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When will the penny drop that we cannot keep building large roads?

  • 21-02-2021 8:01pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    It seems the penny isn’t dropping with a lot of people that continuing to build an unsustainable transport system isn’t compatible with acting on climate change — car use alone amounts to ~13% of Ireland’s carbon emissions, then there’s build and maintenance, poor land use etc.

    Meanwhile, it's said off-line and on boards.ie etc that anything to do with rail is a white elephant -- it's like an echo of that Sunday Independent article from before the Dart opened calling the Dart a white elephant and saying it would be cheaper to pay for taxis for everybody.

    EDITED: I should stress that I think rail is only a part of the sustainable transport mix -- my point about is how jarring it is that people have no problem with laods of dual carriageways to towns start calling rail in city a white elephant.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,681 ✭✭✭ ratracer


    monument wrote: »
    It seems the penny isn’t dropping with a lot of people that continuing to build an unsustainable transport system isn’t compatible with acting on climate change — car use alone amounts to ~13% of Ireland’s carbon emissions, then there’s build and maintenance, poor land use etc.

    Meanwhile, it's said off-line and on boards.ie etc that anything to do with rail is a white elephant -- it's like an echo of that Sunday Independent article from before the Dart opened calling the Dart a white elephant and saying it would be cheaper to pay for taxis for everybody.

    I kinda agree with you somewhat, but the problem is, any rail ‘improvement’ only seem to want to follow the same Victorian era lines/ routes and that is just too slow. As an example, the Limerick- Galway line is an unmitigated disaster, because it is so long and slow. Some rail fans hold it up as having great numbers, but that’s not exactly true. It has good commuter numbers from Athenry to Galway, and also from Ennis to Limerick, but the middle bit is a disaster. It’s faster by bus from Lmk - Gal. From my experience living in South Galway, I’d never get the train from Gort or Ardrahan, it I would drive to Oranmore and commute from there as then it’s usually quicker than traffic. Also, the rail timetable seems designed to fail, eg there is no rail option from Galway after 7pm in the evening.

    The reason people don’t use trains, IMO, iOS exactly this reason. Why don’t they use CPO’s to commission more direct rail routes between the major cities, in the same way they have done for motorways? It would surely be cheaper in the construction phase and even ongoing maintenance , but unless there is competition for IE, as in privatising some routes, they won’t even try to improve.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    ratracer wrote: »
    I kinda agree with you somewhat, but the problem is, any rail ‘improvement’ only seem to want to follow the same Victorian era lines/ routes and that is just too slow. As an example, the Limerick- Galway line is an unmitigated disaster, because it is so long and slow. Some rail fans hold it up as having great numbers, but that’s not exactly true. It has good commuter numbers from Athenry to Galway, and also from Ennis to Limerick, but the middle bit is a disaster. It’s faster by bus from Lmk - Gal. From my experience living in South Galway, I’d never get the train from Gort or Ardrahan, it I would drive to Oranmore and commute from there as then it’s usually quicker than traffic. Also, the rail timetable seems designed to fail, eg there is no rail option from Galway after 7pm in the evening.

    The reason people don’t use trains, IMO, iOS exactly this reason. Why don’t they use CPO’s to commission more direct rail routes between the major cities, in the same way they have done for motorways? It would surely be cheaper in the construction phase and even ongoing maintenance , but unless there is competition for IE, as in privatising some routes, they won’t even try to improve.

    I know it won't make me any friends, but I agree -- holding up a poor quality WRC as the hill to die on does no favours for rail. No offence intended to anybody fighting for the WRC but a revival in rail needs far more first.

    When I mentioned rail, I was actually thinking of light rail and Galway. But then again the cheap version of light rail being proposed there by some is much like the WRC -- better making the case around both growing the city sustainably, densification of existing areas, and removing existing trips out of cars in the city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,757 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    Ratracer summed up one of the biggest issues with rail.

    That and political interference. WRC phase 1 should never have gotten a penny with its alignment and instead that money should have gone towards making Galway to Dublin a sub 2 hr service, high frequency, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,424 ✭✭✭ ressem


    I travel the majority of my annual mileage by train, but wouldn't recommend it.
    Also is a dual track continuous steel rail any better for land use?

    If rail were the only transport option it would discourage ribbon development, but that's about it?

