Tribune Confirms Pin Data, no Roads for the West (or south)

You may recall the story was First Broken on the Pin

The Tribune hasconfirmed that the Primary Road corridors along the Western Seaboard, ie Derry - Cork (and I take it Waterford-Limerick and Rosslare-Cork) have now been abolished by Noel Dempsey .

Therefore their upgrades will not be funded by the exchequer and Noel will declare the National Primary Road network complete for the next general election …mainly because he got rid of nearly half of it with this scam.

Dublin Metro has provisionally ballooned in cost to €7bn you see.

Fuck the west over . Pull their roads and forget about all the promises made to industry in Galway about a proper road to Shannon Airport. :frowning:

The Transport 21 plan to upgrade the Roads ( by 2021) has been now been pulled completely .

The NRA is actually looking at Tolling Gort - Crusheen for starters and then Tuam - Athenry and the Galway Outer Bypass. If they cannot raise some PPP interest the schemes are abolished. I hear interest is utterly underwhelming so far so thats that .

I would like to personally thank Frank Fahey, Chairman of the Dail Committee overseeing Transport, for keeping his own constituents informed of all these developments ( not) . Your conniving silence will not be forgotten Frankeen .

Frank made no case whatsoever for funding these corridors I am sorry to say, thats either in private or in public.

Here is text of the Trib confirmation .

I can’t see investing privately in the Gort Bypass being a safe bet. With rising Oil prices people will need to reduce the long distance commutes etc.

The amount of traffic on that road at the moment would not make it a goldmine at the moment anyway.

Don’t overestimate the increase in petrol/diesel prices - yes it is big and will get bigger (I read somewhere that we are only paying the prices of three months ago, but can’t remember the site). It costs me 50 euro to fill up my car and with that I can travel from one end of the country to the other and most of the way back. At any time I choose. Doorstep to doorstep. Try that on public transport and see how much it sets you back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of public transport, but there aren’t words to describe how bad it is in Ireland, particularly when you get out of the smoke and even in it. It takes the best part of a day to get from anywhere to anywhere else (more than a taxi journey away). Example, Tullamore to Waterford - there are two buses a day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, unless you want to go on Sunday in which case there is only one bus that gets into Waterford too late to use public transport to go anywhere else.

It’s also not cheap and it certainly isn’t cheerful.

So, my rather long-winded point is that a higher oil price isn’t going to stop journeys, not unless it gets an awful lot higher - to the point where a non-renewable resource is more expensive than a pint of beer.

In fairness, if you want to link these two points I think some context is necessary. As the Western Development Commission are happy to tell us in their material

I think this material should be enough to explain why its hardly remarkable that additional transport infrastructure for the West is hardly a critical priority at this time.

It might also be pointed out that, if air access for Galway is a priority, where does the recent State investments in Galway Airport and Knock Airport fit into the mix? Knock would certainly see itself as the airport for the West. If an improved road link between Galway and Shannon is the critical priority for the region, why is this development not being prioritised by the political realm?

I suppose the key point I’m making is that its not that the East is taking infrastructure investment intended for the West. Its that resources are invested in the West, but apparantly not to the priority being identified here.

Suggesting the Metro should be delayed doesn’t seem to make much sense. Suggesting Knock Airport isn’t the priority for improving air access for the West does seem to make sense, if industry are genuinely seeing more potential in a road link to Shannon.

Knock is a bit of a white elephant and in the wrong location. There’s far more people, and business, in the Galway-Limerick corridor and any good airport needs to be handy for that entire region…hence Shannon as the logical choice as a hub for infrastructure serving both cities.

Knock is too far from Limerick to be any use for business there, and it’s also a dead run for truckers. If you pick up a box of widgets from factory A in Galway you could organise a chain of pickups and dropoffs from Galway through Ennis to Shannon to Limerick, making money with a full truck the whole way. Who wants to drive into the middle of a bog in the arse-end of nowhere from Galway to Knock, most probably driving back to Galway with an empty (and unprofitable) truck rattling behind you?

