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"Wasting Money on Roads" - Edgar Morgenroth

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  • 26-08-2010 2:28am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭


    An interesting little scrap has broken out between An Taisce and the NRA. As reported in the Irish Times yesterday, An Taisce has accused the NRA of using false data, while the Irish Independent reports that the NRA dismisses the criticism.

    The criticism by An Taisce refers to traffic projections which are now seven years old, and the fact that traffic volumes have been falling. The NRA counters that roads are build with a longer time horizon in mind. While I agree with the NRA that roads are build with a longer time horizon in mind, it is nevertheless true that the projections are seriously out of date and that the starting position has changed significantly. Furthermore, there are at least some schemes, which are grossly over designed. An Taisce points to a refusal for planning permission for a dual carriageway between Bohola and Ballina, because the NRA apparently failed to support the project on traffic grounds.

    Unfortunately gold-plating of projects is not unusual. In the ESRI Mid-Term Evaluation of NDP 2000-2006 we pointed out that “roads with capacity of 55,500 AADT, or anywhere near it, appear to be a significant overdesign for the numerous lightly-trafficked sections of the N8 and N9″. Such schemes cannot pass a reasonable cost-benefit analysis when compared to more appropriately sized schemes. Unfortunately, the lesson does not seem to have been learned and the tax payer is expected to pay for overdesign again (the fact that some of the schemes are PPPs is irrelevant here as these also have to be paid for by tax payers).

    Take the example of the N2, for which there are two proposed schemes in the system. I have already referred to the idiotic scheme to by-pass Slane where the key issue could be simply dealt with via a HGV ban.

    The second scheme is in North Monaghan, where a by-pass of Monaghan and Emyvale to dual carriageway standard is being pursued. Interestingly Monaghan has already been by-passed and anyone who knows the road also knows that there is no danger of congestion except through Emyvale (for which a by-pass is likely to be supported by some analysis). Traffic counts bear this out - average total volumes (north and southbound) for 2010 amount to 5,413 AADT. Why then are we building for 35,000 AADT - almost seven times the current volume? Further south, the section between Castleblaney and Clontibret has been upgraded to 2+1, and further south still between the M1 and Castleblaney a wide 2 lane road is perfectly sufficient to achieve the target level of service (80km/h) - both of these sections of road carry a higher level of traffic than that, which is supposed to be upgraded to dual-carriageway standard.

    The construction costs of a dual carriageway are 82% higher (according to the NRA Road Needs Study) than for a wide 2 lane road - can we really afford such goldplated schemes?
    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/08/25/wasting-money-on-roads-2/


Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,622 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Ill informed gibberish, as per usual.

    1: A HGV ban requires a signed alternative route. None exists for Slane
    2: The road between Monaghan and Slane is lethal and unsuitable for widening
    3: The road between 'Blayney and Dundalk is NOT a "wide" 2 lane road - he's either never driven it or is abusing the term wide.

    4: The Road Needs Study he's using as evidence dates from the mid 1990s
    4.1: Its idea of a Dual Carriageway is a motorway grade road, not the 2+2 proposed by the NRA for most schemes outstanding
    4.2: Its idea of a wide single isn't quite as wide as the final wide single schemes (Charlestown, Bundoran/Ballyshannon) built. Hence the % figure is wildly outdated.

    His AADT for Emyvale appears to be extrapolated off the partial figures for the counter *north* of Emyvale for the year to March (year to April is higher already); omitting the summer which pushes the average higher.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭KevR


    The MIUs weren't necessarily built because of huge traffic volumes that required a motorway; one of the main reasons behind the MIUs was to provide reliable journey times between urban centres (i.e. - areas with significant economic activity). It would have been economic suicide to not build the MIUs or leave gaps for sections with lower levels of traffic. The economic recovery will be slow enough with the MIUs, it would be a hell of a lot slower without them - companies would not start new operations in a country where the average speed between main urban centres is less than 80kmh and where journey times are totally unreliable.

