Unionists envious of Republics roads infrastructure?

Donegal man Mark Tighe has been finding out what Unionist public representatives in the west of Northern Ireland think of the vast improvement in the roads infrastructure just over the border in the Republic.

“When we started our service 25 years ago the only good road was in the north from Lifford to Aughnacloy,” said James McGinley, who operates daily coach services from Donegal to Dublin. “It’s the total opposite now. Lifford to Aughnacloy is the worst bit.”

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10 thoughts on “Unionists envious of Republics roads infrastructure?

  1. Not just in the “west of Northern Ireland”, but also the middle and the bottom bit. Driving from Draperstown to Dublin recently I was almost screaming with frustration until I got over the border and back into the 21st century ….

    Stephen Copeland

  2. Stephen,

    This seems like a conversation that could have some useful outcomes if we have specifics. Namely, which bits had you screaming?

  3. Mick,

    The narrowness of the roads in the north from Draperstown to the border at Newry. The single lanes which meant that you go at the speed of the slowest vehicle (take your pick: school bus, tractor, lorry, slow driver, farmer pulling a trailor … ). The windyness which stops you overtaking. The general lack of by-passes around the towns. All in all, I was very frustrated. But once across the border, and onto dual carriageway pretty much all the way to Dublin, and without having to go through any small towns, it was fine.

    I have the same sensation on roads in other “western” parts of the north, though not in the Belfast area where the roads are at least up to medium standard.

    Stephen Copeland.

  4. You’d hardly expect the UK government to invest in infrastructure that’ll soon be in another jurisdiction! 😉

  5. Actually very, very little of infrastructure spending these days comes from Europe. IIRC the maximum now is 15% from EU funds on projects in the BMW region. Almost all infrastructual spending in the Republic is from central taxation, about €6.5bn a year.

  6. Living in Canada where some of the roads are straight for 100 miles or more, I quite like my trips back to Ireland. The road over the Sperrins from Draperstown to Strabane is really spectacular. I think the degree of frustration is directly related to the pace of your life.
    Sometimes, just stop for a few minutes, get out of the car, and soak in the magnificent surroundings.

  7. While it may be true that a lower percentage of the funding for new road projects is coming from Europe, the fact remains that most of the improvements in our road system in the last 15 years were paid for by EU structural funding handouts.

    I have to say that I regret the way that this money (that will never come our way again) was spent. I have recently come back from Athens and I was in Lisbon twice in the past three years. There the governments have used the money to build or extend metro lines, something which is sadly lacking in Dublin.

    When you consider that up to one third of the population of this country live in the greater Dublin area and that commuting times are among the worst in Europe, it would have benefitted far more people had the money been spent of developing public transport in Dublin than the countless by-passes that affect a far smaller number of people.

  8. I drove those Donegal roads for years while the NRA had them torn up. Thank you NRA for the Donegal bypass.

    Thank you NRA for the Dublin beltway. Christ, you used to have to be Snake Plissken to escape Dublin.

    On the other hand, five years ago I was driving the Cork road from Dublin and hit a pothole that knocked the car out of gear.

    Then again, we have potholes on the road to Desolation Wilderness that a jeep fits in.

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