Transport 21 – fancy name or a real plan?

The launch of the Irish government’s 10-year transport plan, which envisages pumping 34 billion euros (or 9 million euros a day) into the country’s transport infrastructure has met with varied responses.

The plan includes the completion of five major intercity motorways within the next five years, linking Dublin to Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Belfast and Galway.

There are also plans to improve strategic road links with Northern Ireland and the North West by upgrading the N2, N3 and N4.

There will also, supposedly, be an integrated transport system for Dublin, with seven new Luas projects, two Metro lines, an underground station at St. Stephen’s Green integrating all services, the partial re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor and the creation of an Atlantic road corridor, running from Donegal to Limerick, Cork and Waterford.

Throw in some new commuter rail services for Cork City and
Galway City and that’s the lot spent.

According to Fianna Fail, this can all be delivered on time and in budget.

Fine Gael have called the plan a “political con job”, which is the reheating of projects dating back to 1998 while Eamon Ryan of the Greens said he was “deeply sceptical of the Government’s ability to deliver”.

The plan to wait nine years to open the Western Rail Corridor has also come in for strong criticism, with the West on Track group saying the “timescale is unrealistic”.