    4 hours Galway/Limerick-Dublin; 4.5 hours Cork-Dublin; 8 hours Cork-Belfast.....etc. Yeah, people would be mad keen to invest here and create jobs. :rolleyes:

    And what do people against these roads have to say about our greatly improved road safety network? How much is a life worth to them?


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


    KevR wrote: »

    And what do people against these roads have to say about our greatly improved road safety network? How much is a life worth to them?

    Well, a reply (by JohntheOptimist) to Morgenroth on the blog went as follows:
    The title of the thread is loaded. Money spent on proper roads is not wasted. Neither Edgar Morgenroth nor An Taisce make any reference to the impact of modern motorways on road safety. There is a vast difference in terms of road safety between a motorway/dual carriageway and a wide single carriageway. I’d give the precise figures, except I’m on holidays in southern USA and can’t access them readily. But, I’m sure ESRI’s research department could find them. In 1997, just prior to the commencement of the building of a national motorway network, there were 472 road deaths in Ireland. Allowing for the 30pc increase in population since then, that would correspond to around 620 road deaths today. Based on the figures for the first 8 months of 2010, it looks as though the figure for 2010 will actually be about 200. So, over 400 fewer deaths on the roads each and every year adds up to a pretty large total of lives saved, not that an organisation like An Taisce would care much about that. In 1997, Ireland had one of the highest road death rates in the EU15. In 2010, it is one of the lowest. I do believe Ireland’s road deaths rate may now for the first time ever be a lot lower than even in Edgar’s native Germany, which has historically had a good road safety record. It is certainly now well below the EU15 average and even more so below the EU27 average. Of course, not all the improvement is due to better roads, but most of it is. A statute should be erected in honour of Bertie Ahern who defied the anti-motorway nutters (An Taisce chief among them) and has in the process saved thousands of Irish lives.

    Regarding the two roads that Edgar Morgenroth mentions (Emyvale and Slane), these are both on the route from Derry to Dublin. Once the motorways to Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford are completed (which is imminent), Derry will be the only major city in Ireland not connected to Dublin by a full-blown motorway. It is very badly needed for the development of the whole North-West economy on both sides of the artificial border, not that an organisation like An Taisce would care much about that. On the northern side, a motorway from Derry to Aughnacloy is now being built and should be complete towards the end of this decade. The whole raison d’etre for it is that there should then be a road of similar motorway standard from Aughnacloy to Dublin. Unlike south of the border, there is very little opposition to its construction. Even Sinn Fein are enthusiastically in favour. Once that is complete, is it seriously suggested that the north Monaghan and Slane stretches should be left as they are? The current road from Aughnacloy to Monagaghan is totally inadequate for the route linking Ireland’s largest and fourth largest cities. As for Slane, I suggest that Edgar make the journey from Omagh to Dublin on some recent All-Ireland Final days and he’ll see what a bottleneck it is.

    Regarding long-term population (both people and traffic) projections, I’m afraid that Ireland has a very sorry record in this department. As I’ve mentioned a few times here, a major report published by Davy Kelleher McCarthy in 1990 predicted that the population would fall from its then 3.5million to 3.3million in 2011. Its actually 4.5 million today. As a result of the gross under-estimation of future population (both people and traffic) growth by the economists then, Ireland had a hopelessly inadequate infrastructure in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Do we really want to repeat the same mistake at the behest of an organisation of upper-class toffs and remnants of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy like An Taisce?

    I am posting this from South Carolina, where there are motorways and dual carriageways everywhere. Here, no one would pay the slightest attention to an absurd organisation like An Taisce. As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing that An Taisce has ever done was to threaten to have Fintan O’Toole put away for a long stretch for building an extension to his house in Clare. An Taisce’s delaying of the building of the motorway network in the early 2000s has undoubtedly cost hundreds of lives. They should be ignored entirely.

    To which Morgenroth rejoindered:
    The title is not loaded at all. I am referring to instances where the planned specification vastly exceeds the specification that will ensure that the required level of service is met in the long-run. In such instances tax payers money is being wasted.

