Active travel is high on the agenda for N/M20 Cork to Limerick project

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Building the Limerick to Cork motorway could create 5,400 jobs

THE N/M20 Cork to Limerick Project has the potential to deliver 80 kilometres of transformative active travel (walking and cycle) infrastructure, connecting together the communities of Cork, Blarney, Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Bruree, Croom, Patrickswell and Limerick.

Active Travel can help support local businesses, boost tourism, improve health, improve air quality, reduce congestion and save people money.

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The project team said today that a number of active travel opportunities are being presented such as integration with the wider Inter-Urban Network to complement the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategy (LSMATS), the cycle hub town of Kilmallock and public transport hubs for multi-modal interchange. The utilisation of existing and new infrastructure can provide safe, segregated urban and inter-urban infrastructure.

The current modal split for Cork and Limerick shows low volumes of walking and cycling but emerging strategies such as CMATS and LSMATS set out significant target shifts towards sustainable walking and cycling modes. There is an overall reliance on the private car for relatively short trips.

The project team is focused on promoting all modes of transport as part of this project (www.corklimerick.ie).  As part of the public consultation that took place from November 2020 to January 2021, a feedback form was completed by 1,091 respondents.

They identified that the main barriers for walking and cycling are safety and a lack of suitable paths.  23% of respondents would be willing to cycle up to 5km and 27% between 5km to 10km. The majority of walking and cycling trips are currently leisure trips. The respondents identified a demand for more rural paths.

The team is liaising with active travel groups in the area, understanding existing problems and opportunities and developing appropriate active travel routes. Collaborative working and engagement is key to helping deliver an appropriate active travel scheme. Early positive engagement can be seen below from some of our key stakeholders.

“We strongly welcome the fact that improvements for active travel infrastructure are also part of the N20 project and we clearly acknowledge the holistic approach for finding a comprehensive transport solution in the entire corridor.” (Spokesperson, Transport Mobility Forum Cork).

”Ballyhoura Development welcome the inclusion of active travel options as part of the Cork Limerick project. The potential for towns and villages along the proposed route to have safe, accessible and integrated active travel routes to a range of community, sports, cultural, educational, business and tourism amenities and activities, such as the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, the Kilmallock Cycling Hub, Doneraile Park and the Ballyhoura Way and Loop Walks, will provide for more vibrant places and improved social, health, environmental and economic sustainability.” (Spokesperson, Ballyhoura Development).