The opening of the Gort to Tuam section of the M17/M18 motorway ahead of schedule will give investors an alternative to Dublin and Leinster and provide access to a larger population and labour markets in the west of Ireland including Co Clare.
That’s according to Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen.
The minister also maintains that the extended motorway will open up Shannon Airport to more potential passengers as accessing the airport by road becomes much easier for those travelling from counties north of Clare.
“The extension of the Gort-Tuam section of the M17/M18 motorway will provide critical access to populations and the labour market in the Mid West and West, making the region more attractive to investment. Clare will be particularly well positioned between two major university and third level cities, allowing investors in the county speedy access from both. Shannon Airport should also benefit from the extension of the motorway, with more potential passengers – both business and leisure – now having motorway access to the international airport,” said Minister Breen.
“The extended motorway will open up the Wild Atlantic Way to Transatlantic traffic, giving international tourists twice the reason to chose Shannon Airport,” he added.
“Jobs tend to locate close to infrastructure and particularly good air and road infrastructure, with investors also looking to invest in areas with access to a large and skilled workforces. County Clare ticks all of these boxes and come September 27 travel by road to Shannon and Ennis from Galway and Limerick will take less than an hour,” said the Clare Minister of State.
“While multi-national companies will continue to look initially to the country’s financial and political capital, the newly extended motorway will allow such investors a real alternative, while also allowing ease of access to the capital city along the same motorway if and when necessary. The open road, or in this case motorway, is a clear indiction that the west of Ireland is open for business,” concluded Minister Breen.
The new Gort to Tuam M17 motorway is due to officially open, ahead of schedule, on September 27. The latest extension of the motor way follows a decade of planning and three years of construction by the Direct Route Consortium.