    Are the tire based electric trams the most likely alternative in urban areas?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_Rail_Rapid_Transit


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 ✭✭✭ Captain Lugger


    ressem wrote: »
    I travel the majority of my annual mileage by train, but wouldn't recommend it.
    Also is a dual track continuous steel rail any better for land use?

    If rail were the only transport option it would discourage ribbon development, but that's about it?

    Are the tire based electric trams the most likely alternative in urban areas?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_Rail_Rapid_Transit

    I’ve seen Translink’s Gliders getting completely snarled up around Donegall Square in even moderate traffic. I doubt modern trolleybuses would be any improvement over a fixed rail link.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 45 ✭✭✭ Captain Lugger


    monument wrote: »
    It seems the penny isn’t dropping with a lot of people that continuing to build an unsustainable transport system isn’t compatible with acting on climate change — car use alone amounts to ~13% of Ireland’s carbon emissions, then there’s build and maintenance, poor land use etc.

    Meanwhile, it's said off-line and on boards.ie etc that anything to do with rail is a white elephant -- it's like an echo of that Sunday Independent article from before the Dart opened calling the Dart a white elephant and saying it would be cheaper to pay for taxis for everybody.

    EDITED: I should stress that I think rail is only a part of the sustainable transport mix -- my point about is how jarring it is that people have no problem with laods of dual carriageways to towns start calling rail in city a white elephant.

    Road provision is based on “build it and they will fill it”. The net result is rural sprawl and a lack of critical mass outside Dublin. The low level sprawl in and around Galway will not be sustainable in a very short few years. In some ways, Dublin has developed on a European model, while Galway is American. Unless all the high density development in the Republic will be in Leinster and to a lesser extent around Cork, we will not have room left to expand the population away from the boom and bust model that depended on exporting our “surplus” population to continue to sustain a few.

    A fundamental rethink on both land use and transportation in both urban and rural Ireland is long overdue. Otherwise big chunks of the country will be a reservation for an aging and immobile population.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,701 ✭✭✭ PeadarCo


    monument wrote: »
    I know it won't make me any friends, but I agree -- holding up a poor quality WRC as the hill to die on does no favours for rail. No offence intended to anybody fighting for the WRC but a revival in rail needs far more first.

    When I mentioned rail, I was actually thinking of light rail and Galway. But then again the cheap version of light rail being proposed there by some is much like the WRC -- better making the case around both growing the city sustainably, densification of existing areas, and removing existing trips out of cars in the city.

    The biggest difference between motorways and railways is that motorways are purpose built for the needs of current motor vehicles and with their capabilities in mind. Reviving railways built a hundred plus years ago is a bad idea and does rail as a transport option a massive disservice.

    If you are going to do it, do it properly. It's why motorways in Ireland have been successful and why rail isn't. The success of motorways also makes them more popular as there are no modern intercity railway lines in Ireland. Therefore the amount of Irish people that actually understand the benefits of such a line on a day to day basis is practically zero as virtually no one has experienced it. If you look at high speed lines world wide they are purpose built and don't use railway designs from the 1800's.

    In cities/large urban areas I heard of numerous studies that show building larger roads just increases traffic problems. The thing is though generally once a properly designed public transport system is put in place its used. The Luas being a good example.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Quite simply: I could drive Cork to my old apartment in Dublin in 2h45m with a short stop.

    The train is about 2h30m center to center. I'd need at least 90 minutes, if not more, to transfer from house - rail and from rail - apartment.

    IF we want to do rail we need new alignments. Navan - Dublin for instance but not slavishly using the old alignment. I do think they need to at least do a feasibility study a Cork - Limerick center - Dublin Heuston,Connolly,Airport - Newry - Belfast high speed line. Cork - Dublin in about 90 - 100 minutes, and Cork - Belfast about 180 minutes.

    Expensive yes, likely will never happen, but would make a massive difference to normalisation of public transport. Make it better than the car. Simple.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,796 ✭✭✭ Isambard


    I've said before rail investment is needed primarily in commuter and Inter City. Speeds need to be raised and lines electrified.

