Ireland has opened a €500m bypass in the city of Waterford, built by a consortium of European companies.

The 23km toll road connects south Kilkenny village of Slieverue and Kilmeaden and will shorten the travel time from Rosslare to Cork by 20 minutes.

The road has been built by Celtic Roads Group, a consortium of Irish, Spanish and Dutch firms under the government’s Public Private Partnership programme.

The consortium will levy tolls on the road until 2036.

The project has been funded by €255m from the government and the remainder by private companies.

The bypass includes a 465m cable-stayed bridge over the River Suir linking Leinster to Munster, considered the longest cable-stayed bridge in the country.

The road is expected to cater to nearly 14,000 vehicles daily and reduce the traffic through Waterford city by 30%.