by Bernie English
THE Government has pledged to clarify when a route for the proposed M20 motorway between Limerick and Cork will be selected.
Minister of State, Roderick O’Gorman told the Dáil that €5.1 billion had been earmarked for new national road projects up to 2030 in the current National Development Plan.
“The N20-M20 project is included in the list of projects to be progressed in the NDP and it is being actively progressed. This year alone, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) allocated €5 million to Limerick City and County Council to progress the scheme,” said Minister O’Gorman.
“The N20-M20 road corridor options to augment or replace the existing N20 Cork-Limerick road are currently being evaluated by TII. These options include a new motorway or the upgrading of various sections of the N20. These road options largely following the existing N20 corridor.”
Deputy Colm Burke (FG) said that between 2016 and 2018, some 87 collisions were recorded on the N20, seven of which involved the death of road users and a further 13 collisions led to serious injuries.
Minister O’Gorman said that following a public consultation on the possible route options which closed on January 15 last, he expected TII to announce the preferred route option in the first half of 2022 which will in turn allow design and environmental evaluation to be undertaken by the project team.
Deputy Burke said he was concerned about how long this was all taking as it was originally envisaged that planning for the project was to start in January 2022 by which time a route was to have been selected.
He said that he would raise the matter with Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan as to when exactly in 2022, route selection would be finalised but he pointed out TII is engaging with Limerick City and County Council and providing money to undertake design and research elements.