The project objectives for the N/M20 Cork to Limerick have been developed by the project team. The project objectives were established following a review of the problems and opportunities on the transport networks linking Cork and Limerick as well as specific policies and plans for the region.
The overarching project objective is:
To enable national and regional planning policies, particularly those supporting the National Strategic Outcomes of the National Planning Framework to promote balanced regional development, through enhanced population and economic growth.
This is to be achieved by improving connectivity between the cities of Cork and Limerick, and ultimately Galway, by:
- facilitating the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services on the transport network both now and in the future
- reduced land transport journey times
- improved journey time reliability
Appraisal of transport scenarios as required by the ‘Common Appraisal Framework for Transport Projects and Programmes’ (CAF), as published by Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (2016), requires a Multi-Criterial Analysis (MCA) to be undertaken based on six criteria:
- Accessibility & Social Inclusion
- Physical Activity
Specific objectives relating to the above criteria have been developed for use in the appraisal process which in turn reflect the overarching objective. These are set out below:
- To address road safety issues by reducing the rate and severity of collisions on the road network, in particular the existing N20 between Cork and Limerick.
- To support the RSA Road Safety Strategy through the provision of a safe, forgiving and consistent standard of improved route.
- To support the provision of a service area for rest breaks between Cork and Limerick and ultimately Galway (Atlantic Corridor).
- To accord with the National Planning Framework objective of enhancing regional connectivity between Cork and Limerick to achieve average journey speeds of 90 km/h and a competitive inter-urban journey time.
- To improve journey time reliability between Cork and Limerick.
- To provide opportunities to grow the regional economy and improve economic interaction by creating better transport linkage for people, goods and services, between Cork and Limerick and in the overall Atlantic Corridor.
- To facilitate population growth within Cork and Limerick as envisaged in the National Planning Framework and the key town of Mallow.
- To improve the environment in settlements along the corridor through the reduction of through traffic.
- To ensure consideration of sustainable development principles and measures to minimise effects on the environment including potential climate change effects.
- To provide infrastructure which will allow for the progressive electrification of our mobility systems.
- To protect and enhance biodiversity including both legally protected areas and other areas.
Accessibility & Social Inclusion
- To improve access for all, in particular vulnerable groups and those in deprived areas, to key facilities such as employment, education and healthcare.
- To facilitate opportunities to improve journey times and reliability for public transport journeys.
- To support sustainable development through the provision of appropriate access and adherence to the principles of compact urban growth.
- To provide high quality connectivity with airports and ports in the region.
- To facilitate connectivity with public transport interchanges.
- To enable local opportunities for walking and cycling (active travel) activity in and between communities as a result of reduced traffic levels on the existing network.
- To provide new opportunities for active travel between communities.
- To facilitate the improvement of town and village public realm.