Ahern to rid Dublin of that troublesome bridge?

On the front page of the (all new, all signing and dancing) Irish Times site is the story of what exactly Bertie plans to do with all those scrimped up tax Euros. No tax cuts (maybe), but he is going to buy back that hideous bridge on Dublin’s West Link for the state. If you are unfamiliar with the problem, check out Shane Ross’s motion in the Seanad.

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  • smcgiff

    Election for Sale – Roll up, roll up – Election for Sale!

  • He can’t be doing with tailbacks when he’s tearing round the country canvassing.

  • páid

    Am I alone in casting my eyes to heaven when I read today that Google are going to employ 800 more in Dublin?
    And the IDA tell us you get 4 spinoff jobs for every new one.
    All these people require houses, cars, roadspace etc.

    Anyone else thinking it’s about time “House Full” notices were erected on the approach roads to Dublin?

  • Henry94

    páid

    Am I alone in casting my eyes to heaven when I read today that Google are going to employ 800 more in Dublin?

    I hope so. Here’s to it and more of it.

  • Bog warrior

    A fair point Paid. I was in Dublin a couple of weeks ago for meetings and the road infrastructure is creaking (although its not much better up North just the economy isn’t doing as well so we don’t notice as much). At least there’s some investment in public transport and if they continue to develop new Luas lines and the new metro to the ariport that would help ease things. The problem will remain though with the commuters from up to a fifty mile radius around Dublin whose only realistic option is to drive to work. As for housing and house prices in and around Dublin scary.

  • Brendan

    I don’t find that bridge ‘hideous’ at all. Its well engineered and has never been closed in windy conditions.
    You should really be asking why this bridge which we tax-payers paid for (not you Mick) was privatised in the first place. We paid for it to be buit and now we have paid something like 5 times the original price to National Toll Roads Limited.
    It is another clear example that privitising National assets just ends up with 5km traffic jams and undiluted corporate greed.
    And with all the congestion problems we have in Dublin, still the superior Republic is to build roads in the failed statelet occupied by another country ??!! The mind boggles.

  • Mick Fealty

    Brendan.

    Interesting. Do you have good detail on how it was funded in the first place? If so, it would be worth adding to the relevant wikipedia site as well as sharing with us here. It looks like it’s going to cost a cool €600 million to buy back.

    On the hideousness of the bridge, it is the queues that make it so, not the architecture. Take away the toll and the bridge largely becomes invisible to the average motorist!

    As for investing in roads in Northern Ireland, you clearly don’t have many friends or relatives in Donegal!

  • smcgiff

    Paid,

    ‘Am I alone in casting my eyes to heaven when I read today that Google are going to employ 800 more in Dublin?’

    They already employ 800 – the news was an additional 500. There was only 5 employees in Dublin 2 years ago, so watch this space…

    Mick,

    Bertie came out tonight and said it wouldn’t happen. Buying the bridge that is.

  • páid

    I stand corrected smcgiff.

  • Brendan

    M50 TOLL BRIDGE HISTORY

    First Bridge
    The West-Link Toll Bridge Agreement was concluded between the then Dublin County Council and West-Link Toll Bridge Limited in 1987, and was subject to the approval of the Department of the Environment in accordance with the legislation applicable at the time.
    The West-Link Toll Bridge Agreement provided for the construction, maintenance and operation of 3.2km of motorway on the M50 between the N3 and the N4 interchanges as well as the West-Link Bridge spanning 385m over the Liffey valley. The cost of construction was approximately €38 million. The project, which was one of the first sections of the M50 Dublin C-Ring to be completed, opened to traffic in 1990.

    The Toll Agreement provides that the Toll Company (NTR plc.) has, until the expiry of the agreement in the year 2020, the exclusive right to toll traffic travelling on the M50 between the N4 (Galway Road interchange) and the N3 (Navan Road interchange).

    The agreement was signed by Mr George Redmond, the Dublin assistant county manager
    The agreement was signed by Mr Pádraig Flynn, the Minister for the Environment
    The Taoiseach at the time was Mr Charles Haughey
    Mr Liam Lawlor later received £IR74,000 from NTR for allegedly writing a number of reports on the economics of road-tolling.
    Note 1:
    Mr Redmond later received a payment from late Tom Roche, the founder of NTR.
    Note 2:
    Mr Flynn later received a political donation from NTR.
    Note 3:
    Mr Lawlor later received a number of political donations from late Tom Roche the founder of NTR.

    Second Bridge
    Under Section 66 of the Roads Act, 1993, the National Roads Authority took over all the functions, rights and liabilities of the former Dublin County Council in relation to the Toll Agreement, as part of revised statutory arrangements relating to toll roads. The Authority was obliged to enter into exclusive negotiations with NTR for the Second West-Link Bridge as under the 1987 West-Link Agreement concluded between NTR and Dublin County Council, NTR have the exclusive right to toll traffic travelling on the M50 between the N4 (Galway Road interchange) and the N3 (Navan Road interchange) until the expiry of the concession in 2020.