Invest Big in Dublin or Ireland Will Lose Brexit Battle

Ireland will lose out on opportunities arising from Brexit unless the Government wakes up to the need to invest heavily in Dublin’s infrastructure. That was the message delivered by business group Dublin Chamber to the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Committee, Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber, the body which represents businesses in the Dublin region, warned that traffic congestion in the Greater Dublin Area is costing the Irish economy a minimum of €350 million every year - a figure that will rise to €2 billion annually by 2033, according to new figures from the Department of Transport*.

Ms Burke told the Committee that this was a conservative estimate, contrasting it with the figure of €1.2 billion per annum issued by the Dublin Transportation Office in 1997.


Chamber CEO Burke, who was presenting on the Mid-term Review of the Capital Investment Plan, argued that preparing the Greater Dublin Area for Brexit should be the overriding priority in deciding how to spend the remaining €2.655 billion in unallocated capital funds.

Ms Burke told the Committee: “Brexit is the greatest imminent challenge – and opportunity – facing Ireland. For the best national outcome, Government should use the unallocated funds to ‘Brexit-proof’ the Greater Dublin Area by achieving tangible progress on housing supply, commuting, travel times, and the quality of public transport.”

She added: “Our national capital receives the lowest per capita spend on infrastructure in the entire country according to the last published data, despite all of Ireland depending on its success to drive growth, attract investment, and to fund regional services. This cannot continue. Ireland’s future is urban. We need to start investing in infrastructure in a way that respects and reflects where the Irish people are actually choosing to live in their greatest numbers.”

Need for Longer-Term Thinking

The Dublin Chamber CEO also called for Government to consider a longer timeframe in its next capital plan.

Ms Burke said: “Ireland has a problem of short-term thinking with respect to projects of long-term importance. The present Capital Plan is an example. At just six years in length, it is much shorter than the project lifespans of some of the most important projects it includes, e.g. Metro North. The next capital plan should have a 20-year timeframe and be aligned to other long-term strategies."

Government Must Prioritise Projects

Speaking to the Committee, the Chamber urged the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform to allow for comparison of major infrastructure projects by publishing meaningful cost benefit analysis, in tandem with the outcome of the new Capital plan.

Ms Burke said: “The Metro North and DART Underground projects should be prioritised above all, as these will have a national impact. Ireland urgently needs a rail link between our national airport and the centre of our national capital. The absence of this modern amenity makes an underwhelming impression on potential investors. Metro North is also needed to serve the rapidly growing commuter area of north county Dublin. The population of Fingal has grown by more than the entire province of Connacht since 2011.”

She added: “DART Underground, which would unify Ireland’s rail network while easing urban congestion, has been talked about for almost a half century now. Real action is long overdue. The remaining four years of the Capital Plan should be sufficient to make meaningful progress on these two vital projects.”

The Chamber CEO further contended that having maximised progress towards Metro North and DART Underground, the focus should be on improving the existing public transport system.

“Enhancement of Dublin’s bus services, upgrades to the ticketing and payment system, improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure, and co-location of complementary services, should all be considered. These are all areas where substantial gains can be achieved in a short timeframe and with a relatively low outlay,” she said.

* The figures were released by the Department on April 12th 2017 in response to a Parliamentary Question by Deputy John Lahart TD.

Dublin Chamber
Dublin_Brexit_Battle
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Two men and two women have been charged with impeding the investigation into the murder of Patricia O’Connor, whose dismembered remains were found in the Dublin-Wicklow Mountains last year. Augustine O'Connor, 74, of Mill Close, Clasheen, Stamullen, Co Meath, his daughter Louise O'Connor, 40, of Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, her ex-partner Keith Johnson, 41, of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght and Ms O'Connor's daughter, Stephanie, 20, of Lower Gardiner Street...
Society
A 21-year-old Italian man has been found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to an Irishman outside Anfield in Liverpool earlier this year. Filippo Lombardi from Rome had pleaded not guilty to the attack on 53-year-old Sean Cox outside a Liverpool versus Roma Champions' League semi-final match on 24 April - writes rte.ie The prosecution case was that another man, referred to in court as N40, threw the punch that hit Mr Cox but Mr Lombardi swung a be...
Society
National Slow Down day, an operation aimed at getting motorists to watch their speed on roads, got under way this morning. The 24-hour operation came into force at 7am and will continue until 7am tomorrow. It consists of high visibility speed enforcement in over 1,000 enforcement zones, as well as the delivery of a road safety message through the use of national, local and social media. The objective of the operation is to reduce the number of speed-relate...
Society
Housing and homeless agency Novas, which works with vulnerable individuals and families in Limerick and the mid-west, has said it helped over 4,500 people last year. In its annual report released today, it warns of the worrying trend that those becoming homeless are getting younger. Novas works with homeless people, and those at risk of becoming homeless, in Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary. The escalation of the homelessness crisis, coupled with more people...
Society
Irish baby name trends have taken a such a drastic turn in the past century some are becoming extinct, research has revealed. While some new entries gained traction in recent years, there are still timeless favourites that soar high on the popularity scale. The Ancestry.ie survey identified Adam and Harry as the favourite names among boys, seeing a 1,396% and 979% percentage increase since 1917 respectively. They are followed by Luke, Aidan and Mark to for...
Incidents
One person was hospitalised after a crash between a horse and carriage and a car overnight. Two fire engines and an ambulance were called after the crash at 2:30am on the junction of Eccles Street and Dorset Street. The man at the helm of the cart was brought to hospital although his injuries were not believed to be serious. The horse bolted for about 100 metres after being startled by the crash but was uninjured. The carriage however received heavy damage...
Society
A grieving Dublin woman said she is still in shock that her elderly mother died from spilling a cup of tea. Daphne Anderson (91) - originally from Glasnevin - died from sepsis, which she contracted in hospital while being treated for scalding injuries. Daphne's daughter Audrey told The Herald that her mother had been fit and active prior to the injury. She said: "My mother was fit and in good health. I can't believe that spilling a cup of tea could have ki...
Society
Passengers were left frustrated at the weekend as Aer Lingus was forced to cancel two flights at late notice. People hoping to fly to JFK Airport in New York on Saturday afternoon were angered when the flight was cancelled. Aer Lingus flight EI109 was due to leave Dublin for JFK at 4:10pm but was cancelled just hours before. Many holiday-makers were sat in the airport at the time waiting for information when the news broke the flight would not be in operat...
Incidents
Vandals who set fire to two taxis over the past four days in Crumlin have been condemned as "scumbags". One cab was burnt out on Friday night, followed by another this morning. The Dublin Taxi Drivers Facebook page shared images of the destroyed vehicles this afternoon and urged people in the area to be aware of any suspicious behaviour. In the post, the group wrote: "Two taxis burnt down in Crumlin, Friday night and one this morning on Sundrive road! "Be...