    Having said that, road investment is also badly needed. Many people are a long way from a rail line, and changing mode part way is not ideal either. They need reliable safe roads , anyone who has driven the N73 for instance would agree. Decent roads safe lives.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,009 ✭✭✭✭ LuckyLloyd


    Regarding some of the points above on rail:

    i) The WRC was a bad use of funds, but the sum total of those funds (€106m capital investment) wouldn’t achieve a 2 hr Galway to Dublin journey or the new Navan alignment (touching upon half a billion estimate). We’ve invested little or nothing over the past half century in our railway system as a whole
    ii) And we’ve made bad decisions with those investments. There is no sense of trying to sweat all our current existing infrastructure to the maximum, having timetables that make the most sense for the commuter, etc
    iii) Our biggest rail failing from a climate perspective is Irish Rail’s active scuttling of rail freight over a 30 year period. The decision to do nothing with Rosslare from a rail freight perspective in the context of Brexit (not even a submission or ambitious idea to be rejected) was disgraceful

    I often feel Irish Rail is a terrible advocate and guardian for rail in Ireland. Which is quite the profound hurdle to greater rail adoption.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,757 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    iii) Our biggest rail failing from a climate perspective is Irish Rail’s active scuttling of rail freight over a 30 year period.

    Was the biggest impact to the killing of rail freight not a prolonged strike by freight personnel? I have a vague memory of something like that which went on for so long it actively drove freight customers to switch to road freight

    Maybe I'm way off, just had something in the fog of my memories that something like that had a large part to play


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,009 ✭✭✭✭ LuckyLloyd


    DaCor wrote: »
    Was the biggest impact to the killing of rail freight not a prolonged strike by freight personnel? I have a vague memory of something like that which went on for so long it actively drove freight customers to switch to road freight

    Maybe I'm way off, just had something in the fog of my memories that something like that had a large part to play

    There was an unofficial strike in 2000, but that is a small part of a much broader decline.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    There was an unofficial strike in 2000, but that is a small part of a much broader decline.

    Correct rail freight has been in decline really for the most part of the 20th century across Europe at least. It's only really in the last 10 years that rail freight has seen a revival of sorts due to targets to reduce carbon


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    I think we all have to be realistic about the geography and demographics of our country and how that plays into public transport planning, rail, etc.

    Fundamentally we are still a rural country, one of the most rural in Europe. We have one of the highest rural populations in Europe and worse, our rural developments is ribbon style, one off homes strung along long roads, it is the worst pattern of rural development you could possibly choose. It makes delivering all sorts of infrastructure extremely difficult, obviously public transport, but also electricity, water, waste, broadband, health services, policing, etc.

    Outside of Dublin, most people own a car and frankly it is vastly faster and easier to get around by car then it is by public transport. Most people love their cars and most outside our cities won't give them up for public transport.

    That is just the reality and I don't think there is any point directly fighting it, it is a loosing battle. Some folks live in a fantasy that we will return to the Victorian times and of slow rural rail crossing the whole country. But the disaster that is the WRC has shown that there simply isn't any appetite for such services in rural Ireland, it is a big waste of money. People aren't going to leave their car for services like that.

    Cars, roads and motorways are unfortunately here to stay and won't be going anywhere.

    Now that isn't to say that we can't vastly improve sustainable transport and get people out of cars. We can, but I firmly believe we need to focus on where that has a change of actually being competitive and attractive. Basically commuter rail into our cities and mass transit around our cities (plus intercity).

    This is where I feel we should be focusing our efforts:

    - Planning, stop the one of house rural ribbon development. Focus rural development in and near existing towns and villages where you can have sustainable development and density. Of course this should have been done 50 years ago, but better to start now then never.

    - Cities, make our cities very attractive places to actually live. This means getting rid of cars from our city streets and replacing them with attractive walking and cycling spaces, plus high quality public transport (Bus, Luas, Metro, Dart) to get around the city.

    This also involves dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues in Dublin City Center and the housing crisis. Make our cities very attractive and affordable to live in.

    - High quality commuter rail into our cities. As we want to get rid of cars from our city streets, then we need to make it as quick, easy and comfortable for those living outside out cities in commuter towns around the cities to get into them. Projects like Dart+, double tracking Athenry to Galway, proposed improvements to commuter rail in Cork and Limerick. These are exactly the type of rail projects that we need to be focusing on, not disasters like the WRC. These sort of projects will bring hundreds of thousands, if not millions of extra people onto rail and out of cars.

    - Make the best use of the new high quality roads that we do have. Put attractive and affordable bus and coach services on those roads, so you can at least grab as many people as you can who don't have a car or might consider leaving it at home.

    Also convert cars to EV as quickly as possible. At least that helps reduce (but not eliminate) the environmental impact of cars.

