Open main menu

The N20 road is a national primary road in Ireland, connecting the cities of Cork and Limerick. Buttevant, Croom, Charleville, Mallow and Blarney are major towns along the route. A short section of the route (from Limerick to Patrickswell) is motorway standard and is designated as the M20 Motorway.

N20 road shield}}

N20 road
Route information
Length96.45 km (59.93 mi)
(bypassed destinations in italics)
Road network


N20 on the dual carriageway bypass into Limerick, approaching the exit for Dooradoyle. This section has been redesignated motorway, effective 28/8/09.
The N20 near Mallow. There is a short stretch of dual-carriageway before it reverts to the single-carriageway layout.

M20 Rosbrien Interchange (Limerick) to Patrickswell Edit

The route starts at junction 1 at the Rosbrien interchange (south of Limerick city) where it connects to the M7 and the N18 which together form the Limerick Southern Ring Road. The route continues from this interchange as motorway (see thumbnail). This route was redesignated as motorway in August 2009. The route bypasses Dooradoyle and Raheen, through which the old N20 route used to run until the early 2000s. Interchanges and link roads connect to these locations. Two further interchanges are located on the motorway, at either end of Patrickswell. At the latter, the N20 route leaves the main road (which continues as the N21 to Tralee), i.e. one must diverge from the motorway to stay on the N20.

N20 Patrickswell to Cork CityEdit

A wide two lane road brings traffic along the Croom bypass (prior to the opening of this bypass at a cost of €20 million on 12 July 2001, the route went through the town).[1] Past this new section of road, narrow two-lane road commences, ending at Charleville. The route passes through the town, running along Main Street. The road between Charleville and the next town, Buttevant is of similar design. At Mallow a relatively high specification road is encountered, with an older bypass of the town (early 1990s) passing up the hill from it as dual carriageway. A viaduct brings the road across the Blackwater River and Valley. The rest of the route to Cork is of high quality wide two lane, with a section of 2+1 road (a pilot installation) south of Mallow. The route becomes dual carriageway on the approach to Cork. New relief roads in Cork bring the route into the city centre while avoiding the winding streets through which the route ran until around 2000.

M20 motorwayEdit

The M20 outside Limerick city approaching junction 2 northbound
A "Route Confirmatory Sign" (Refer to Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 1 Clause 1.1.29) on the M20 showing distances to destinations


M20 motorway
Route information
Part of  
Length8 km (5 mi)
Planned length: 90 km (56 mi)
HistoryPostponed due to lack of funding
Major junctions
Cork City, County Cork, Limerick
Road network

Under the government's cancelled Transport 21 initiative,[2] the Atlantic Corridor road project aimed to link Letterkenny to Waterford via Limerick and Cork with high quality roadway. A major part of this project involved the upgrading of the N20 route between Cork and Limerick.

It was proposed to upgrade or replace the entire N20 with a new M20 motorway, approximately 90 km (56 mi) in length, with up to eight newly constructed junctions or re-configured junctions. It was to be constructed in two stages: a southern section and a northern section.[3] It is hoped that this project will be progressed as a PPP scheme. Details of progress on the scheme can be found on the Cork National Roads Office website.[4]

The first segment of M20 motorway came into existence on 28 August 2009 following the approval by the Minister for Transport to redesignate a 10 km (6 mi) of existing N20 dual-carriageway between Rossbrien and Attyflin as motorway.[5]

On 10 November 2011, owing to funding issues caused by the Irish financial crisis, the government announced that the planned completion of the M20 motorway is to be shelved for the foreseeable future, along with a number of other infrastructural projects.

In 2013, the National Roads Authority carried out an extensive upgrade of all directional road signage along the N20 national route, fuelling speculation that it will be some time before plans for a new motorway from Limerick to Cork are revisited.

In October 2017, it was announced by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the new motorway is due to be built by 2023, projected to cost over €800 million. It has been described as one of the biggest infrastructure projects of its kind for many years in Ireland.[6]



Northbound exits (read up) Junction Southbound exits (read down)
Dublin (M7  ), Limerick, Galway (N18)   Start of motorway
Dooradoyle (R926)   Dooradoyle(R926)
Raheen(R510)   Raheen(R510)
Patrickswell(R526)   Patrickswell(R526)
Start of motorway   Cork, Mallow (N20)

Tralee, Castleisland, Adare (N21)

 (planning frozen)
Northbound exits (read up) Junction Southbound exits (read down)
Adare (N21), Croom   Adare (N21), Croom
Bruree, Kilmallock (R518)   Bruree, Kilmallock (R518)
Charleville Services   Charleville Services
Charleville,   Charleville,
Doneraile, Mallow East (N72)   Doneraile, Mallow East (N72)
Mallow South   Mallow South
Rathduff, Grenagh   Rathduff, Grenagh
No exit   Blarney Business Park
Blarney   Blarney
Cork North Ring Road (N40)   Cork North Ring Road (N40)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Irish Times, July 13, 2001, p. 2.
  2. ^ Atlantic Corridor Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "300km of roads to be assigned as motorways". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Varadkar commits to prioritising M20 Limerick-Cork link". RTÉ News. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^

External linksEdit