The scheme development is currently at Phase 2 Option Selection, which comprises two stages. During Stage 1 of this phase, the project team considered the identified constraints to develop a range of technically feasible road-based and rail-based options within the study area.
In Stage 1, 18 road-based options between the outskirts of Cork and Limerick were initially assessed under three criteria; Engineering, Environment and Economy. The assessments enabled the better performing road-based options to be identified, and also determined that a number of options will not be given further consideration. As a part of the consideration of alternatives for provisions of an improved transport link between Cork and Limerick, three rail-based options were developed to improve rail service journey times and frequency between the cities.
During the public consultation we invited feedback on the road-based and rail-based options proposed for further examination. The options are appraised on the basis of 500m wide corridors within which option alignments have the potential to be developed. Such design development will be undertaken for the preferred option in Phase 3 when the overall extent of the proposed works will be defined.
The feedback and submissions received through the public consultation are being considered by the project team in Stage 2 of the option selection phase. Stage 2 involves further refinement of the road-based and rail-based options followed by appraisal under the following criteria:
- Accessibility and Social Inclusion,
- Integration, and
- Physical Activity.
The Stage 2 assessment and appraisal will lead to the identification of the best performing option or combination of options, which will be taken forward as the preferred option. This will be displayed at a future public consultation, which is expected to take place in Summer 2021.