Business groups back M28 proposal amid 'frustration' at lack of progress

Groups representing business and industry have given their backing to a proposed motorway from Cork to Ringaskiddy — with one group expressing “frustration” at the lack of progress in building the road to date.

The motorway will link Cork City to the Ringaskiddy port terminal.

Cork Chamber yesterday told the Bord Pleanála Oral Hearing on the proposed upgrade of the N28 road that it supports the project, and its proposed route.

Objectors to the project include residents who live along the route and say their quality of life will be severely impacted by the building of a motorway in close proximity to their homes.

Michelle O’Sullivan, policy and research executive at Cork Chamber, said they believe the motorway will bring social and economic benefits to Ringaskiddy, where the Port of Cork will move to join a number of Life Science industrial operations in the village: “The commitment to other road projects such as the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, the Dunkettle Interchange upgrade linking in with the M8, and a future Northern Ring Road must be considered in tandem with the M28.

“These projects together will bring about an integrated transport network across Cork, and linking up to the industrial and shipping hub at Ringaskiddy. Cork Chamber supports the development of the M28 that will facilitate future investment and increase the capacity and safety of the road network to meet growing usage numbers,” she said.

Earlier in the hearings, the semi-State body tasked to promote foreign direct investment in Ireland said industry is “frustrated” with the lack of progress in building the motorway.

IDA Ireland said it is strongly supportive of the project and “believe that the proposed development will significantly improve this route which in turn will result in further significant economic development in the Ringaskiddy area”.

It said IDA Ireland has 1,000 acres of land in the Ringaskiddy area — 350 acres of which has yet to be developed — and that Ringaskiddy is home to 12 IDA client companies that employ more than 4,000 people.

The IDA submission, made by Tom Phillips and Associates planning consultants, said the existing road lacks the capacity needed to serve industry in the area.

“At present the restrictions presented by the road, result in companies staggering shift patterns and deliveries to mitigate for these capacity constraints. The proposed upgrade of the N28 from Cork to Ringaskiddy is a crucial development for the industrial economy in Cork. As of now, the N28 is insufficient in supporting the growing industrial sector in Ringaskiddy.”

“Industry has become frustrated with the lack of progress on this project which has been promised over many years... The IDA believe that the upgrade to the N28 is a critical piece of infrastructure which is necessary to ensure the continued growth of employment in the Ringaskiddy area,” its submission stated.

Responding to Cork Chamber’s contribution yesterday, a spokesperson for the M28 Steering Group said they fully support linking Cork to Ringaskiddy by motorway, but believe alternative routes have not been given due consideration.

The hearing continues.

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