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Regional Assembly Criticises Iarnrod Eireann

BMW Press Release
Tuesday April 6th 2004

Members of the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly criticised Iarnrod Eireann for their low level of investment in the BMW region under the National Development Plan. Meeting in the Assembly offices in Ballaghaderreen on Friday last, the Assembly called on Minister for Transport, Seamus Brennan to ensure that the expenditure targets for public transport in the BMW Region, are met in full.

The huge shortfall in investment on public transport in the BMW region was highlighted in the ESRI Mid-Term Evaluation of the NDP report. This report highlighted the fact that investment in public transport had been 43% of forecast in the BMW region and 149% of forecast in the Southern and Eastern region

Chairman of the BMW Regional Assembly, Councillor Matt Loughnane referred to an unsatisfactory meeting that had taken place with senior management of Iarnrod Eireann in January of this year and also the unsatisfactory response to a written request from the Regional Assembly for a clear statement from Iarnrod Eireann as to how the Company intended to meet its expenditure targets as set out under the National Development Plan.

Iarnrod Eireann's response referred to investments in the Dublin region as being of benefit to the BMW region, but failed to deal with the critical issue of the massive underspend of euro223m in public transport in the BMW region at the mid-term stage of the programme, nor had Iarnrod Eireann set out details of their proposed investment programme for the remainder of the National Development Plan.

Members contrasted this situation with the approach adopted by the National Roads Authority where significant new projects are coming on stream in the BMW region and it is likely that expenditure targets will be met over the lifetime of the NDP. They welcomed the announcement of a five year multi-annual framework by Minister Seamus Brennan which would help to re-balance roads investment in favour of the BMW Region.








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