FIGURES released by the N/M20 Project office show that the proportion of fatal collisions to all personal injury collisions on the N20 is four times higher than the national average.
In addition, the rate of personal injury collisions on the N20 is substantially higher than average, meaning drivers are more likely to be involved in a personal injury collision on the N20 than on other national roads in the country.
Statistics for the period 2016-2018 show there is a very high proportion of fatal collisions to all personal injury collisions on the N20.
At 8%, this proportion is four times higher than the national proportion of 2% (Road Casualties and Collisions in Ireland 2017). There are 625 access points along the N20 comprising private dwellings, farm/field entrances and junctions which is a major contributor to the safety issues.
The detailed analysis of collision data forms part of the appraisal of options for the Cork to Limerick project, which is currently underway, and is the clearest indicator yet of the scale of road safety problems that exist on the N20.
One of the key project objectives is: To address road safety issues by reducing the rate and severity of collisions on the road network, in particular the existing N20 between Cork and Limerick.
The N20 has undergone localised improvements over many years and as such has varying cross section and road geometry characteristics that would no longer be considered desirable under current design standards.
These shortcomings present road users with increased risks due to inconsistent driving conditions, exacerbated by slow-moving and right-turning vehicles adding to inconsistent journey times and driver frustration.
According to the Road Casualties and Collisions in Ireland 2016 (RSA) personal injury collision per kilometre along the N20 are substantially above the average on national roads.
As part of the ongoing N/M20 assessment work, analysis of the collision data for 2016-2018 on the existing N20 has been carried out. This found that there were 87 personal injury collisions along the entire N20 route in the years 2016-2018.
7 collisions were Fatal (8%), 13 resulted in Serious Injury (15%), and the remaining 67 resulted in Minor Injury (77%). A high percentage of collisions (63%) occurred along rural sections of the N20, which is significantly different from the national average (39%).
Based on provisional data received from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), there were three fatal collisions on the N20 in 2019 and four in 2020 which is higher than the average of 2.33 fatal collisions per year in the period from 2016-2018.
This indicates the trend of high numbers of fatal collisions on the N20 seems to continue and is potentially increasing. The various options under consideration (see www.corklimerick.ie) will help address these serious safety deficiencies and reduce the rate and severity of collisions along the N20.