THE GOVERNMENT could save “billions” of euro by cancelling plans for up to 800km of new motorways and other major roads, according to a brief submitted to Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.
Drawn up by PlanBetter, a joint initiative by An Taisce, Friends of the Earth, Feasta and Friends of the Irish Environment, the brief also calls for “full independent cost/benefit analysis” of major public transport projects such as Metro North and Dart Underground.
“Based on Australian practice, PlanBetter is recommending that an assessment panel be formed drawing together expertise already in the pay of the State but independent of individual projects,” it says, citing the ESRI as an example.
“Ongoing expenditure on projects such as Metro North, further motorways and consultation exercises which assume various projects will proceed, such as National Transport Authority’s Vision 2030, are premature pending independent cost/benefit assessment.”
PlanBetter is calling for all tolls on Irish roads to be replaced with multi-point electronic tolling where motorists would be charged 10 cent to 40 cent for travelling on sections of main routes. For journeys such as Cork to Dublin the total charge would be €16.
It wants plans for Metro North, Metro West and additional Luas lines replaced by advanced quality bus corridors.