    There is lots of international evidence that investment in roads can have a high return. That evidence has led me to recommend increased spending on roads in the past. However, there is also lots of evidence that if you build to many motorways (e.g. Belgium) the overall impact is to reduce growth, because it diverts funds from good projects to unneeded roads projects.

    I have responded to you on road safety before, but I will do so one last time. CBA exlicitly takes this into account. You seem to claim that the improvements in road fatalities are entirely due to road improvements. This is not correct - there are many factors including road improvements, the points system, road safety campaings, safer cars etc.

    The remaining bottleneck on the N2 is Emyvale - I have no problem with a by-pass with a wide 2 lane road, a standard of road that is is perectly adequate for Carrickmacross, where the traffic level is higher. That is the standard of road that should be built between the Monaghan by-pass and Aughnacloy and not a dual-carriageway that will be empty and cost the Irish tax payer 82% more.

    The Slane stretch of the N2 is totally irrelevant for access from Donegal to Dublin as you only have to use the excellent and uncongested N33 to get onto the excellent and uncongested M1 to get to Dublin (that is what the N33 was built for). Facilitating toll dodgers by building a prallel dual carriageway to the M1 is about the most stupid thing that the government could do - worse still if those toll dodgers are free riding on the improved roads in the first place.

    JohntheOptimist's reply:
    Au contraire. This is what I actually wrote: “Of course, not all the improvement is due to better roads, but most of it is.” Nothing could be clearer than that.

    With your undoubted expertise, perhaps you could post here the exact contribution each of the factors you mention (road improvements, the points system, road safety campaigns, safer cars) has made to the massive reduction in road deaths in Ireland since 1997. From that, we could then calculate pretty accurately how many lives the An Taisce campaigns against each and every motorway project in that period has cost. The line is being spun that it is only now, when Ireland has a decent number of motorways, that An Taisce is opposing the building of more, claiming we are over-motorwayed. In fact, An Taisce has opposed each and every motorway project in the history of the State, indeed almost every road project in the history of the State. They opposed motorways being built in Ireland equally vehemently even when Ireland had no motorways at all and the roads from Dublin to the provincial cities were little more than a series of death-traps. Had it not been for An Taisce and similar organisations, the motorway network we have today would have been in existence a decade ago, and hundreds, even thousands, of lives would have been saved on the roads.

    That most of the improvement in road deaths in Ireland is due to better roads is clearly evident from Ireland’s improvement relative to other countries. All countries have benefitted from various points systems, road safety campaigns and safer cars. But, the improvement in road deaths in Ireland since 1997 has been far greater than in other countries and it is reasonable to assume that this is largely due to Ireland having come from a situation of having virtually no motorways at all to a situation of having a relatvely decent national motorway network. For example, it seems to irk some of the posters that Ireland now has a better motorway network than Scotland. But, in 1997, when the opposite was the case, the road deaths rate in Ireland was over 3 times that in Scotland. In 2010, it looks as though it may go below Scotland’s rate for the first time. If Ireland had followed Kevin O’Brien’s absurd advice and, instead of building a modern motorway network, had simply widened the roads existing in 1997, with maybe a few bypasses thrown in, there would still be 500 to 600 road deaths a year, instead of 200.

    Regarding the route from Dublin to the North-West, there is clearly a massive imbalance between the number of miles of motorway in the northern half of the country (by which I mean the 32-county country) and the southern half. There are hundreds of miles of motorway south of a line from Dublin to Galway, but, apart from the route to Belfast, hardly any north of a line from Dublin to Galway. Yet, there are far more people living north of the line from Dublin to Galway than south of it, something which may surprise Dublin 4 economists. The lack of modern motorways/dual carriageways in the northern half of the country is also reflected in the much higher road deaths rate in the border counties than in the rest of the country.
    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/08/25/wasting-money-on-roads-2/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Aidan1


    To be fair, Edgar is one of the best economists working in Ireland today (and in my view, the best economic geographer), but he does (a) have a point about some road schemes, and (b) have some blind spots due to his very rigourous intellectual approach (and the need to be consistent). The Mid Term Review of the NDP completed in 04 is very consistent, but has similar issues around the lack of flexibility (and level of granularity) in approach.

