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Latest Update on development of N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme

Cork to Limerick: Pictured in 2019 at the signing of contracts in Limerick City Councils, Istabraq Hall were back row (l to r), Julia Gilles, Director of Transportation & Infrastructure, WSP Scotland and Ireland, Cllr. Ian Doyle, Cork County Council, Stephen Russell, Director of Transportation UK &; Ireland, Sweco, Cork City Council Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mary Shields and Michael Nolan, CEO Transport Infrastructure Ireland, front row (l to r), Liam Prendiville, MD Barry Transportation, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr. James Collins, Conn Murray, Chief Executive Limerick City and County Council and The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Alan Place

Latest Update on development of N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme

Limerick City and County Council is progressing the development of the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme in partnership with Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTaS).

The N/M20 project team has commenced Phase 2 Option Selection studies. Following the completion of Phase 1 (Concept and Feasibility), the project team is developing road-based options broadly within the N20 corridor and rail-based options improving connectivity between Cork and Limerick. To assist with the development of options, the project team has defined a Phase 2 Study Area.

Cork to Limerick

Plans for the development of N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme

The Study Area is broadly in line with the study area developed as part of the previous M20 scheme with the following additional areas included to reflect the context of the current project:

  • Additional area between Charleville and Limerick City to consider rail-based options and consider connectivity with proposed public transport projects
  • Additional area between Blarney and Cork City to consider connectivity with proposed public transport projects
  • Additional area east of Adare to consider connectivity with the proposed Foynes to Limerick Road (including Adare Bypass)

The project team is identifying the key constraints, undertaking studies/ surveys and developing options within the Study Area. The Study Area boundary is indicative, and the project team may undertake some studies/ surveys beyond this boundary.

The initial road and rail-based options will be developed and comparatively assessed to identify a shortlist of options. Once the shortlisted options have been identified, the project team will hold a public consultation event seeking the views of the public and other stakeholders. This is planned for later this year.

The project team will engage directly with property owners, businesses, other stakeholders and the wider public to help inform and identify further information to assist with the subsequent identification of the preferred option.

Following the public consultation, the shortlisted options will then be subject to further development and appraisal by the project team in relation to the project objectives to identify the preferred transport option for connecting Cork and Limerick.

Public consultation forms a very important element in the appraisal of options. It will be comprehensive, and feedback and participation will be welcomed and valued by the project team.

Cork to Limerick

Plans for the development of N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme

Clearly, Covid-19 restrictions make public consultation challenging at this time. In the period immediately ahead, this will take place through a variety of means, which will include updates to the website, liaison with stakeholders including representative community and sectoral organisations as well as public representatives.

The Phase 2 Study Area is the current Planning Referral Area for the N/M20 project. Planning applications within the Study Area are referred by the planning departments in Limerick City and County Council, Cork County Council and Cork City Council to the N/M20 Project Team for observations.

The project team carries out a risk-based assessment on the applications and provide observations to the planners for their consideration. They will also be available to assist potential applicants during the pre-planning consultation stage.

The planning referral area will be subsequently refined and reduced at the end of each phase of the planning and development process.

The N/M20 Project Office in Limerick is currently closed to the public and will be re-opened on a phased basis in accordance with national Covid-19 guidelines.

However, the public may submit their views, comments and queries to the project team by email: [email protected] | telephone: 061 973730 | post: N/M20 Project Office, Lissanalta House, Dooradoyle, Limerick V94 H5RR.

More information about the Phase 2 Study Area and the information contained in this briefing note is available on the N/M20 project website here.

For more stories about Cork to Limerick, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.