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Fine Gael's transport infrastructure policies

  • 04-07-2010 10:36am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Given the liklihood of a FG-led government in the near to medium term, and assuming that Simon Coveney takes Noel Dempsey's job, what transport infrastructure projects are likely to be prioritised by any FG-led government?

    NOTE: While this is to an extent a political thread, it is about infrastructure. Keep off-topic posts to an absolute minimum, please.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,628 ✭✭✭✭ phog


    Furet wrote: »
    Given the liklihood of a FG-led government in the near to medium term, and assuming that Simon Coveney takes Noel Dempsey's job, what transport infrastructure projects are likely to be prioritised by any FG-led government?

    NOTE: While this is to an extent a political thread, it is about infrastructure. Keep off-topic posts to an absolute minimum, please.

    Are you looking for our wish list that FG might take on board or a list of promises from FG or looking for what FG will actually do once in government?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    phog wrote: »
    Are you looking for our wish list that FG might take on board or a list of promises from FG or looking for what FG will actually do once in government?

    The latter.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Given FG's love of financial rectitude I can see the Interconnector biting the dust - hopefully. The WRC will continue northwards towards Enda country and beyond. The Waterford/Rosslare line will still close because it is an 'operational' matter for IE and there are no votes in it. The Waterford/Limerick line is possibly more secure due to voting considerations. Don't expect Labour to moderate FG either - they certainly haven't in the past.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Simon Coveney shadowed Communications for 8 years and displayed no sentient functionality in all that time.

    Things that would exercise Simon would be building the "missing link" west of Inchicore FIRST so that Cork express trains are not interminably delayed by Interconnector works going on for well over a decade and never finishing in typical IE style.

    He might be amenable to an express bus interlinking and licencing strategy a la many discussions on Boards and particularly as enunciated by Westtip and Judgement Day (IIRC )but effectively to ensure that Bus Eireann + 2 private operators are present on main corridors . Dublin to Sligo/Galway/KimerickEnnis/Cork/Waterford/Dundalk and also Sligo-Cork and Cork-Waterford and possibly Limerick-Waterford.

    He would also view the Cork-Limerick motorway as a priority scheme, unlike Dempsey and may actually produce a CPO for the Cork-Midleton widening which is more than Cullen or Dempsey did despite their myriad promises.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭ D'Peoples Voice


    The WRC will continue northwards towards Enda country and beyond.
    Actually its difficult to know

    www.bmwassembly.ie/news/conferences/05_EndaKenny.doc
    Open the Western Rail Corridor. Provide lines to Shannon and Knock. Do the 1st phase recommended, but in parallel. Clear and fence the remainder as a demonstration of commitment to finish the entire job.

    they could just rob ideas from here
    http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=4417


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    I would be quite worried about FG's transport plans. Looking at the policy section of their website, they only have 2 articles under 'Transport' - one about electric cars, the other about introducing competition in bus services. It's clear that transport infrastructure does not figure too high in their plans.

    Personally, I would hope that Labour get tranport policy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Cool Mo D wrote: »
    I would be quite worried about FG's transport plans. Looking at the policy section of their website, they only have 2 articles under 'Transport' - one about electric cars, the other about introducing competition in bus services. It's clear that transport infrastructure does not figure too high in their plans.

    Personally, I would hope that Labour get tranport policy.

    From the Labour Transport Spokesperson Tommy Broughan's website and I couldn't find anything more recent - it wouldn't give you any great confidence in Labour's transport policies would it?

    http://www.tommybroughan.com/main.php?page=home

    LABOUR MEETS IRISH RAIL ON ROSSLARE WATERFORD LINE CLOSURE
    22 Apr 2010
    Labour Transport Spokesperson Tommy Broughan T.D. is to meet the CEO of Irish Rail Mr. Dick Fearn in Dail Eireann today on the proposed closure of the Rosslare to Waterford rail line.

    Deputy Broughan said, \"My Labour colleagues Deputy Brendan Howlin and Cllr. Joe Ryan have led the campaign to oppose the axing of the commuter rail service between Rosslare and Waterford. It makes no sense to shut this rail line down as it is a key link to the Western Rail Corridor.

    \"The 2003 Wexford Organization for Rural Development report (the \"Socio Economic Justification for the South Wexford Railway Line\") also makes a very strong case for maintaining and developing the route on economic, social and sustainable rural development grounds.

