Govt investment in all Irish ports needed- Howlin
Ahead of the launch of the new traffic plan ‘Operation Purge’, Labour Party leader, Brendan Howlin TD, has called on the Government to invest in alternative ports rather than rely solely on Dublin Port.
Deputy Howlin said: “For several years I have called on the Government to invest in Cork, Shannon, Rosslare and Waterford to build up more direct routes to continental Europe and to deal with the problems of traffic congestion for trucks crossing Britain after Brexit.
“Operation Purge is a flawed plan to ensure Dublin’s Port Tunnel remains open even if there is a surge of Brexit-related traffic. The first problem with the plan is that it envisages sending inbound trucks on a U-turn back down the tunnel to park somewhere off the M1 motorway. This will add congestion to the motorway at the crucial point where it reaches the airport.
“Secondly, the proposed contingency plan does not deal with storm weather or accidents in the tunnel, both of which events caused Dublin traffic to grind to a halt on separate occasions in recent months.
“We know that the Dover-Calais crossing will be extremely congested, so Irish exporters will need more capacity on the direct ferry routes to France, Belgium and the Netherland. Logically, this means we should be developing our southern ports, which are nearest to these destinations.
“The Government has wrongly put all of our eggs into the single basket of Dublin Port, and this latest contingency plan is a clear example of how Brexit will badly stretch Dublin’s infrastructure. The Government should immediately outline an investment programme for our other ports, to re-balance the risks involved and to distribute traffic around the country to reduce pressure on any one point in the traffic network.
“The Government should press the ferry companies to provide more direct routes to the continent and, if needed, identity extra vessels that could be leased.”