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M7 / M8 link

  • 05-06-2013 4:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 231 ✭✭

    In light of recent opening of N2/N3 link, could there be any merit in considering something similar for M7/M8. The upgrade of the awful N20 Cork/Limerick road will be delayed until God knows when. Would this link not provide some sort of relief to people travelling up and down the western seaboard. It could start somewhere around Junction 13 on the M8 and join the M7 somewhere around M7 Junction 29.

    This link would surely be a fraction of the cost of the M20 and would provide some sort of a motorway link between the 2nd and 3rd cities of the state


  • Registered Users Posts: 997 ✭✭✭Colm R

    I've thought about this before myself. If you consider that Mitchelstown is only about 26km east of Buttavent, essentially what you are doing is connecting, your moving the route 26km east of where it is.

    From Mitchelstown, the route would continue almost due North and probably join the N24 on the run in to Limerick. A total build of about 60KM.

    As with everything, there are pros and cons. Some I can think of straight away.

    Pro: It would benefit mostly intercity traffic between Galway/Limerick and Cork.

    Con: It would be of no benefit for large commuting towns such as Blarney, Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Kilmallock, Croom and more where many of these towns are split between Cork and Limerick commuting.
    Pro: With that said, the existing N20 may become more viable as a commuting route with some tweaking making it safer, when you consider that these commuters would not be mixing anymore with intercity travellers.

    Pro: If you consider that the purpose of some future very difficult to build North Ring in Cork is to connect all the Major routes around the city, well then the job is already done, and the North Ring road becomes unnecessary.

    Con: The North Ring Road in Cork becomes unnecessary. ;)

    Pro: Would only one major road from the West (The N25) be necessary for Waterford, as opposed to having the N24 as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,524 ✭✭✭AugustusMinimus

    2 huge cons and Colm has stated one of them, namely all the towns between Cork and Limerick which need to be linked via motorway.

    The other of course is the pressure that would be exerted on the Dunkettle Interchange and the South Ring Road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 739 ✭✭✭Jayuu

    Given the Dunkettle is going to be upgraded and would likely be completed before any such link was built then I think that "con" would not be an issue.

    However it wouldn't solve the commuter issue although if restrictions were put along the N20 to force heavy traffic onto the new link road then it would take some of the pressure off the existing N20.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Aidan1

    if restrictions were put along the N20 to force heavy traffic onto the new link road then it would take some of the pressure off the existing N20

    The only way restrictions could work is either by tolling the old road or inducing longer travel time, both of which seem unlikely.

    The two regional issues are deal breakers IMO;

    1. Mallow, Charleville and Buttevant all stand to gain from the M20, but there is a danger that aligning the Cork-Limerick link away from this historic axis would seriously undermine these towns, not necessarily as commuter towns but in terms of being able to support employment themselves. Mallow in particular (an NSS town) has a population of over 10,000 and is also on the Cork-Dublin rail line, so is an obvious growth hub. Running a M-Way through largely empty country means that it would have less benefit (and would likely fail a CBA test also).
    2. Keeping the M20 and M8 separate as they enter Cork is about more than just overstretching the M40 and Dunkettle (though that is obviously an issue). The geography of the harbour region in Cork is such that growth has tended to spread south and along an East-West axis, mainly because extant communications routes follow the path of least resistance. Over the last 20 years, there has been a realisation that growth needs to be rebalanced to the North of the city (something recognised in the CASP), with Blarney/Monard/Rathpeacon being the candidate areas. Completing the M40 ring, and building commuter rail stations, are at the core of this. So for reasons of regional planning in Cork, building the M20 on the planned route is far preferable. Even if just the Northern Section was built, it would be a great help. The Southern Section could be built in conjunction with the NRR. Eventually.