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Transport Infrastructure Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    I wonder is there any value in the merger given they have entirely separate remits.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,803 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    Presumably it will operate as two divisions (Road and Rail) within the one organisation but will benefit from eliminating one set of support office personnel.

    That's the only gain to be honest as the two organisations are distinctly different and specialized in nature.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    lxflyer wrote: »
    Presumably it will operate as two divisions (Road and Rail) within the one organisation but will benefit from eliminating one set of support office personnel.

    That's the only gain to be honest as the two organisations are distinctly different and specialized in nature.

    There are huge overlaps between the two organisations. Obviously there is the general office administration as you say. Procurement is the same for both as they have to use CWMF or a PPP model with specialist input from the NDFA. This then feeds into post award contract administration and project delivery which will be the same. The legal departments will be able to merge for that reason also and the same legislation is applicable to both, not sure if RPA or NTA look after Luas concession contracts but it is not that different from road concession contracts to require separate departments. The planning processes will be very similar, both requiring route selection, public consultations, EIS, CPOs, etc. Both organisations will have large staff devoted to various types of statistical analysis, data production, demand modelling, etc. but these can be merged with some staff specialised and others more flexible.

    Really, the biggest differences will be in the specific technical engineering issues relating to rail and the safety concerns which are obviously very different between road and rail. Most of the actual designing is carried out by consultants anyway.


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


    Good move - replicates to some extent the Transport Scotland model. Can the government please make sure that regional roads come under the new body's remit? There are huge variations in the quality of regional roads between local authorities - it's high time that they were brought under the control of a national body to help ensure uniformity of standards across the state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Cool. I can't wait to see all their glossy brochures about Transport22 and then hear nothing further. Seriously though, it is a sensible and probably overdue measure.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,654 ✭✭✭ trellheim


    NRA guy got the job so plenty of politics at work


  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ annfield1978


    NRA use sub consultants to deliver the road schemes, RPA employed 300 staff to deliver schemes inhouse

    By all accounts, the contract staff in the RPA do all the work!!

    NRA have moved from Waterloo Rd down to Parkgate Street


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭ Aard


    It's a funny one. NRA look after national routes. In Dublin most N routes within the M50 have been changed to R roads. RPA look after LRT and BRT. Which so far only have been planned in Dublin (ie in non-N road territory). Minimal overlap.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Aard wrote: »
    It's a funny one. NRA look after national routes. In Dublin most N routes within the M50 have been changed to R roads. RPA look after LRT and BRT. Which so far only have been planned in Dublin (ie in non-N road territory). Minimal overlap.

    Geographically, yes minimal overlap, but the primary function of both is the planning, procurement and delivery of civil engineering project. Regardless of the difference between road and rail, the planning processes for both are very similar and the procedures for procurement and the contractual administration of the project will be the exact same as they will be using the same civil engineering contracts. There will be some technical staff who will be specialised in road or rail engineering but after that most staff will be interchangable between road and rail.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    Hopefully this merger means that road & rail investment will be given a more even evaluation when it comes to deciding on improvements & new transport infrastructure. Historically, the playing field has always been skewed in favour of roads.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    dolanbaker wrote: »
    Hopefully this merger means that road & rail investment will be given a more even evaluation when it comes to deciding on improvements & new transport infrastructure. Historically, the playing field has always been skewed in favour of roads.

    Good point, one of the biggest problems we have now is the number of organisations who develop their own plans and then go cap in hand to the Minister pleading for funding. Hopefully heavy rail projects will come under this new bodies remit too soon (although that would be met with great resistance from CIE).

    We should be moving to a situation where the NTA develop and implement policy and provide funding for projects in line with predetermined investment strategies linked to local/regional spatial planning, they would overlap during the planning stage with TII who would then procure and oversee the project delivery. CIE would be an operator, along with private bus companies and Luas concession operator, all of whom would be regulated by the NTA. Each should have a clearly defined role, not the current situation where we have several organisations with multiple roles.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    The NRA, RPA, NTA, Irish Rail infrastructure, and CIE property should have all been rolled into one.

    With Irish Rail and the semi-state bus companies left as operators.