    Taken formally and separately, many of the 'schemes' that make up the M4/6/7/8 are very difficult to justify on individual grounds. The AADT is very low, and they pass through areas of relatively low population density. Taken together however, on a programatic basis, they make an awful lot of sense for both sound economic reasons and safety reasons. They provide vital arterial routes for the swift transportation of goods and people in safety and with predictable travel times. They link the cities in the State to Dublin, and provide links to a large number of regional centres (some of which are substantial enough towns - Clonmel, Carlow, Kilkenny, Athlone, Nenagh). As such they are a critical economic asset, and assets that in many cases will not need to be revisited for many years to come. Were they more expensive that online upgrades of the roads (which is what An Taisce and a campaign group called CAST were calling for in 2000-2002)? Yes, possibly, but not by much, and this solution is future proof. Moreover, building the Motorways offline meant that disruption was kept to a minimum, and that very high quality roads could be constructed quickly, and relatively cheaply.

    There are some schemes that remain difficult to justify on these grounds - the M9 and the M3 being cases in point (although there is slightly more of a case for the M9). Similarly, some of the schemes being planned for now are certainly overkill, and are effectively politicised products of late Celtic Tiger excess (Motorways for everyone - yay!). But (much) tighter budgets will cull a lot of that out.

    Note also that the NRA Roads Needs Study is quoted as the source for the relative difference in costs between D2m and W2S - that study was published in 1998. The State got a lot better at building M-Way quality roads since then, not least due to dramatically better contracting and legal arrangements by the NRA (thanks largely to the hiatus in roads building enforced by the recession in 2001-2). I don't know what the differential is not, but it is categorically not that high.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,849 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    I do think some sense needs to be put into road building, maybe the Recession has done this but unfortunately a little **too** soon.

    Really most/all of the 2+2 planned is not needed at all. Single carriageway would do the job.

    All we need motorway wise -

    M17/18 scheme
    Newlands
    M11 gap
    S2 bypass of Enniscorthy (not the M11 proposal)
    M20 (badly and the big gap in the network at the moment)
    Galway bypass
    N28 to Ringaskiddy
    Couple of widenings
    Cork - Macroom DC

    Really thats all we need of DC/motorway. Everything else is junction upgrades or would suffice easily with S2.

    DOOR I dont think is hugely necessary now with the M50 being much much better after the upgrade.

    N2 upgrades are ridiculous and wont happen anyway as I've said before because the Slane bypass would be an easy M1 toll dodge. Re-route the M3 that direction.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,692 ✭✭✭Bards


    I do think some sense needs to be put into road building, maybe the Recession has done this but unfortunately a little **too** soon.

    Really most/all of the 2+2 planned is not needed at all. Single carriageway would do the job.

    All we need motorway wise -

    M17/18 scheme
    Newlands
    M11 gap
    S2 bypass of Enniscorthy (not the M11 proposal)
    M20 (badly and the big gap in the network at the moment)
    Galway bypass
    N28 to Ringaskiddy
    Couple of widenings
    Cork - Macroom DC

    Really thats all we need of DC/motorway. Everything else is junction upgrades or would suffice easily with S2.

    DOOR I dont think is hugely necessary now with the M50 being much much better after the upgrade.

    N2 upgrades are ridiculous and wont happen anyway as I've said before because the Slane bypass would be an easy M1 toll dodge. Re-route the M3 that direction.