    \"Labour believes that Irish Rail must reverse this decision and I will be making that point clear to CEO Dick Fearn in the Dail today.

    \"It is also incumbent upon Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Junior Sustainable Transport Minister Ciaran Cuffe to get involved in this critical issue for the maintenance of services on the national rail network.

    \"Irish Rail will also be briefing me on other current issues and plans including the cutbacks to Irish Rail services, the Dublin Rail Interconnector and the full development of the Western Rail Corridor.\"


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 724 ✭✭✭ dynamick


    Kenny clearly stated last year that he Dublin Metro should be shelved
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0227/1224241892788.html

    Fine Gael sole transport policy in its "new era" capital investment plan is a target of 50% electric cars by 2025. The current government's policy of 10% electric has been described as impossibly ambitious by outside experts - so 50% by 2025 is hard to credit.
    http://www.new-era.ie/NewERA2010.pdf

    I can't find any transport policies on their website from the past year so I'm guessing it's not a big priority for them. The policies in New Era look surprisingly like the current policies:
    renewable energy, smart grid, electric vehicles, more broadband...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    The broadband plan is the only substantial new idea , there is no broadband plan today.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 724 ✭✭✭ dynamick


    New Era was a Bruton document, and the new, new era under Michael Noonan may not agree to an 11 billion euro capex increase:
    Michael Noonan, said he will be changing some of his party's policies, stating a preference for expenditure cuts over tax increases.
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0701/finegael.html


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,977 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    From the Labour Transport
    Deputy Broughan said, \"My Labour colleagues Deputy Brendan Howlin and Cllr. Joe Ryan have led the campaign to oppose the axing of the commuter rail service between Rosslare and Waterford. It makes no sense to shut this rail line down as it is a key link to the Western Rail Corridor.

    What in the name of god


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    I suspect policy in infrastructure would not differ too much between Labour and Fine Gael once the Greens are not part of any future coalition. In terms of road I hope the NRA will still have the responsibility to prioritize schemes. At least then we will see more significant progress in the national road network.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    When I emailed Simon Coveney, this is what I got back:
    Thanks for emailing Simon Coveney TD in relation to Fine Gael's road
    policy.

    Deputy Coveney was named as Fine Gael's new Transport spokesperson on
    Thursday last as part of a new Fine Gael Frontbench line up. This week
    there a hand over for the brief to our office and I will be arranging for
    Simon to meet with stakeholders involved in the area over the coming weeks.

    As of now, its not possible for me to outline any position in relation to
    any of the motorways you mentioned but I will revert to you on these
    queries in due course.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact Simon Coveney.

    I had asked about the M20, the motorway service areas and the LOR.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 paulm17781


    What in the name of god

    Doesn't Waterford have a link toward Limerick Junction? I thought that PPT, Waterford and Athlone were the 3 places where the "Heuston and Connolly" lines joined up. I could be mistaken but I would guess this is what was meant. :)

    Why he chose to use WRC as the important element of that link I'll never know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,021 Sulmac


    @Furet: Seems you had an effect on Coveney!

    From the Fine Gael site:
    TUESDAY 06 Jul 10

    If NRA can’t build motorway rest areas, then private sector should be allowed to - Coveney

    With Transport Minister Noel Dempsey cutting back on transport spending, Fine Gael’s new Transport Spokesman Simon Coveney TD has said the private sector should be allowed to build and operate key projects, such as the long-awaited motorway rest areas.

    Build motorway rest areas - Coveney

    With Transport Minister Noel Dempsey cutting back on transport spending, Fine Gael’s new Transport Spokesman Simon Coveney TD has said the private sector should be allowed to build and operate key projects, such as the long-awaited motorway rest areas.

    “Fine Gael has made the case to maintain the capital investment programme. Developing new infrastructure projects creates jobs and also prepares the country for future growth. It makes good sense to borrow for vital capital infrastructure, particularly in a recession when tender prices are reduced.

    “I see no reason why the private sector cannot tender for and build the new motorway rest areas that the NRA says it cannot afford to finance. As long as these rest areas are regulated in terms of design, access and operation, there is no reason why the taxpayer should have to sponsor their construction. Many private sector operators would leap at this business opportunity and would be happy to provide the private capital required.

    “While there are limitations to what the private sector can do in terms of road construction, we should be looking at the list of transport-related projects with a view to getting private investment interest to get projects underway. When the national Exchequer is effectively broke, we need to find new imaginative ways of financing the infrastructure of tomorrow.

