Active Travel high on the agenda for team behind Limerick-Cork motorway

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The N/M20 was identified as one of the major road improvement projects under Project Ireland 2040

Work on the N/M20 project is progressing

THE project team behind say the proposed new motorway between Limerick and Cork has the potential to deliver 80 kilometres of transformative active travel infrastructure.

This, they say, would connect the communities of Cork, Blarney, Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Bruree, Croom, Patrickswell and Limerick. 

A number of active travel opportunities are being presented including integrating the N/M20 project with the wider Inter-Urban Network to complement the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategy, the cycle hub town of Kilmallock and various public transport hubs.

The project team says the utilisation of existing and new infrastructure can provide safe, segregated urban and inter-urban infrastructure.

Active Travel can help support local businesses, boost tourism, improve health, improve air quality, reduce congestion and save people money.

Research conducted to date shows there are low volumes of walking and cycling between the Limerick and Cork at present but emerging strategies set out significant target shifts towards sustainable walking and cycling modes.

While there is currently a reliance on private cars for relatively short journeys, the project team is focused on promoting all modes of transport as part of this N/M20 project (see corklimerick.ie). 

As part of the public consultation that took place between November 2020 to January 2021, a feedback form was completed by 1,091 respondents. 

They identified that the main barriers for walking and cycling are safety and a lack of suitable paths.  Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents indicated they would be willing to cycle up to 5km and 27% between 5km to 10km. The majority of walking and cycling trips are currently leisure trips. The respondents identified a demand for more rural paths. 

The team is liaising with active travel groups in the area, understanding existing problems and opportunities and developing appropriate active travel routes.

Collaborative working and engagement is key to helping deliver an appropriate active travel scheme. Early positive engagement can be seen below from some of our key stakeholders such as Ballyhoura Development.

"We welcome the inclusion of active travel options as part of the Cork - Limerick project. The potential for towns and villages along the proposed route to have safe, accessible and integrated active travel routes to a range of community, sports, cultural, educational, business and tourism amenities and activities, such as the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, the Kilmallock Cycling Hub, Doneraile Park and the Ballyhoura Way and Loop Walks, will provide for more vibrant places and improved social, health, environmental and economic sustainability," said a spokesperson.