    I would lik to add in a cross country link

    Either the N24 Limerick to Waterford crossing the M8 at Cahir

    or N80 Wexford to Athlone linking N11, M9 at Carlow, M7/M8 at Portlaoise & M6 at Moate


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,849 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    mmm I would go for S2 on the N24 with maybe a little 2+2 on the town bypasses for overtaking opportunities. Possibly a better connection too from Portlaoise to the M6. Tullamore bypass, however politically motivated, has helped with that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭marmurr1916


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Were they more expensive that online upgrades of the roads (which is what An Taisce and a campaign group called CAST were calling for in 2000-2002)?

    I doubt it very much. Online upgrades to existing routes, especially in Ireland, involve the purchase and demolition of large numbers of houses and other buildings, with all the attendant costs and the inevitable delays caused by people who don't want to lose their homes (and who could blame them?).

    For example, anybody who has ever driven the N18 from Oranmore to Gort will realise the huge number of houses, other buildings and private accesses along the route.

    An online upgrade of that route to even a 2+2 (easily justified by AADT figures) would be a long, messy and incredibly expensive nightmare, not to mention the fact that there are several villages between Gort and Oranmore which require bypasses.

    The simple fact is that the amount of housing and other developments, plus private accesses, along Ireland's national routes is such that online upgrades would have been much more expensive and disruptive than greenfield routes in most cases.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Aidan1


    Online upgrades to existing routes, especially in Ireland, involve the purchase and demolition of large numbers of houses and other buildings, with all the attendant costs and the inevitable delays caused by people who don't want to lose their homes (and who could blame them?).

    It depends on the nature of the upgrade - the point is that the land costs associated with the Motorway network were very high, thanks to the IFA, (but not as high as they could have been, thanks to the Dept of Transport and their HQDC device) - this means that there undoubtedly was a cost differential between the two. The question was whether that cost increase was justified by the differential in carrying capacity, in ease of getting the things built, and in terms of future proofing. IMVHO, we took the correct option. Online upgrades were really never an option, and when going offline, there was a very strong argument to suggest that you might as well do the job properly, once, rather than revisit the thing in 10-15 years.

    The argument made by CAST back then was that W2S would be plenty good enough for most routes, and that this could be achieved in a lot of places without any demolition. I don't happen to agree with either statement, but that was the point made. CAST were an interesting group - if anyone is looking to do a Masters thesis on NIMBYs, these guys would be a worth a look. And not just because they accepted that they lost, and didn't morph into something else at a later stage. I had a long chat with a lady who was involved with the group in late 2002 (standing in a field in South Kildare), and she gave a litany of reasons as to why the then putative Motorway Network was a waste of money, would involve the despoilation of rural Ireland, and would never happen.

    Haha.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,675 ✭✭✭serfboard


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    when going offline, there was a very strong argument to suggest that you might as well do the job properly, once, rather than revisit the thing in 10-15 years.

    Much as I enjoy a good whinge as much as the next man, and god knows there's plenty to be giving out about, this is, and will, IMO, be viewed as one of the best things that we did in this country in the last decade.

    The late Seamus Brennan once said in a speech that future generations will look back and say what did we do with the boom, and whether we squandered it or not. With all that we got wrong, the road-building project will stand as a testament to sensible decision-making and the devolving of that decision-making to experts in the field (the NRA - and at least if they weren't at the start, they became good at it later on).

    It's also the reason why FF would not give Transport to the Greens, knowing (rightly, IMO) what they would do with the road-building project. Once the MIUs, Newlands, Arklow->Rathnew, Galway Bypass and Cork->Tuam are complete, they can work away with the coppers that will be left for transport projects.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,955 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek


    I doubt it very much. Online upgrades to existing routes, especially in Ireland, involve the purchase and demolition of large numbers of houses and other buildings, with all the attendant costs and the inevitable delays caused by people who don't want to lose their homes (and who could blame them?).

    The simple fact is that the amount of housing and other developments, plus private accesses, along Ireland's national routes is such that online upgrades would have been much more expensive and disruptive than greenfield routes in most cases.
    Absolutely - and you haven't even mentioned the environmental benefits.