You have evidently never gone through Claregalway or Derrydonnell or The Quincentennial Bridge in the rush hour then :frowning: Claregalway takes 30000 cars a day . Galway traffic is bad , very bad . Thats very bad as in very bad.

Having said that I see ingress as a much greater priority than the outer bypass which is why I concern myself with the N18 issue .

Galway Airport should not receive any further subsidies of any sort once the N6 to Dublin and the N18 to Shannon are built , its too small a site to ever be useful long term .

I fundamentally fail to see the case for Metro West , its a sort of join the skangers line to my mind!

Otherwise I have no issue with any of the Dublin projects as envisaged and nor should they be deprioritised or delayed beyond 2015 as also looks likely ( now 2017) .

Neither should the N18 or the main routes within 20 miles of Cork Limerick and Waterford … whatever about the more rural stretches of teh Atlantic corridor.

Yet they have been well kyboshed for Metro Skanger.

Feel free to take the matter up with the Western Development Commission, and duly chastise them for given us inaccurate information.

That would sound sensible.

In fairness, if the numbers don’t add up for a particular project it should not be done. For the sake of argument, there was an article in the papers in recent weeks where the assessment of a proposed Dublin Luas route was negative, and the conclusion seemed to be not to proceed as it just wouldn’t pay. That’s as it should be.

Thats should have read

“Galway Airport together with any airline flying out of it should not receive any further subsidies of any sort once the N6 to Dublin and the N18 to Shannon are built , its too small a site to ever be useful long term .”

But Shannon and its hinterland is also being crippled by the lack of a proper road network to its north .

There never was a case for Knock but the parish priest gouged Charlie and Garrett to waste money building it in the 1980s .

Its runway is shorter than Dublins , 2300m vs 2600m so chill.

Then again Dublin just recently got permission for a 3100m runway when a 747 requires 3400m for an ultra long haul hop .

Seems somewhat stupid to me and then the same airport management tells us all about their skyscraper city plan last week…at the end of teh new and old runways of ALL places.

You cannot blame the culchies of the management in Dublin Airport are simply muppets .

But, in fairness, it wasn’t just down to one priest. If what the West really needed was a road from Galway to Shannon, why was Knock Airport allowed to become the political priority?

But longer than Cork’s, so if we’ve any real commitment to regional development we shouldn’t be chilling as Knock is a prime example of how resources just get pure wasted. Christy Moore writes a song about it, and we’re all supposed to smile and forget this is why things are not as good as they could be.

Its also true that lengthening the runway - while on the cards - doesn’t seem to be the immediate priority for the DAA, although they do have interest from Asian carriers for direct flights that can only become a reality with that longer runway. That said, I suppose they can argue that they’ve a facility that’s inadequate for the passengers they serve currently - so that needs to be addressed first.

In fairness, I’d allocate blame where it belongs. The short runway is a result of the Shannon stopover. That’s where the responsibility lies.

I’ve actually an openness to giving DAA management a fair hearing for a few reasons.

Firstly, for Dublin Airport to grow its passengers despite an inadequate facility means someone in there knows how to run a business. There’s plenty of other airports in the world with spare capacity that would love to fill their empty terminals with Dublin’s traffic. (My worry is that some, but by no means all, folk seem so much entralled by the anti-Dublin fetish that they’d actually rather see the business go abroad at Ireland’s cost rather than let Dublin get it.)

Secondly, Airport management actually did foresee the need to invest in additional capacity. But they were not allowed to because of politics - recall all the dithering over whether there should be a second terminal built with private money, and the other issue about whither the low fares terminal. To avoid offending either unions or private sector lobbyists, Government kicked to touch and postponed any decision until the problem just could not be ignored.

Lastly, if we take the tiny terminal as a given, I actually think DAA front line staff make reasonable efforts to manage queues and get people through the airport as efficiently as possible.

