CONSTRUCTING the Limerick to Cork motorway would create up to 5,400 jobs and benefit the economy by up to €128m, a new Chambers commissioned report has indicated.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue is expected to highlight the multi-million euro project as being a priority for Government in the next phase of the Capital Plan.
The report, Gearing up for the M20: A route to success, was commissioned by the Chambers in both Limerick and Cork and highlighted that the motorway completion could add up to 5,400 jobs and contribute millions to the exchequer.
The Chambers have argued that the construction of the M20, estimated to cost in the region of €850m, aligned with the completion of the Gort to Galway section of the M18 would aid and support an economic corridor covering the west and south of the country.
The study added that an M20 route would also help open up the southwest, as key routes in that region will intersect with the motorway.
The N20, the existing roadway, is already overcrowded according to the report authors Indecon International Economic Consultants and Red-C Research and Marketing.
On average, in excess of 16,000 vehicles travel between Blarney and Mallow every day, 3,500 more than than that section’s capacity.
Just over 14,000 vehicles travel between Croom and Patrickswell, which is almost 2,500 more than it can carry.
The construction of the motorway would reduce travel time and also prevent up to 120 accidents per year.
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.
Calls by the Limerick Chamber and the wider business community to complete the project, have been echoed by those in Cork with Conor Healy, chief executive of the Cork chamber stating that it is in the nation’s interest that the regions expand.