I welcome this question. I understand the significance and I acknowledge the importance of these routes to the Deputy's county and to the public he represents. These routes are under consideration and have not been finalised, and this is the right time to raise these concerns.
Once funding arrangements have been put in place through the Department of Transport under the Roads Act 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, in conjunction with the local authorities. Overall, TII is responsible for the delivery of the national roads programme in accordance with Project Ireland 2040 and the national development plan, NDP. In this context, TII provides the Department with regular updates on its delivery of the national roads programme.
Within the overall context of Project Ireland 2040, the NDP was developed to underpin the successful implementation of the national planning framework, NPF. This provides the strategic and financial framework for the national roads programme for the period from 2018 to 2027. The focus of TII's activities is, accordingly, being directed towards the development of the major national road improvement schemes that are included in the NDP along with the maintenance of the existing national road network.
The programme for Government includes a commitment to bring forward the review of the NDP from 2022 and to use the review to set out an updated NDP for the period out to 2030. The review of the NDP will be aligned with the NPF and Project Ireland 2040 and work is under way within the Department, in conjunction with TII, to contribute to this review. I will take this opportunity to highlight that all projects, including those listed in the NDP or any revision to the NDP, require statutory approval and compliance with the public spending code.
The N24 Limerick to Waterford road improvement project is divided into two sections. These are the N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction and the N24 Waterford to Cahir. The N24 is a national primary road connecting Limerick to Waterford, running through Tipperary town, Cahir, Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel. The proposed N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction project would consist of approximately 35 km of road improvement works between Cahir in Tipperary and Limerick Junction. The study area associated with the proposed project would include bypasses of Tipperary town and Bansha. The proposed N24 Waterford to Cahir project would consist of approximately 60 km of road improvement works.
These projects would address a core priority under the NPF, to enhance and upgrade accessibility between urban centres of population and their regions, namely, Limerick and Waterford city. In addition, the proposed projects would lead to an improvement in efficiency of the N24 route, which could have positive economic and social benefits for Tipperary, stimulating employment, social inclusion and tourism in the area. The route also forms part of the strategic link between Shannon Foynes Port via the N69 and the ports of Waterford and Rosslare Europort via the N25.
Through the provision of more reliable and safer journeys, both projects would aim to enhance regional accessibility and improve connectivity between Limerick and Waterford. The N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction project would also provide the opportunity to provide better connectivity with public transport through direct access to the train stations in Cahir and Limerick Junction, which would encourage the use of public transport in the area. Improved journey time certainty would act as an enabler to economic growth and urban environment improvements would have positive social benefits for local residents.
In addition, the proposed N24 Waterford to Cahir project would improve the quality of life of commuters and local residents, through improved journey times and the provision of new cycling and walking facilities. It is envisaged that the N24 would connect to the Kilkenny greenway, which would run from New Ross to Waterford City. This would encourage tourism in the region and promote physical activity.
On the proposed N24 Cahir to Limerick project, technical advisors were appointed by Tipperary County Council, in association with Limerick City and County Council, and they are undertaking early planning and design work. A public consultation on the project's constraints took place in the first quarter of 2021 informing the options selection stage, with the short-listed transport corridors expected to be unveiled in mid-2021. Tipperary County Council has advised TII that the scheme will be going to public consultation on 25 June for a six-week period ending on 6 August, 2021.
On the proposed N24 Waterford to Cahir project, Kilkenny County Council has appointed Arup as technical advisers. The activities for phase 1, concept and feasibility, are complete, while phase 2, the route options selection, has commenced and a virtual public consultation on constraints took place from 4 May 2021 until 1 June 2021. It is expected to have the short-listed transport corridors identified in late 2021 and the preferred route identified in the third quarter of 2022.
The N20 is a national primary road connecting the cities of Cork and Limerick. As a critical route in the region, the proposed project consists of the replacement of 80 km of the existing roadway. The N20 is a strategically important route and the proposed project aims to enhance regional accessibility by improving the network connecting the cities of Cork and Limerick, allowing for balanced regional growth. The NDP sets out that the N20-M20 Cork to Limerick project would provide better connectivity between Ireland's second and third largest cities, by improving the quality of the transport network, which will address safety issues associated with the existing N20 route and provide for safer and more efficient journey times. Increased capacity and more reliable journey times provided by the project would provide express intercity bus services the opportunity to use the network, which would promote road-based public transport in the region and lead to positive environmental impacts.