Which, to end with a confusing sentence, means I’d blame whoever needs to be blamed for whatever blame is due. The Shannon lobby did a lot of damage to Ireland. Knock certainly didn’t help.

Irrespective of where the blame lies Dublin Airport remains a loathsome shithole of an airport whan compared to , say , Schiphol .

Thats not to say it can’t be fixed …but not by building Skyscrapers.

Arguably the core business in Dublin Airport is carparks out in Meath somewhere and the biggest shopping centre in Ireland and their international duty free franchises .

Now skyscrapers, jeez :frowning:

Get back to running an airport willye.

Why not develop Shannon so?

Limerick has a good reputation for technology and FDI. Also it’s pretty much a green-field city with lots of space – a blank canvas if you like.

I’d be all for a vision for Shannon/Cork/Galway/Knock/wherever. Trouble is, there is no vision. Even if there was a vision (and I’m not talking about visions of Our Lady at Knock), the other regions would get so jealous, the political fall-out and infighting would lead to the project being: a) a half-arsed attempt at keeping everyone happy, b) an act of political suicide – to permanently downgrade many regions so as to provide support for Ireland’s second economic engine would bring down a government.

We need political leadership one way or another (and not of the fudge/half-arsed/keep-everyone-happy variety)

Indeed, but I think its always good to try to understand how we got to where we are. Bear in mind, there’s still folk out there who talk as if the plan was for Dublin to get all this business. Memories seem frightening short on this - does anyone even recall that Martin Cullen was dispatched to Washington to use some of our scarce political capital lobbying to exempt the Shannon stopover from the Open Skies regime or at least extend it for as long as possible?

I’ve no firm opinion one way or the other on this airport business park idea. I’ve an element of worry that growth in air transport must eventually find either an environmental limit or an energy cost limit. On the other hand, it would seem rather silly to have the 14th largest international passenger airport and not try to leverage that for some advantage.

I’d take it that all airports work on the basis of generating whatever income they can from related sources. That’s not to say the DAA plan is brilliant - but I would give them a fair hearing.

We’ve been trying to do that for decades at enormous cost, but not much has been achieved. We built it, but they stopped coming. We stopped people from going anywhere else, but they still didn’t come.

Fair point.

But to what extent has investment in Shannon been below mediocre as a result of other competing regions – Cork/Galway/Knock?

Would you be open to the idea of choosing one region and going with it heart-and-soul? I.e. get the whole country behind the idea?

Is it even politically possible to tell the likes of Cork/Galway/Knock that they’re destined for permanent large-town status?!

We could have a national competition – representative gombeens from all regions could club together, form teams and have one big political jousting session live on Radio Teilifis Eireann!

I think the best answer to that question is on Page 19, Table 13 of this publication. The key point is the level of economic value produced compared to share of the labour force. The Mid West region produces 7.5% of national value, with 8.5% of the workforce. In other words, the product of the workforce in the region is not especially valuable. This illustrates that the jobs in Shannon (contrary to popular belief) are not really high value and that it is not a business cluster of national significance. I know this point can be a bit of a struggle to accept, as we’d all (even me) feel that we could hardly have put all that resource in place for no gain. But consider that if the presence of Shannon is invisible in regional statistics, then its doubly invisible at the national level. (Incidently, I’m just using the CSO release as its readily available. Business and Finance published a more detailed analysis a year or two ago similarly saying the incentives given in Shannon for decades had failed to produce a high value cluster of significance.)

The South West region does seem to have relatively high value employment (17.4% of national value produced by 14.4% of the national workforce), illustrating (I feel) that Cork City has definite potential, despite the absence of the kinds of incentives given to the Mid West.