    “The recent Exchequer figures revealed that capital spending had been slashed by 25%. It is political cowardice to cut capital spending on the basis of it being an easier political decision than cutting less productive but more politically sensitive expenditure. With more than 450,000 people on the live register, new capital projects are urgently needed to create and protect jobs.

    “The policy being pursued by Fianna Fáil and the Greens of slashing investment in infrastructure is costing us jobs and limiting Ireland’s chance of a swift economic recovery. The Government should instead be making the hard decisions in terms of cutting expenditure in non-productive areas so that we can continue to invest in building infrastructure, and realise the benefits of that.

    “In our NewERA programme, Fine Gael has shown a serious commitment to finding new and practical ways of financing the construction of key infrastructure without resorting to increased government borrowing.”


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    They launched their manifesto today: http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0215/finegaelmanifesto.pdf

    The transport section starts on page 78.

    Key policies include:
    21.1 Public Transport

    Nationwide Bus Competition: We will completely overhaul the bus market in Ireland by introducing competitive tendering for all bus routes in the country as soon as practicably possible. More operators will provide more routes and services to the public and at a cheaper cost to the taxpayer and passenger.
    Community and Rural Transport Services: We will maintain and expand the rural transport network as a reliable and sustainable transport service that is vital for rural communities. We will also deliver better services by integrating the school transport and non-emergency HSE transport with the Rural Transport Programme locally as much as is practicable.

    Rail Services: We will support the expansion in range and frequency of high capacity commuter rail services, particularly Metro North and the Western Rail Corridor, which will be subject to a cost benefit analysis by independent experts. We also recognise the need to maximise the integration of our public
    transport services through route management and integrated ticketing.
    Rail Electrification: Fine Gael supports the electrification of our rail network and will pursue further electrification subject to the availability of finance. Priority will be given to the electrification of the Maynooth to Dublin and Kildare to Dublin suburban rail lines.

    Public Transport Safety: We will create a single transport safety body comprising the Road Safety Authority, the Railway Safety Commission and the Maritime Safety Directorate.

    Roll Out Park-and-Ride Facilities: We will develop Park & Ride facilities as local transport ‘hubs’ with some local services beginning or terminating at the facilities. We will direct the National Transport Authority to take advantage of existing State lands to develop these facilities on major public transport routes into major urban centres.

    Taxis: We will review the Nine Year Rule and will look at options to encourage existing taxi licensees to upgrade to new emission friendly vehicles. We will subsidise the upgrade of wheelchair accessible taxis. We will direct An Garda Siochana to robustly enforce taxi regulation through a national crackdown on illegal taxis.

    Public Electric Vehicles: We will carry out a feasibility study to examine the possibility of replacing most government vehicles with electric vehicles
    21.3 Roads

    Roads: We will adopt a road funding programme that is funded by the public purse and Public Private Partnerships. We will ensure that future PPP projects are designed better to ensure an equal risk between the State and private companies on falling traffic numbers.

    Road Maintenance: We are committed to reprioritising capital funding to address the widespread deterioration in non-national roads due to recurrent severe weather. Fine Gael recognises the necessity of providing adequate funding for road maintenance and upgrade.

    Adopt a Road Scheme: We will study an ‘Adopt a Road’ scheme that would allow private companies to advertise on national routes in return for contractual agreements to keep sponsored roads litter free and in good condition. The result will be better kept national roads and savings for the local authorities.

    Motorway Rest Areas: We will ensure that motorway rest areas are built on all motorways. We will immediately seek private sector investment to design, build and operate these rest areas.

    Regulation of Private Clamping: We have introduced legislation to the Dáil to regulate the vehicle clamping industry. In Government, we will pass new legislation to protect the motorist and regulate the industry.

    Incentives for Electric Vehicles: We will proactively incentivise consumers to switch to low emission transport by providing an ambitious roll out of electric transport charging points and free parking for electric
    vehicles. We will invite companies from the private and public sector to roll out these charging points.

    Biogas as a Fuel Source: We will apply international best practice to put in place a biogas and biofuel plan for the transport sector.
    21.4 Road Safety

    Mandatory Alcohol Testing: We will legislate for the introduction of mandatory alcohol testing at the scene of an accident very shortly after entering government.

    Drug Driving: We will work with the Road Safety Authority to introduce the most up to date technology to test for drug driving. There must be a serious deterrent to combat the increasing prevalence for driving under the influence of drugs.

