Cork-Limerick motorway benefits ‘outweigh costs’

Government research shows the benefits of the proposed Cork to Limerick motorway would outweigh the costs by two to one, despite Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe’s claims that the project is “too expensive”.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland senior engineer Richard Bowen said the overwhelmingly positive findings in the 2010 research remain relevant today.

“If, or when, a detailed cost-benefit analysis is rerun, the scheme should still provide a strong economic case for investment,” said Mr Bowen. Despite the research being available to Mr Donohoe and his predecessor, Leo Varadkar, the project has been repeatedly shelved.

Hopes the project would be resurrected last year were dashed when it was passed over by the Government in the Capital Investment Plan.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner earlier this month, Mr Donohoe said he could not justify the cost and said his preference was for smaller “targeted” projects.

If a 2017 mid-term review of the capital plan does not give the M20 proposal the go-ahead, motorists could face a further 15-year wait.

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