    I do think this is all doable, but it will be a multi-generational change and I do think we need to focus on the projects that will give the biggest bang for the buck and be most successful and not necessarily demonish cars and roads.

    In the end, walking, cycling, EV cars, buses, coaches, trams, darts, commuter trains, metros are all part of an interlinked system and will all play a vital part in sustainable travel and help make our country a better place to live.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,796 ✭✭✭ Isambard


    agree with most you say. The glimmer of hope is "working from home" If we retain and expand that, perhaps with local hubs for major companies with a handful of employees, maybe a difference can be made.

    Reducing the reliance on the motor car is the key. There's no doubt in my mind that the Motor Car has raped this planet. Something has to give. But, after you guys, I love my car.

    Public transport needs to be greatly expanded and free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,237 ✭✭✭ landofthetree


    Its embarrassing how bad we are at rail projects.

    What new rail projects have we built since independence? The Luas and a lot of that was actually just reopening old routes eg the line out to Sandyford was mainly built on disused railway.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Its embarrassing how bad we are at rail projects.

    What new rail projects have we built since independence? The Luas and a lot of that was actually just reopening old routes eg the line out to Sandyford was mainly built on disused railway.

    Well keep in mind that today (ignoring Covid) Irish Rail carries more passengers then ever before. In the last 40 years alone the number of passengers Irish Rail carries has tripled !!

    And separately Luas in the past 20 years has added almost as many passengers again as Irish Rail has!

    We are probably at least x10 times as many people carried by rail today versus pre-1920's. The capacity and frequency of out modern rail system would be pretty much unimaginable and shocking to the Victorians.

    By the 1920's Ireland was already pretty well criss-crossed by rail lines, so for the most part there hasn't been a major new need for new lines. Instead the focus has been rightly on modernising the existing lines where demand exists and vastly improve safety, frequency and capacity.

    Projects like DART+ are vastly more important then reopening rural lines like the WRC or any other potential new line, other then Metrolink.

    As an aside, while some of the Luas is on an old railway line, the majority of it is actually new alignment, the red line, Luas Cross City, and the various extensions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,009 ✭✭✭✭ LuckyLloyd


    Its embarrassing how bad we are at rail projects.

    What new rail projects have we built since independence? The Luas and a lot of that was actually just reopening old routes eg the line out to Sandyford was mainly built on disused railway.

    Precious little that is truly “new” has been built in terms of heavy rail. The rail network has been actively reduced in size since the Second World War. In terms of things that are “new”:

    - The DART
    - The Docklands station and elements of that alignment
    - Additional track and capacity between Park West and NewBridge

    Aside from those items (somebody can correct me if I’ve missed anything truly “new”) we’ve had some improvements to our Victorian inheritance:

    - upgrades to track and signalling across the portion of network in use
    - upgrades to stations and station boxes for disabled passengers
    - reopening the Phoenix Park Tunnel for passenger trains (ludicrous it took so long)
    - WRC phase 1
    - rolling stock investment

    Again, everyone falls over themselves to criticise WRC phase 1 but it was a relatively tiny investment and further phases have not been built on the basis of a business assessment of phase 1’s actual use. In some ways the concept is good: leverage our existing rights of way and disused track where possible; add capital investment to rural areas that have less economic opportunity.

    At the end of the day, DART underground was originally proposed in 1972. Metrolink was proposed in 2005. The benefits and business cases for a major capital investment in heavy rail has been there for decades. It is politics of the worst sort that inhibits that, the WRC is a direct product of those politics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭ beachhead


    This is a fantastical discussion.Lots of quasi politicians contributing.Roads are needs for safe transport of goods,for travel to remote areas.Trains are not used because as stated too slow,too expensive,overcrowded and "certain" travellers.As for the environment/climate this country is a mickety mouse consumer of energy-go after the like of Russia,China and the US and Brazil to fix emissions.The soap box warriors here should chill.By the way electric cars will take 30 years to be in a majority unless the gov does something for drivers-the manufacturers will reduce prices to a profitable level only.Vote the greens for solutions and more taxes.Yeaaaah


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Experts speaking to the Joint Committee on Climate Action decarbonising transport pointing to rail freight being needed -- which is in striking contrast with some on here over the year who have dismissed rail freight in Ireland: https://www.pscp.tv/OireachtasNews/1YqJDeXpPnwxV


