Strategic development severely hindered as Government scrap key regional road – Tóibín
Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht, has expressed disappointment that the East- West Road corridor from Dundalk to Sligo has been shelved by the new Minister for Transport Shane Ross.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“The over-concentration of economic activity in Dublin is a huge issue for Ireland. To put this into context, 20% of British economic activity is concentrated in London. It is considered by many in Britain that this concentration is far too high. Shockingly, 40% of this state’s GDP is generated in Dublin. 55% of income tax generated in this state is generated in Dublin
“The only way to resolve this dilemma is to introduce policies that disrupt this pattern and invest in areas outside of Dublin to redress this imbalance.
“The border region suffers greatly from depopulation, poverty, emigration and unemployment. Indeed in the last five years there has been a 30% fall in the population between age group of 20-30 year olds in this state. Emigration amongst this age cohort has been highest in the Border region, the West and the Mid-West.
“Dundalk and Sligo are two strategic development hubs. The disadvantaged border region lies between. Both regions need infrastructural investment to ensure they grow to a critical mass to provide the necessary economic balance for growth, economic and social development, and to revitalise the whole region.
“The National Spatial Plan is now 14 years old. It is defunct. The new National Planning Framework has only just begun the consultation process. Yet against this backdrop, the government has shelved this strategic transport corridor without due research, without due consideration, and without a plan.”