New motorway in south Kilkenny back in spotlight as objections mount to M20 plans
Calls are being made to revive plans for a new motorway that would travel for more than 20km through county Kilkenny.
The mooted M24 motorway connecting Waterford-Limerick is being promoted once more following criticism of plans and route for the M20 Cork – Limerick motorway.
If constructed, the M24 would create 22km of motorway in the south of the county from the Grannagh interchange to Three Bridges in Carrick-on-Suir. The motorway would also by-pass Carrigeen, Mooncoin and Piltown.
In 2017 Kilkenny, Tipperary and Waterford local authorities threw their weight behind the M24 motorway, which would intersect at Cahir in county Tipperary, joining the M8 Dublin-Cork motorway.
Supporters say the M24 would alleviate the need for the M20 by connecting Munster’s cities while also creating a Western Corridor that would run from Cork and Waterford to Mayo up to the M17.
This week the anti-Cork Limerick Motorway Group (CLMG) reopened the debate on the value and necessity of creating a motorway exclusively between Cork and Limerick. They argue the M20 would be under-utilised, citing the capacity under use on the M8 motorway. They also argue the cost would be at least twice as expensive as the M24 solution.
Figures for the projects, drawn up in 2017, estimate the cost of completing the M24 corridor at less than €1 billion. It is estimated the cost of M20 and a motorway between Cork and Waterford would cost between €2 billion – €3 billion.