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    beachhead wrote: »
    This is a fantastical discussion.Lots of quasi politicians contributing.Roads are needs for safe transport of goods,for travel to remote areas.Trains are not used because as stated too slow,too expensive,overcrowded and "certain" travellers.As for the environment/climate this country is a mickety mouse consumer of energy-go after the like of Russia,China and the US and Brazil to fix emissions.The soap box warriors here should chill.By the way electric cars will take 30 years to be in a majority unless the gov does something for drivers-the manufacturers will reduce prices to a profitable level only.Vote the greens for solutions and more taxes.Yeaaaah

    Nobody said roads are not needed, so, that's a straw man argument.

    The "they pollute more" argument shows you don't have a clue about climate targets and you might as well be saying: bury baby burn.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    monument wrote: »
    Experts speaking to the Joint Committee on Climate Action decarbonising transport pointing to rail freight being needed -- which is in striking contrast with some on here over the year who have dismissed rail freight in Ireland: https://www.pscp.tv/OireachtasNews/1YqJDeXpPnwxV

    That "expert" is an owner of a rail freight business, who would very much profit from government subsiding rail freight, so I'd keep that in mind.

    Overall Irish Rail are extremely unenthusiastic about rail freight.

    Again it comes down to geography and economics that for various reasons which I've explained before, make Ireland one of the least suited countries in the world for rail freight.

    Don't get me wrong, we should encourage as much rail freight where it is reasonable to do so, without too much extra investment and doesn't interfere with passenger services. But in reality it will never make up more then a percent or two of road freight because of the fundamentals.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    bk wrote: »
    I think we all have to be realistic about the geography and demographics of our country and how that plays into public transport planning, rail, etc.

    Fundamentally we are still a rural country, one of the most rural in Europe. We have one of the highest rural populations in Europe and worse, our rural developments is ribbon style, one off homes strung along long roads, it is the worst pattern of rural development you could possibly choose. It makes delivering all sorts of infrastructure extremely difficult, obviously public transport, but also electricity, water, waste, broadband, health services, policing, etc.

    Outside of Dublin, most people own a car and frankly it is vastly faster and easier to get around by car then it is by public transport. Most people love their cars and most outside our cities won't give them up for public transport.

    That is just the reality and I don't think there is any point directly fighting it, it is a loosing battle. Some folks live in a fantasy that we will return to the Victorian times and of slow rural rail crossing the whole country. But the disaster that is the WRC has shown that there simply isn't any appetite for such services in rural Ireland, it is a big waste of money. People aren't going to leave their car for services like that.

    Cars, roads and motorways are unfortunately here to stay and won't be going anywhere.

    Now that isn't to say that we can't vastly improve sustainable transport and get people out of cars. We can, but I firmly believe we need to focus on where that has a change of actually being competitive and attractive. Basically commuter rail into our cities and mass transit around our cities (plus intercity).

    This is where I feel we should be focusing our efforts:

    - Planning, stop the one of house rural ribbon development. Focus rural development in and near existing towns and villages where you can have sustainable development and density. Of course this should have been done 50 years ago, but better to start now then never.

    - Cities, make our cities very attractive places to actually live. This means getting rid of cars from our city streets and replacing them with attractive walking and cycling spaces, plus high quality public transport (Bus, Luas, Metro, Dart) to get around the city.

    This also involves dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues in Dublin City Center and the housing crisis. Make our cities very attractive and affordable to live in.

    - High quality commuter rail into our cities. As we want to get rid of cars from our city streets, then we need to make it as quick, easy and comfortable for those living outside out cities in commuter towns around the cities to get into them. Projects like Dart+, double tracking Athenry to Galway, proposed improvements to commuter rail in Cork and Limerick. These are exactly the type of rail projects that we need to be focusing on, not disasters like the WRC. These sort of projects will bring hundreds of thousands, if not millions of extra people onto rail and out of cars.

    - Make the best use of the new high quality roads that we do have. Put attractive and affordable bus and coach services on those roads, so you can at least grab as many people as you can who don't have a car or might consider leaving it at home.

    Also convert cars to EV as quickly as possible. At least that helps reduce (but not eliminate) the environmental impact of cars.

    I do think this is all doable, but it will be a multi-generational change and I do think we need to focus on the projects that will give the biggest bang for the buck and be most successful and not necessarily demonish cars and roads.

