22 May 2022

Delivery of world-class transport infrastructure vital to quality of life in the South-East - Ibec


IBEC stock image

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that as the economy gradually reopens and restrictions ease, decades of chronic underinvestment in key infrastructure including transport is threatening to undermine the prospects for economic recovery.

The group is calling on Government to ensure that the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland (NIFTI) supports the delivery of an enhanced National Development Plan (NDP), underpinned by an ambitious programme of world class public services and infrastructure development.

“NIFTI can play a central role in ensuring the delivery of an enhanced ‘NDP Plus’ programme of investment to support better lives and better business in the South-East region. It must ensure transport infrastructure investment supports greater ambition in the revised NDP,” says Ibec regional policy executive George Gill.

“The minimum projected growth for Waterford City and suburbs to 2040 is 50%, and to achieve this growth the NDP must ensure that priorities in relation to infrastructure provision in the South-East are realised. Targeted and ambitious capital investment in transport, broadband, housing, education including a new Technological University, revitalisation of Waterford metropolitan area and towns across the region, will be key to supporting the region’s economy to rebuild and ensuring it is better connected, more sustainable, and ultimately more competitive in the wake of the pandemic.

“Furthermore, the timescale for the delivery of vital projects is taking far too long. The priority must be to get projects delivered much more rapidly. Accelerated delivery of infrastructure projects must be a central plank of the National Development Plan review process.

Amongst Ibec’s key infrastructure priorities for the South-East region in its recent NDP submission include: 

  • Accelerate the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan and ensure a supportive regulatory environment for the successful roll-out of 5G.
  • Upgrade strategic road infrastructure projects, including the N24 Waterford to Limerick and N25 Rosslare to Cork, to ensure greater collaboration between regional cities and drive the region’s growth.
  • Accelerate the delivery of the N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare and upgrade the N80 inter-regional route, enhancing access to Rosslare Europort.
  • Increase investment in the Institute of Technology Carlow and the Waterford Institute of Technology to increase capacity and support the ambition of the Technological University.
  • Upgrade Further Education and Training facilities, including the development of FET ‘Colleges of the Future’.
  • Increase investment in tourism infrastructure, to stimulate demand and build upon the sector’s potential.
  • Revitalise town centres to ensure their future viability and underpin recovery across the region.
  • Accelerate delivery of an integrated sustainable transport across metropolitan Waterford, capable of supporting significant levels of population and employment growth.
  • Future development and expansion of the region’s ports, including the facilitation of offshore renewable energy projects.

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