Building the long-sought M20 motorway linking Cork-to-Limerick motorway could create up to 5,400 jobs and contribute €128 million to the State, a new report says.
The report commissioned on behalf of Cork and Limerick chambers of commerce states that the motorway linking the two cities could potentially support 4,000 to 5,400 new jobs, and in turn contribute €128 million to the exchequer.
The study, Gearing up for the M20: A Route to Success, says the road would help create a three-city region, Cork, Limerick and Galway, realising the potential of an economic corridor in the west and southwest.
It would also help open up the southwest, as key routes in that region would intersect with the motorway..
The report’s authors Indecon International Economic Consultants and Red-C Research & Marketing highlighted their belief that traffic had grown to the point where there were too many vehicles using stretches of the existing road, the N20.
Their figures show that an average of 16,361 vehicles travel between Blarney and Mallow every day, 3,500 more than than that section’s capacity, while 14,047 drive between Croom and Patrickswell, 2,447 more than what the stretch can carry.
Groups from both cities have lobbied for several years to construct the road, but the estimated €850 million bill led successive administrations to shelve the project.
Conor Healy, chief executive of the Cork chamber, said the Government could no longer ignore the need for the motorway.
“It is in the national interest that our regional economies expand for Ireland to remain competitive and to complement growth in Dublin,” he said.
Mr Healy added that the M20 should be first on the list of projects to go ahead if the Government boosts infrastructure spending next year.
“The M20 would not just connect the country’s second and third cities by motorway but would also link in with the Galway to Limerick motorway and therefore be a game changer for the Atlantic seaboard, really benefitting the three cities and their hinterlands and a geographical area from the north-west to south-east.”
James Ring, Limerick chamber chief executive, described the M20 as the most significant piece of infrastructure yet to be built in the region.
“Current severe capacity constraints on the N20 are restricting growth potential in our second and third cities, and limit access to business and communities across Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork and up into Galway,” he said.