    Roads in Ireland are lined on both sides by tall hedges and trees. These are a wildlife habitat. When you cut these down, you destroy the animal's habitat. Oddly, building the motorway through the middle of a field actually results in far less damage to the environment as the animals don't live in the middle of the field.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Abbey Ct


    As I'm new to the Boards I don't know how to do the highlighted quote bit so forgive me that I just copied & pasted!

    "the road-building project will stand as a testament to sensible decision-making and the devolving of that decision-making to experts in the field (the NRA - and at least if they weren't at the start, they became good at it later on)."

    Sorry but I can't agree that the NRA are experts at decision making. In respect of the proposed Adare bypass, the EIS prepared in February of this year showed the cost as €57m but by the time of the Oral Hearing in July (5 months later) the costs were €67m - a €10m increase in 5 months at a time when the NRA say costs have decreased by 20 - 30%. Worse, of the 12.5km 4.5 is "free" (ie not included in the Adare bypass costs) as it is part of the M20 project. So the Adare bypass in reality is projected to cost €112m (the revised €67m + €10m per km (NRA figures) for the 4.5km covered by the M20).

    The first Adare bypass selected around 2000 was projected to cost £20m. Then the NRA chose a similar route in 2005 & it was then estimated at €40m. This was the preferred route for 4 years but last year the constraints area was looked at again & suddenly this route was €85m & thus the southern route (blue route) was chosen on the basis that it was the cheapest at €57m. The cost benefit analysis showing it was the poorest route on a return for money / value for money basis was completely ignored. Bearing in mind that €45m was hidden in the M20 & that it was the poorest value for money, it is hard to see this as the best choice.

    Indeed it also scored worst for road safety, tourism & travel time. In fact their own traffic modelling reports stated that the route would not be used as the travel time was so much longer than the direct routes or the previously selected preferred route.

    Finally a landowner from the previously selected route is suing as his land was sterliised for 4 years during the Celtic Tiger years. And if An Bord Pleanala approves the Blue Route, then a number of house owners are considering suing as they relied on the Adare Local Area Plan (a statutory document which states that one of the purposes of an LAP is that "individuals may rely on it for investment decisions") at the time of purchasing / building their homes. The Adare LAP, showing the previous route, was signed on 29th January 2009 & is supposed to be valid for 5 or 6 years. The new routes were announced on 2nd April 2009, 9 weeks later. Ample basis for a lawsuit I reckon.

    So this new route could end up costing well in excess of €112m. Crazy

    As pointed out at the Oral Hearing, the NRA completely ignored Foynes Port too. The National Development Plan, National Spatial Stragegy, Regional Planning Guidelines & County Development Plan all note the importance of Foynes both as an access / exit point to the island of Ireland and also as a large employment area for Limerick (an employment black spot these days). All of these documents note the need to improve the access to Foynes. Yet the old Black Route (ie the previous Preferred Route), which was north of Adare was proposed to be connected to the N69 / Foynes to remove the 100,000 HGVs from the N69 the most dangerous road in Co Limerick (source EuroRap) by Limerick Chamber of Commerce & the Snannon Foynes Port Company. As the new preferred roure is south of Adare, this option is no longer a runner. So much for balanced regional development.

    In conclusion, I think a primary school child could make better decisions than the NRA.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,703 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    Abbey Ct wrote: »
    Sorry but I can't agree that the NRA are experts at decision making. In respect of the proposed Adare bypass, the EIS prepared in February of this year showed the cost as €57m but by the time of the Oral Hearing in July (5 months later) the costs were €67m - a €10m increase in 5 months at a time when the NRA say costs have decreased by 20 - 30%. Worse, of the 12.5km 4.5 is "free" (ie not included in the Adare bypass costs) as it is part of the M20 project. So the Adare bypass in reality is projected to cost €112m (the revised €67m + €10m per km (NRA figures) for the 4.5km covered by the M20).