    In the end, walking, cycling, EV cars, buses, coaches, trams, darts, commuter trains, metros are all part of an interlinked system and will all play a vital part in sustainable travel and help make our country a better place to live.

    While I agree with a lot of your points here, there's a bit too much defeatism here. I think you approach might have worked 30-40 years ago but if you're being realistic about carbon reduction, there will have to be a radical rethink of building new large roads.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    monument wrote: »
    While I agree with a lot of your points here, there's a bit too much defeatism here. I think you approach might have worked 30-40 years ago but if you're being realistic about carbon reduction, there will have to be a radical rethink of building new large roads.

    But what large new roads?

    We have already completed most of the motorway network. Other then the M20, which is very badly needed for safety and other reasons, there are only a relatively small number of major road projects left.

    All the road projects for Dublin have largely been dropped, the Eastern Bypass, outer ring road, etc.

    Instead the focus has rightfully shifted to major public transport projects. Dart+, Metrolink, BusConnects, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,890 ✭✭✭ buffalo


    bk wrote: »
    But what large new roads?

    We have already completed most of the motorway network. Other then the M20, which is very badly needed for safety and other reasons, there are only a relatively small number of major road projects left.

    All the road projects for Dublin have largely been dropped, the Eastern Bypass, outer ring road, etc.

    Instead the focus has rightfully shifted to major public transport projects. Dart+, Metrolink, BusConnects, etc.

    They upgraded the M7 to three lanes, and are planning similar for the M4, though I've yet to hear anyone say the extra lane at Naas made much difference to their commute.

    I know they're not strictly 'new', but the same mindset as the OP (I believe).


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,796 ✭✭✭ Isambard


    we need the M20 and we also need rail improvements.

    Rural bus services need expanding radically. 5 or so times a day I can catch a bus 20km and change on to a train or coach to Cork or Limerick, but what of other journeys? I can't go west or north or south by public transport, only east.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,796 ✭✭✭ Isambard


    buffalo wrote: »
    They upgraded the M7 to three lanes, and are planning similar for the M4, though I've yet to hear anyone say the extra lane at Naas made much difference to their commute.

    I know they're not strictly 'new', but the same mindset as the OP (I believe).

    the extra lane would be great if everyone kept to the left-most available lane. Tolling the outside lane (s) could be the answer to that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    It will be tomorrow before I get to re-contribute to any replies but there are certain rail links which make sense.
    A rail line to mirror the M50 is a no-brainer for me. If it served as many major industrial estates and housing areas as possible, it would be a roaring success in taking cars off the M50. People don't want to sit on the M50 in traffic, but many have no choice.
    A rail line from Ballybrophy to Limerick carrying 3 passengers at a subvention cost of 500 euro per journey cannot be justified no matter how much Alan Kelly tries to crow about it.
    The "Build it and they will come" mantra does not apply to railway. If it isn't comparably quick, or providing a reasonable alternative to driving, people won't use it and then you are left with an expensive white elephant and a tax payer footing the bill.
    I never get the Irish obsession with railway. As somebody who spent a life on buses, both in college and working (although now thankfully bicycle is my main transport), at least a bus lane which isn't working out can be changed with a hot flame to remove the paint. This isn't the case with railway and any attempt at railway planning has to be part of a larger strategic plan which incorporates at very least medium density living, and a rail line which ultimately brings people to where they will possibly work in high-density environments.
    The problem in Ireland is we allow so much hodge-podge planning without any coherent consideration for either high-density housing or high-density working, even in Dublin this doesn't happen to anything like the extent of other countries.
    Unfortunately, by the time we'd revert these mistakes, many of us will be 6 feet under.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,410 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    People need to remember that not all public transport is on rails. Most of our public transport is from buses and I can't see that ever changing. We need to stop building/expanding commuter roads on approach to cities and prioritise buses instead. Particularly in Dublin, widening of the N approach roads needs to be forgotten about. We also need to maximise the existing rail network but the realistic opportunities for new build heavy rail (in terms of sufficient catchment, potential alignment, etc.). Obviously light rail should be rolled out in and around cities but even with that, bus will likely still be main option for most people.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    bk wrote: »
    Overall Irish Rail are extremely unenthusiastic about rail freight.


    Irish Rail are unenthusiastic about rail in general. Quite how they are in charge of a rail network is beyond me. They are hopeless.


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