessment of the socio-economic benefits” that would accrue through its construction.

It said the current N20 route was “under significant constraints” due to an increase in traffic volumes, with several locations experiencing traffic levels at over 120% capacity this year. The reports other key findings included:

* The motorway would prevent in the region of 120 accidents each year.

* Reduce journey times between Blarney and Patrickswell by approximately 16-minutes.

* Open up the wider region to overseas and domestic tourists.

* Underpin the region’s competitiveness in terms of attracting both foreign direct and indigenous investment.

* Boost the labour force living within a 45-minute commute of major employment centres by 23% to 243,000 people.

The Chambers also believe that the motorway would help realise the Atlantic Economic Corridor concept of a “powerful, three-city region comprising Cork, Limerick and Galway” that would “provide a strong complement to Dublin.”

The CEO of Cork Chamber, Conor Healy, said the report showed the need for a motorway connection between Cork and Limerick “can no longer be ignored or postponed.”

“It is in the national interest that our regional economies expand for Ireland to remain competitive and to complement growth in Dublin,” said Mr Healy.

He said that with the right road network, Cork, Limerick and Galway could effectively become one large labour and customer marketplace, improving opportunities and choice for employees and businesses.

“It will also enhance road safety and improved Ireland’s connectivity and competitiveness. As government ramp up capital spending from next year, the M20 must be first on the list of projects to be progressed,” said Mr Healy.

In echoing these sentiments the Limerick Chamber CEO, Dr James Ring, said the M20 was “probably the most significant piece of infrastructure yet to be developed in the State.”

“No other infrastructure in the country has the capacity to impact positively on such a large swathe of the country like the M20 has,” he added.

To see the report in full visit www.corkchamber.ie

Corkman

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