  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ annfield1978


    The NTA have no engineers to manage projects, they lost 15 odd back to DCC who were not replaced

    It seems that they are being held back to avoid stepping on the toes of Local Authorities and the other public sector department who are meantto report to them


  • Registered Users Posts: 125 ✭✭ hardy_buck


    The NTA have no engineers to manage projects, they lost 15 odd back to DCC who were not replaced

    It seems that they are being held back to avoid stepping on the toes of Local Authorities and the other public sector department who are meantto report to them

    Is there any reason for this or is it just 'cutbacks' ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,539 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    The NTA should be merged with this body along with any engineering/property aspects of CIE. Make it leaner at the same time. Roads and public transport project planning/implementation under the one roof. Ultimately deconstruct the negatively perceived CIE Semi-State.

    We still don't get it in this country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭ strassenwo!f


    The DTO's main claim to fame, apart from managing a very nice journey planner for a number of years, was the Platform for Change (PFC) document way back in the early years of this century.

    Lines everywhere, government-sponsored crayonism at, surely, its finest.

    The DTO was then subsumed into the NTA, and now the NTA is now being subsumed into a yet higher authority. Would I be correct in suspecting that many of the PFC crayonists are still around in this new body?

    And of the PFC plans, what was actually built in the proposed timeframe?

    From my reading, pretty much nothing.

    What is being built, in the key area of central Dublin, is the LUAS BXD line, but this was not included in the DTO's major document.

    Overall, it's not indicative of good transport planning in Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    It would make more sense to dissolve all these quangos (CIE, NTA, NRA, RPA, etc) and fully roll their roles and responsibilities into the Dept. of Transport. Also transfer the ESB, Ervia (Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland), Eirgrid, RTÉ's broadcasting network (2RN) to the department along with the various telecoms networks separately owned by the ESB and Ervia into a new Department of Infrastructure Development.

    So you would have a single department managing roads, railways, urban light rail, bus/rail hubs, ports, airports, gas network, electric grid, telecoms, broadcast system that would be developed by one single government department and providing massive economies of scale (one management, a single vehicle fleet, unified depots, etc) and savings.

    The actual provision of services could then be contracted out to the private sector on a franchise basis in the case of transport services or fully open in the case of energy and communications. The likes of Electric Ireland, Bus Eireann, Irish Rail could be privatised but the physical infrastructure (rail, bus stations, power lines) under state control. The govt did this with Bord Gais where the customer supply business was sold off but the state retaining the actual gas network. And not forgetting the Luas under state ownership but run by a private firm. There's no reason why the same couldn't work for heavy rail and bus services. Of course the unions would go apes**t but such change may be necessary to deliver a truly modern, efficient transport service.

    And for the love of God please move tourism and sport away into its own department.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    This new body and the NTA should remain separate. The NTA is concerned with policy and strategic planning and that must be paramount. They seem to be quite progressive with a focus on actually delivering better services for the customer, they should not be diluted down by other organisations. I fear that having head guys from the project delivery side (NRA and RPA) in there will see planning go out the window and there will be people pushing for any project, whether it is part of an overall strategy or not, just to be seen to be doing something and to justify jobs. Look at the RPA who are currently pushing all sorts of light rail options to the airport, all the studies which justified Metro North have been forgotten about and they are now happy with an under-spec'ed Luas extension because it fits in with the budget.

    Rolling a load of different companies and bodies into one super-quango will only create another HSE style monster that is more inefficient than the sum of its parts, is full of different in-house factions competing against each other rather than working together, has a ridiculously long management chain that even basic issues slip through the cracks and has a huge middle management and administrative staff half of whom nobodies knows what they actually do. Just imagine a board meeting trying to agree budget allocations for roads, public transport, ports, airports, gas network, electric grid and telecoms with the heads of each of those areas bitching about their allocation needs to be increased (because it is their turn or some other frivolous reason) while someone else has pissed away a chunk of their disproportionate allocation to hold up as proof that they spent last years budget and need the same again!

    It is better to have a series of bodies and authorities with a clearly defined remit and whos management are actually responsible for their performance rather than another HSE where responsibility gets passed up and down the chain of command until everyone has forgotten what the problem was is the first place.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,995 Schadenfreudia


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    It would make more sense to dissolve all these quangos (CIE, NTA, NRA, RPA, etc) and fully roll their roles and responsibilities into the Dept. of Transport. Also transfer the ESB, Ervia (Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland), Eirgrid, RTÉ's broadcasting network (2RN) to the department along with the various telecoms networks separately owned by the ESB and Ervia into a new Department of Infrastructure Development.