    Speed: We plan a complete review and overhaul of speed limit zones and signage across the country. We will work with the RSA to develop “off road” driver learning centres to accommodate driver training in a safe and controlled setting. We will require local authorities to target accident black spots for prioritised upgrade. We will also ensure the increased use of speed cameras, specifically in accident black spots.
    21.5 Cyclists and Pedestrians

    Rewarding Successful Programmes: We recognise the success of the National Cycle Policy Framework and the Dublin Bikes initiative. We will continue to invest in these programmes.

    Prioritise Cyclists and Pedestrians: We will ensure that cyclists and pedestrians have priority over road traffic in built up areas and central business districts, thus further encouraging low carbon travel.

    Safe Cycling: We realise the need to redesign cycle-ways to improve the safety and priority of cyclists as set out in our local government reform document.
    21.6 Aviation
    Airport Charges: Fine Gael will work with the Aviation Regulator to cut airport charges in order to deliver increased routes, airlines and passenger numbers. We will ensure that the Dublin Airport Authority is exposed to benchmarking and competition within its sector. We will allow Dublin, Cork and Shannon
    airports operate independently.

    Regional Airports: We continue to support the role of our regional airports in a pro-active regional development strategy.

    Travel Tax: International access is vital to Irish economic recovery. That is why Fine Gael will abolish the €3 travel tax subject to a deal being agreed with Ryanair and Aer Lingus to re-open closed routes and bring more tourists into Ireland. If no deal can be done, there will be no reduction in the tax.

    Air Traffic Controllers: As an island nation, Air Traffic Controllers provide an essential service to the Irish economy. We will legislate to ensure any ATC grievances must first be taken to the Labour Relations Commission and then Labour Court before any industrial action can take place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Some other relevant infrastructure bits.
    10.4 Communications

    Investing in Next Generation Broadband: Fine Gael in Government will co-operate and co-invest with Eircom, UPC and other telecommunications companies to provide Next Generation Access (high-speed broadband) to every home and business in the State. This will be achieved by delivering fibre to the home or kerb for 90% of homes and businesses in Ireland with the remaining 10% provided with high-speed mobile or satellite broadband.

    e-Government: Fine Gael will develop Ireland as a ‘Digital Island’ and will set tough targets to provide more Government services online such as all business services, planning applications, electoral register and driving licence applications. We will set an ‘e-Day’ of January 1st 2016 for all these services to be available online.
    19.5 Streamlining Government and Cutting Quangos

    <---snip-->

    Irish Water: We will establish a single state-owned commercial water company – ‘Irish Water’ – to take over and rationalise the water functions of 34 local authorities, to address Ireland’s water needs in the 21st century.

    SmartGrid: We will merge ESB Networks, Eirgrid and Bord Gais networks into SmartGrid a single energy grid operator for Ireland.

    Broadband 21: We will merge State-owned telecoms assets (spread between ESB, MANs, CIE, Bord Gáis, National Roads Authority and Waterways Ireland) into ‘Broadband 21’ to work with private sector providers to accelerate the build-out of a next-generation broadband network across the entire country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,021 Sulmac


    This article from the Irish Times last month is relevant to the WRC:
    Kenny sees old railway as tourist trail

    FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

    Mon, Jan 31, 2011

    FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny has lent his support to plans for a walking and cycling “greenway” on part of the western rail corridor, implicitly ruling out its reinstatement as a railway.

    “I favour this kind of development . . . which will have a considerable impact in respect of tourism,” Mr Kenny told Sligo-based greenway promoter Brendan Quinn, saying it should be subject to a feasibility study by Mayo and Sligo county councils.

    The proposal is to create a greenway on the corridor between Claremorris, Co Mayo, and Collooney, Co Sligo, based on the success of the Great Western Greenway from Newport to Mulranny, Co Mayo, which is now being extended to Achill Island.

    Rest of Article


  • Registered Users Posts: 988 ✭✭✭ Benbecul97


    FG manifesto:
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0215/finegaelmanifesto.pdf

    No specific road projects mentioned.


    21.3 Roads


    Roads:
    We will adopt a road funding programme that is funded by the public purse and Public Private

    Partnerships. We will ensure that future PPP projects are designed better to ensure an equal risk between
    the State and private companies on falling traffic numbers.

