A progress update briefing hosted by Limerick City and County Council heard two options for the proposed route as well as rail options, which are not mutually exclusive.
Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, who attended today’s briefing, said he “favoured” Option 1 which would see the construction of a completely new motorway running parallel to the existing N20 road, and involving six variations along the route.
The proposed motorway from Blarney to Limerick would “deliver on improved safety, reduce travel times, and create important synergies between both cities”, said Deputy O’Donnell.
He said it was “hard to see” how Option 2, which proposes improvements to the existing N20 road, involving options to bypass bottleneck towns such as Buttevant and Charleville, would satisfy all requirements.
Rail routes being considered as part of the overall options up for consultation, would involve the use of existing Charleville-Limerick Junction-Limerick City rail lines, with increased 30 minute frequency; or a new rail line between Charleville and Limerick City using part of existing Limerick to Foynes rail line, with 30 minute frequency; or a new rail line between Charleville and Killonan Junction, Ballysimon, Limerick, using part of existing Limerick/Limerick Junction rail line.
“Importantly, these road and rail options are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, I am advised that there could be a combination of road and rail options, which would be complementary and present exciting opportunities,” said Deputy O’Donnell.
He added, the M20 project was “key to fully unlocking what this region and the western seaboard has to offer as a counter-pole to Dublin and the Eastern seaboard as well as competing on the international stage”.