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Western Transport Corridor from Killarney to Letterkenny urged by IEI

Press Release
Wednesday Februry 11th 2004

In its latest submission to Government, the IEI has called for the development of a Western Transport Corridor and is also backing the establishment of a single, all-island energy market.

The Government has been urged to begin planning a quality Western Transport Corridor from Killarney to Letterkenny similar to the Eastern Corridor which, on completion of the current National Development Plan, will see high quality road and rail linkages running from Belfast to Rosslare.

This call has come from the Institution of Engineers of Ireland which says this Western Corridor is critical to achieving key objectives of the National Spatial Strategy such as balanced regional development, and countering the social and economic pull of the Greater Dublin Area.

"Without such linkage, the NSS will remain just another strategy without substance and much of the western half of the country will become more and more unsustainable as Dublin pulls investment and population to itself", according to the Institution's director general, Mr. Paddy Purcell.

The proposal is made in submissions to the Government and the Northern Ireland Administration on "Delivering Sustainability", which also focuses on a number of all-island issues including energy policy. The IEI wants an all-Ireland EU Energy Region established with a single energy market and a single regulator.

"There would be distinct benefits, from both an environmental and a customer viewpoint, North and South, in treating the energy market on the island as a single integrated market technically, operationally and economically", according to Mr. Purcell.

The submission also deals with the implications of global warming and the likely impact of climate change in Ireland, including sea level rises and increased frequency of extreme weather events.

"Decisions about what crops to grow, what landscapes to protect, where to build transport corridors in coastal zones, how we design and maintain our water and sewerage infrastructure, and - perhaps most importantly of all - where to build new residential areas urgently require to be 'climate change proofed'", the IEI submission says.

The Institution of Engineers also calls for a review of physical planning policies, and in particular the replacement of "green belts" with what it terms "green wedges" or "green lungs". The IEI claims that green belts "are not compatible with transport corridors if maximum benefit is to be gained from the infrastructure developed".








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