    If you are trying to factor the costs of the M20 into the Adare bypass CBA then you would also have to add in the benefits of the M20 into it too. Come back to us when you are comparing like with like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Abbey Ct


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    If you are trying to factor the costs of the M20 into the Adare bypass CBA then you would also have to add in the benefits of the M20 into it too. Come back to us when you are comparing like with like.

    To expand / explain what I meant, the blue southern route was being compared to the northern route in the route selection report. However, the northern route is 8km & stands alone (ie does not need to be connected to any road other than the N21) & was costed at €80m. In a supposed direct comparisson, the blue route was detailed as 8.6km & €57m. However, this neglected to take into account that to get back to the N21 (which is the concept of a bypass!) vehicles then need to travel 4.5km on the M20. Thus to compare like with like, the costs should be taken into account - in fact this is in the NRA manuals but they chose to ignore it in this instance.

    So the CBA came in at .627 at the oral hearing at low traffic growth, high economic growth. Unlike the M20, low traffic growth & low economic growth wasn't run - I guess the low traffic / high economic at .627 was already looking bad enough!

    As regards taking in the benefits of the M20, they were taken into account.

    Hence my conclusion that it was a bad decision based on an unequal comparisson.


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


    Yes but the area north of adare is now a SAC and wasn't in 2000. The green nutjobs would have had hot and cold running crusties onsite for years. That was what forced them south.

    A lot of 'legalities' around building roads in sacs has been kicked off to europe with the galway bypass case.

    You cannot run a cba on crusties and on the amount of trouble Isaac will cause in the courts :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Abbey Ct


    Yes Sponge Bob you are spot on there, the cSAC is the issue. But given that roads (or bridges in this instance) have been built through SAC before, it can be done. It just needs to be done carefully with no pillars in the water & supports well back from the river edge etc

    It's not an ideal solution, but I prefer it to the situation where a road that even the NRA traffic model report says won't be used due to its length & time. Their reports are always hugely optimistic. So if an optimistic report says it won't be well utilised then one has to conclude that it will be used for only one hour a day at rush hour in the evening and maybe by tourists who just folllow the signs. The tourists Adare wants to drive through, so thart's not good either!

    Then the situation of a rat run may occur with vehicles racing through Adare. This would be a real hazard & likely to cause accidents.

    So the cSAC seems like the better option as it at 8km is only .2km more than the direct route through Adare (southern blue route is 12.5km or 4.7km longer than the direct route through Adare). Plus, with it the tourists would see Adare & be able to visit it easily unlike the 6km distance at the Limerick side turn off for the Blue southern route bypass. Incidentally the 2005 Route Selection Report described a shorter southern route as a detour rasther than a bypass as it dismissed it from any further considerations!


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


    Abbey Ct wrote: »
    Yes Sponge Bob you are spot on there, the cSAC is the issue.

    Yes but as the sac is in this case A river from Adare to the Shannon the final definition of permissible "localised severe impact" from the european court case on the Galway Bypass is vital.

    As soon as the EU decides on the Galway Bypass argument you can get it routed back north and designed as you correctly suggested. But with all the legal uncertainty the green nutjobs caused in Galway the NRA is basically afraid to confront the scum.

    The bypass, anyway, has no chance of being built in the next 5 years, more likely 10+ with a load of other schemes ahead of it in the queue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,849 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Will still (possibly) be built with the M20 north PPP scheme; the earliest possible start date I have for that is 2014 or 2015. Definately not until M20 south is built, completed and opened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Abbey Ct


    Coincidentially enough I got a letter from An Bord Pleanala this afternoon stating they will make a decision on the Adare bypass by 28th October.

    They said at the Oral Hearing that there were funds (at that point anyway) for phase 1 of the M20 which was from Cork to Velvetstown & that this would take 3 years commencing approx in Jan 2012. They stated when this was completed phase 2 from Velvetstown to Patrickswell & including the Adare bypass would be commenced but that at present there was no funding available. So commencing 2015 at the earliest but in reality it could be 10 years or more.


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