    I shudder! In theory, central planning is a wonderful idea, in practice it has been a nightmare.

    Compare the NRA to the third-world system we had back in the good old days of the Dept of Transport directly (not) delivering anything. When our roads were by a margin the worst in Europe outside the Soviet block.

    Remember when every time we crossed the border into NI we marvelled at the quality of the roads?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,834 ✭✭✭ markpb


    Compare the NRA to the third-world system we had back in the good old days of the Dept of Transport directly (not) delivering anything.

    The fact that the roads were built at all had very little to do with the NRA - that was just money being available and political imperative. The fact that the projects were reasonably well executed was down to the NRA (once they learned from their initial terrible mistakes).


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,995 Schadenfreudia


    markpb wrote: »
    The fact that the roads were built at all had very little to do with the NRA

    Can't agree with that; under the pre-NRA system even with the money we'd have never delivered what we did.

    You only have to look at the state in some counties of regional and local roads; and I'm not talking about big projects - simple things like lines and signs are no better than 30 years ago in some counties (eg Wicklow) while they are pretty good in others (like Leitrim).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    I shudder! In theory, central planning is a wonderful idea, in practice it has been a nightmare.

    Compare the NRA to the third-world system we had back in the good old days of the Dept of Transport directly (not) delivering anything. When our roads were by a margin the worst in Europe outside the Soviet block.

    Remember when every time we crossed the border into NI we marvelled at the quality of the roads?

    You're quite right of course. It was the fault of the Dept. of Transport and not the complete lack of money in the country from 1922 up until the mid 90's. Silly me. /s


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,132 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    You're quite right of course. It was the fault of the Dept. of Transport and not the complete lack of money in the country from 1922 up until the mid 90's. Silly me. /s

    Well, it was a politician, Todd Andrews FF, who shut down the Harcourt St line. I do not know who was responsible for removing trams from the streets of Dublin but we are paying a heavy price to put in a much inferior system.

    If only the Government would make up their mind and get on with it instead of commissioning report after study after report, and setting up quango after quango and the amalgamating them before setting up an overarching quango.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,995 Schadenfreudia


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    You're quite right of course. It was the fault of the Dept. of Transport and not the complete lack of money in the country from 1922 up until the mid 90's. Silly me. /s

    I'm not calling you silly - merely wrong. Since the 60s Ireland was in the top 25 nations on earth in terms of per capita GDP. Poorer than America and our nearest neighbours, yes.

    But countries poorer (in some cases much poorer) than us across Europe managed to improve their roads 40 years before we did.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    I'm not calling you silly - merely wrong. Since the 60s Ireland was in the top 25 nations on earth in terms of per capita GDP. Poorer than America and our nearest neighbours, yes.

    But countries poorer (in some cases much poorer) than us across Europe managed to improve their roads 40 years before we did.
    A lot of has to do with population per km of road that needs to be built/maintained. A small poor country with a large population can have a good road system as there are more people to finance the infrastructure.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,995 Schadenfreudia


    dolanbaker wrote: »
    A small poor country with a large population can have a good road system as there are more people to finance the infrastructure.

    Indeed, especially is they devote resources to it!

    We decided not to and whatever we did devote was spent on a thousand local authority workers shovelling tar into potholes off the back of trailers. ;)

    The main roads in (not relatively overpopulated Spain, Greece and Portugal) were vastly better than ours in the 1970s)

    The NRA brought modern standards/management/techniques to bear....


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    we are paying a heavy price to put in a much inferior system.

    The LUAS is VASTLY superior to the old Dublin Trams in every way except the amount of coverage the trams had.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    dolanbaker wrote: »
    A lot of has to do with population per km of road that needs to be built/maintained. A small poor country with a large population can have a good road system as there are more people to finance the infrastructure.

    like post war Denmark, Czechoslovakia or Portugal for example?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,132 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    cgcsb wrote: »
    The LUAS is VASTLY superior to the old Dublin Trams in every way except the amount of coverage the trams had.

    The old trams would have been replaced with new ones. The tracks would still be there, and the overhead wires would have been maintained. We have new trains still running on the old rail tracks that were not ripped up.

    It is the infrastructure that costs the money.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,995 Schadenfreudia



    It is the infrastructure that costs the money.

    The trams were all on-road competing with other traffic - nothing more than electric busses without the flexibility!


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