    Road Maintenance:
    We are committed to reprioritising capital funding to address the widespread

    deterioration in non-national roads due to recurrent severe weather. Fine Gael recognises the necessity of
    providing adequate funding for road maintenance and upgrade.

    Adopt a Road Scheme:
    We will study an ‘Adopt a Road’ scheme that would allow private companies to

    advertise on national routes in return for contractual agreements to keep sponsored roads litter free and in
    good condition. The result will be better kept national roads and savings for the local authorities.

    Motorway Rest Areas:
    We will ensure that motorway rest areas are built on all motorways. We will

    immediately seek private sector investment to design, build and operate these rest areas.

    Regulation of Private Clamping:
    We have introduced legislation to the Dáil to regulate the vehicle

    clamping industry. In Government, we will pass new legislation to protect the motorist and regulate the
    industry.

    Incentives for Electric Vehicles
    : We will proactively incentivise consumers to switch to low emission

    transport by providing an ambitious roll out of electric transport charging points and free parking for electric
    vehicles. We will invite companies from the private and public sector to roll out these charging points.

    Biogas as a Fuel Source:
    We will apply international best practice to put in place a biogas and biofuel plan

    for the transport sector.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,044 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Benbecul97 wrote: »
    Regulation of Private Clamping:
    We have introduced legislation to the Dáil to regulate the vehicle

    clamping industry. In Government, we will pass new legislation to protect the motorist and regulate the
    industry.

    I wonder how they plan to regulate something which is completely illegal here to begin with? Private clamping is against the road traffic act, and all clamping firms know this. Just need to know the specific details (S113, RTA 1961 as amended RTA(A) 1984)...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Benbecul97 wrote: »
    FG manifesto:
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0215/finegaelmanifesto.pdf

    No specific road projects mentioned.

    Given all the complaints about cronyism, jobism, pet projects & inappropriate influence I should hope not, or do we want to see the new government carrying on with the same complaints as many people on here had about the old one (M3 & M9 came in for a fair bit of stick for being Dempsey's and Cullen's babies). It's up to the NRA (as the governments chosen road development steering organisation) to pick the priority list and the government to build it.

    Saying that I hope (for the sake entire West & Northwest) that the N17 north of Tuam gets bumped up - which will give him the excuse allow him to take care of his pet project the N5 (either by upgrading the road itself or by doing the N4 and upgrading strategic link roads to the N4 & N17).


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Given all the complaints about cronyism, jobism, pet projects & inappropriate influence I should hope not, or do we want to see the new government carrying on with the same complaints as many people on here had about the old one (M3 & M9 came in for a fair bit of stick for being Dempsey's and Cullen's babies). It's up to the NRA (as the governments chosen road development steering organisation) to pick the priority list and the government to build it.

    Saying that I hope (for the sake entire West & Northwest) that the N17 north of Tuam gets bumped up - which will give him the excuse allow him to take care of his pet project the N5 (either by upgrading the road itself or by doing the N4 and upgrading strategic link roads to the N4 & N17).

    I think yor point is well made that a manifesto should no longer be a list of things we will do around the country - I rather foolishly voted FF in the last election as they "promised" to upgrade to upgrade the cross border route from Sligo to Dundalk - of course this did not happen and won't for a looooong time. On rail they did mention the infamous WRC - mentioned on that thread in T&C but rather bizarrely have not had the balls to actually say it won't happen - subject to a CB analysis by independent experts - at least it shouldn't take long. Like you I hope the N17 does get done - not even for ease of supply chain etc but quite simply to cut the carnage. Upgrading the N5 won't happen on the current alignment because of Tulsk - but there is a thread running on that one. I actually don't see Enda being like Flynn with the Flynn highway running into Castlebar, I do actually trust the man to allow the people he puts in place to manage the priorities on a national basis.

    the fact the poor buggers will have no money is of course the key issue!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,630 Plowman


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,087 ✭✭✭ veryangryman


    westtip wrote: »
    I actually don't see Enda being like Flynn with the Flynn highway running into Castlebar, I do actually trust the man to allow the people he puts in place to manage the priorities on a national basis.

    Flynn highway - love it! :D

    He'll hardly have to upgrade the N5 around his constituency so point taken.

    HOWEVER....

    Ballina is the biggest town in his constituency so id imagine that Crossmolina-Ballina-Bohola will at worst be upgraded in parts.

    This is of course assuming that FG survives for the term - no guarantee


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