‘Very strong’ case for Cork-Limerick motorway

The Government is not taking advantage of the historically low cost of financing to deliver economically and socially critical infrastructure projects such as the proposed Cork to Limerick motorway, the country’s business representative body has claimed.

Ibec has called on the Government to review its decision taken a month ago to shelve the mooted €1bn road project given the “compelling return” it would deliver.

The government was also accused by Ibec chief economist and head of policy, Fergal O’Brien of hiding behind EU budgetary rules in delaying the project.

“Government should not be using the EU fiscal rules constraints on exchequer spending as a reason to delay much-needed infrastructure projects such as the new Cork-Limerick M20 motorway. The economic, business and social case for urgently commencing projects such as this is overwhelming,” Mr O’Brien said.

READ MORE: POLL: Does the Limerick-Cork road need a motorway?

“The cost of money is at an historical low and the project rate of return is compelling. Urgent completion of the motorway is essential to support economic recovery in the entire south-west and mid-west regions. The project is the ideal candidate to be delivered using a public private partnership which could be completed within the European stability and growth pact rules,” he said.

“We hope Government will reflect on the urgency of this project and include it in the upcoming capital investment plan,” he said.

The 80km stretch of motorway would cut up to 30 minutes off travel time between the second and third cities; reduce congestion in towns; and reduce the number of crashes on what is a dangerous route, it is claimed.

The decision by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to shelve plans in mid-April was seen as a major blow with councillors expressing their disappointment.

READ MORE: POLL: Does the Limerick-Cork road need a motorway?


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