Howlin demands Rosslare Port be upgraded to Tier 1 in next week’s Budget

05 October 2018

In Labour’s Alternative Budget 2019, Labour Party Leader and TD for Wexford, Brendan Howlin, has demanded that the money be made available to upgrade Rosslare to a Tier One Port at a cost of €92 million.

Deputy Howlin said:

“The likelihood of a hard Brexit increases with every week, and the UK has not shown any indication of progress on the backstop. Ireland must begin to seriously prepare for the worst outcome.

“As the nearest Irish port to continental Europe, Rosslare Europort is strategically well placed for development. Labour would upgrade it to a Tier One port.

“As it is state owned through Iarnród Éireann, we are proposing this be financed through the Ireland Strategic Infrastructure Fund (ISIF). In order to meet the EU requirements for a Tier One status, the port would require necessary infrastructure and connectivity, and also would have to meet certain tonnage and volume requirements.

“The infrastructure developments would have to include the following works and estimated costs:

– Deepening of the Port to accommodate larger vessels. €60m

– Extension of berth and additional double link-span. €12m

– Port re-configuration. €5m

– Road connectivity to facilitate new entrance and connectivity to the Wexford upgraded road network. €15m

“It makes no economic sense for goods to be transported from across Munster to Dublin, only to be shipped south within sight of Rosslare on their way to the continent. It would also lower Carbon emissions for Rosslare to take more of this traffic.

“There is an argument for establishing a publicly-owned Independent Port Authority for Rosslare to ensure a singular focus on maritime and shipping issues. Such an Independent Port Authority could be formally linked to Wexford County Council as its local authority.

“There is also a need for a region-wide plan to ensure that Rosslare Europort is fully served by the infrastructure it needs to expand the volume of Irish exports it can take. For example, while the Enniscorthy by-pass on the M11 will be completed within months, it was always understood that the next phase would be to extend and improve the road all the way to the port. Crucially, this would involve upgrading 32 kilometres of the N11/N25 roads to motorway, stretching from Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour. Access to the harbour itself it on a relatively narrow road that creates a bottleneck for goods transport and this needs to be urgently resolved.

“The money is there in Budget 2019 for Rosslare Europort to be upgraded to a Tier One port, and I am calling on the Government to start planning for this upgrade in next week’s Budget.”

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