THE president of Limerick Chamber has criticised the Government’s decision to defer construction of a new motorway between Limerick and Cork.
The proposed M20, which would have cost in the region of €800 million to construct, was not included in the Infrastructure and Capital Investment programme.
which was unveiled by the Government last week.
The project, which was also due to incorporate the Adare Bypass, would have seen the motorway stretch from Attyflynn near Patrickswell to the northside of Cork City.
Around €2.5 million has already been spent selecting the route and progressing the project through the planning process.
However, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed that the project would not be proceeding during the lifetime of the plan which was announced last week.
“Given the significant land acquisition costs involved with the proposed M20, the NRA will be asked to withdraw the project from An Bord Pleanála at this stage and it can be re-activated in the future,” he said.
Kieran McSweeney, president of the Limerick Chamber says the Government decision is disappointing.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this (project) is a casualty of the Government cutbacks because it is extremely important that the second and third largest cities in this country are connected via the fastest possible road network,” he said.
Cllr Pat Fitzgerald, says the decision to defer the project is a huge blow for the local economy.
“The abandonment of it is a disappointment because in the current climate we are crying out for employment and this was going to be one of the biggest ever road construction projects in Limerick,” he said adding that parts of the current N20 are “dangerous and high risk”.
*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader print edition, dated November 19, 2011