Transport Insights
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GDA Draft Transport StrategyThe Government’s announcement of a new Medium Term Capital Investment Plan[1] comes hard on the heels of the NTA’s recently announced development of a new Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA)[2]. So, do these initiatives matter?  In a word, YES!  So what’s their significance for the regional economy, and in particular, for the development planning sector?

First a bit of history!

NTA’s current Draft Transport Strategy[3] was published in June 2011 at a time of major economic and political uncertainty:- the EU-IMF Programme commenced in November 2010, and a general election was held in February 2011.  Later that year, in November 2011, the current Government announced the National Capital Investment Framework 2012-2016, leading to the deferral (as expected by many in the industry) of key elements of NTA’s Strategy, namely Metro North and DART Underground schemes.

National Bike Week, an annual event which involves a diverse range of cycling activities all over Ireland, is almost upon us and now is an excellent time to take stock and consider recent progress in encouraging more people to cycle. 

In November 2013, the NTA announced that approximately 10% of non-commercial bus markets in Dublin and outside Dublin would be the subject of competitive tendering.  Now that the decision has been made, what’s in play for the public sector and private bus operators – why bother in the first place? 

  • For the public sector, is it not just a costly process, with minimal savings to the taxpayer, major risks to the exchequer if a bus company goes bust, and significant impact to bus users in terms of network fragmentation?

  • Likewise for bus operators, does it not represent a high cost, high risk endeavour, with limited financial gain?

Without exception, the short answer to these questions is no!  And I’ll tell you why!
 
dub dockSustainable development
The changing economic landscape, and transition from traditional employment sectors, has altered rental and buyer demand in the residential market.  As a consequence of these changes, transport is an ever more important demand influencer, with an increasing emphasis on sustainable transport modes.
 
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development is usually defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs[1]”.  One of the main threats to sustainable development is “transport congestion[which] has been rising rapidly and is approaching gridlock.  This mainly affects urban areas, which are also challenged by problems such as inner city decay, sprawling suburbs, and concentrations of acute poverty and social exclusion.”[2]

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