Enhancing accessibility, the need for ring roads such as the Galway Outer Bypass, and the future capacity of our transport network are just some of the issues to affect future transport investment decisions.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Paschal Donohue, recently published a draft strategic framework for transport investment and the public have until October 16 to have their say.
The draft framework was drawn up by a steering group to set out priorities and principles to guide future land transport investment decisions. The findings will contribute to the development of a new multi-annual capital funding framework 2015-2019 and subsequent capital funding programmes. It will also consider investment requirements over the period to 2040 and will therefore contribute to investment decisions over the longer term.
The draft document states that Galway, along with Dublin, Cork, and Limerick has seen levels of inward commuting increase between 2006 and 2011. In accessing the economic impact of transport projects such as the M4/M6 the report noted that although it contributed to the closure of Galway Airport, it was widely seen by stakeholders to have enhanced accessibility and attractiveness of many locations to IDA clients, had been positive for tourism on the west coast, and resulted in Athlone becoming a shopping destination for residents in east Galway.
In investigating how future investment will deliver productivity and competitiveness, a report entitled ‘Land transport priorities for enterprise’ was prepared for the steering group. It noted that Dublin, Cork, and Galway accounted for 82 per cent of employment in new foreign firms for the period 2007 to 2011. It also highlighted the need for better development of public transport to meet customer needs, including the need for completion of the outer city bypass for Galway.
The NRA’s national transport model (NTM ) was used to assess the existing transport system and to identify where performance issues on the network are likely to arise in 2040. It found there were significant sections of corridors around Dublin and the regional cities of Cork and Gallway where the level of service has already at forced or breakdown flow. It is expected that these corridor issues will be more prevelant in 2040. The report also found that some of the other corridors into Dublin, Cork, and Galway currently operating at good level of service show a demonstrable deterioration in flow conditions in the future. Galway shows a deterioration in volume/capacities ratios from around 50 per cent to 60 per cent on the N59, N17, and N18. However the road network in Galway for 2040 shows volume/capacitys of less than 60 per cent in general.