Cork Chamber highlights the importance of maximising our regional strategic employment areas, one of which is Ringaskiddy; our strategic international connectivity assets, Port of Cork; and our overall regional socio-economic development potential. It is crucial as a region that we facilitate the development that will meet the needs of future population target projections, facilitate jobs growth and increase national resilience in an increasingly uncertain geo-political environment.
The support of Cork Chamber for the M28 project is underpinned by the social and economic benefits that this development will bring to the region. In brief, we see this development as:
- facilitating future economic development, investment, employment growth and long-term competitiveness
- safeguarding current and future employment, research and educational assets located in Ringaskiddy and ensuring the viability of their location, and growing opportunities within the blue economy
- facilitating the growth of port capacity (as an island nation we are heavily dependent on sea based trade with up to 90% of trade done by sea) which is particularly important given the future need for direct sea routes to Europe as a result of Brexit
- countering daily traffic congestion; facilitating the flow of people (commuter and residents), goods and services
- enabling safer access for residential and business communities accessing the N40 South Link Road and national routes
- enabling improvements in public transport options for commuters and residents
- catalysing wider regional development, including development of the tourism sector and facilitating development of the Cork Docklands
1. Developments at Ringaskiddy
Firstly, we highlight a number of subsequent developments which have come to the fore and which we believe are highly relevant in this decision making process. The pharma/life sciences sector is a significant contributor to the local and national economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of our fastest-growing sectors. In Ringaskiddy alone, one fifth of the nationally estimated 25,000 people working in the pharma/life sciences industry are based in companies located there.
Ringaskiddy is a strategic employment area. In recent months planning permissions have been secured for a number of sites in Ringaskiddy, bringing positive jobs announcements for the region. We believe these announcements reflect the potential of Ringaskiddy and its importance as a local and national economic growth driver.
Jannsen Sciences Ireland UC announced an investment of over €300m at their Ringaskiddy site, to include a site expansion and creation of 200 jobs, with 450 construction jobs during the 2 year construction period.
BioMarin officially opened the new expansion at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. in Shanbally in July 2017, adding up to 50 new positions.
GE Healthcare are investing €150 million in the development of a biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus, and establishing an advanced manufacturing training centre as part of this. This development will create up to 500 jobs, and will provide training for up to 1,500 professionals per year.
There is planning for a significant new housing development within close proximity of the route corridor in Carrigaline.
Commitment to other road projects such as the M20 Cork – Limerick Motorway, the Dunkettle Interchange upgrade linking in with the M8, and a future Northern Ring Road. Each of these projects must be considered in tandem with the M28 and will ensure an integrated transport network across Cork, and linking up to the industrial and shipping hub at Ringaskiddy.
Cork Chamber supports the development of the M28 which will facilitate future investment and increase the capacity and safety of the road network to meet growing usage numbers.
2. Local & International Connectivity
Secondly, the National Planning Framework is currently under development, and seeks to significantly improve local and international connectivity to underpin competitiveness and quality of life of people, businesses, communities and regions. The framework aims to grow our regions sustainably, and forecasts for population growth for the Cork region of at least 50% by 2040. Cork Chamber highlights the strategic importance of Ringaskiddy in attracting investment and future jobs creation, and highlights the importance of addressing the current infrastructure deficits.
Without investment in the M28, the route will continue to experience growing traffic volumes along the existing road, worsening current commuter and traffic bottlenecks with negative impacts on both the economy and on local communities. Cork Chamber highlights the importance of working to mitigate the effects of geo-political shocks such as Brexit on our national economy. Cork Chamber contends that an enabled Port infrastructure will be critical in diversifying and increasing the resilience of our import and export trade.
3. Road Safety
Finally, Cork Chamber highlights the benefits of motorway designation in increasing road safety for all users, decreasing the frequency of collisions along the route. Motorways are generally safer with designation bringing safety benefits by prohibiting pedestrians, cyclists, direct accesses and slow moving agricultural vehicles. There have been a number of collisions and fatalities along this route over recent months, and Cork Chamber supports the development of infrastructure that will increase safety for all road users, and which will enable the associated benefits for the broad business, commuter and residential communities living
and accessing this significantly improved transport corridor, in areas such as Ringaskiddy, Douglas/Rochestown, Carrigaline and the City.
In conclusion, Cork Chamber is supportive of the development of the M28 along this route corridor and within the proposed delivery time frame.
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