Absolutely, but I guess we know the problem is getting that commitment in a context where, for the sake of argument, Kilkenny obstructs Waterford. Also we need to be mindful that, for the foreseeable, Dublin is the only location with the potential to register internationally. And that’s not to pretend that Dublin is a wonder of the world. It’s just to suggest that Dublin can compete as a location with many cities in Europe, in a league that no other Irish location can. Putting it plainly, its possible to picture a company seeing Dublin as an alternative location to regional cities in large countries, like Manchester, or capitals of mid to small EU countries, like Stockholm. Its much, much harder to see a company picking Castlebar as an alternative to locating in Lisbon, with proximity to Knock Airport being the factor that swung the decision, even if we put in a bullet train connecting the town to the airport.

An interesting idea – could it even be a real jousting session? I love the picture of Jackie Healy-Rae squeezed into a suit of armour, battling it out with his peers.

Meh. As usual, we went about it in a half-arsed incompetent way and then act all surprised when it falls on its face.

Shannon airport, between two cities with respected universties, Limerick and Galway. It should be a no-brainer to hook up the airport to the two nearby cities with proper high-speed road and rail links and let the synergies, educated workforce, existing FDI, university incubator parks etc etc just bubble away creating real wealth. It should be easy. It’s still not too late, could be done in less than 2 years for a couple of hundred million. But nooooooooo, let’s spend 30 years farting about with half-hearted half-baked platitudes and plamás and very little in the way of coherent thought or action instead. Sure that always works in Ireland.

The catalogue of complete failure and monumentally stupid decision making (and decision dodging) is of such a mindboggling scale that I no longer believe it is by accident. There’s just no way every single decision made in the public sector consistently over decades could be so deranged. Just no way all these schemes by-amazing-coincidence fall on their arses because of truly dumb decisions by Government.

All these things are designed to fail. And the incidence of schemes being designed to fail soared during the Ahern era. Funny, that.

“The Transport 21 plan to upgrade the Roads ( by 2021) has been now been pulled completely”

irish solution to an irish problem (ripped that off from another post but it’s just so true!)

how do we bring the project in on time Tayto?
Easy, we scrap half of it and then get the first half done in time and give ourselves a big
pat on the back!
What if people cop on though Tayto?
Then y’do the f"ckin’ breathin! do more of the breathing! ‘oh danny boy’…

Sounds like the leprechaun brothers in action:

I don’t think this accurately captures the situation with regard to Shannon. We invested a squad of resources, put in a runway capable of taking all kinds of aircraft (as we know its even able to take the A380). We established a dedicated industrial development agency and resourced it. We created a special tax regime (I know we now just have one low tax regime for the whole country, but for a sustained period Shannon had an extra incentive). We placed a physical block on Dublin taking long haul flights by stunting its runway, in addition to the stopover regime. The stopover may be gone, but that stunted runway remains. Shannon is the only airport in the State capable of taking the A380.

I really don’t think that pile of costly incentives can be described as half assed. Nor do I think we can explain its total failure by reference to the need for a better road to Galway. I think the message is pretty clear that the conditions just were not present that could make something out of those incentives - with the proof of the pudding being the eating.

I suppose what I’m saying is we have to push past just saying decisions were ‘dumb’ as I don’t think that actually catches the reality that its hard to see what more could have been done for Shannon. Yes, we could build a road to Galway. Would we then start saying we need to build the road on to Sligo. At what point do we actually admit that we built it but they didn’t come?

I think Cork might have been (while hating to use those three little words) a better candidate. For one thing, picking up on something you said, UL and UCG actually aren’t particularly rated as third level institutions. In fact no Irish universities score particularly well in international comparisons. The only ones that manage to register at all are TCD, UCD and UCC. So, again, if we’re looking for somewhere that has a potential to succeed outside Dublin, its actually Cork that we should be looking to.

We spend faaaar too much on roads anyway. All other things being equal, a cut in the immense splurging we do on roads is a good thing.

90% of the people who drive would get to where they’re going quicker on a well-sprung motorbike, pay less for parking, pay less for fuel and cause far less global warming.

Naturally this goes as much for Dublin as it does for the West. But excessive driving and road-building is the problem. If it’s curtailed in a certain region but not in others, that’s unjust but arguably better than it being curtailed in NO regions.