Independent Media Centre Ireland

Tara campaign.. Taxpayer To Pay For M3 Double Toll

category national | environment | news report author Friday December 11, 2009 14:16author by lugh23 - email lugh23 at gmail dot com

Ferrovial made a sweetheart deal with the Government under which the Toll company would be compensated by the Taxpayer if traffic levels did not reach the specific/expected targets.

Ferrovial made a sweetheart deal with the Government under which the Toll company would be compensated by the Taxpayer if traffic levels did not reach the specific/expected targets.

Save Tara campaigners are calling for the resignation of the Minister for Transport, Mr. Noel Dempsey, over the issue of the tolling of the M3 motorway. Campaigners have been drawing attention to the fact that the road was to be tolled twice for years now but the message has fallen on deaf ears until recently when a letter (Meath Chronicle, 18th. July) from the campaign again drew attention to the fact that Ferrovial made a sweetheart deal with the Government under which the Toll company would be compensated by the Taxpayer if traffic levels did not reach the specific/expected targets. (Campaigners have also drawn attention to the fact that the tolling period is 45 years and not 30 as reported widely in the press.)

The traffic figures on the existing N3 are dropping yearly since its peak in May '06 when it reached 19,042, the latest figures available are for March '09 and they have fallen by nearly 3,000 to 16,279. These figures will continue to fall as Meath now records the highest job losses in the country. Unemployment has risen by 116% in a year and the total unemployed in the county now stands at 11,498.

In the coming years there will be less people moving to Meath for housing as the prices in Dublin continue to fall - the rise in the population of Meath was mainly due to Dubliners who could not afford to live in their own county due to high house prices. Given a choice, commuters will chose to live in neighbouring Kildare where there are no tolls and there is a decent alternative public transport system from the commuter towns of Maynooth and Leixlip in particular.

As far as an alternative public transport system for county Meath is concerned, this deal with Ferrovial means that the Government now has a conflict of interest vis a vis the rail option and the M3 motorway. Any proposal for any public transport alternative for Meath commuters will be handicapped by the necessity for the Government to consider the damage such proposals might inflict on traffic volumes on the M3. As an example - the site of the Pace railway station (after the Toll Plaza on the M3) demonstrates this point graphically - you can have the rail alternative but not until you first pay the toll on the M3.

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Comments (3 of 3)

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author by Proinsiaspublication date Mon Dec 14, 2009 01:46author address author phone

Are we being slowly desensitised? It's just one shameful story/fact after another of either ridiculous state incompetence or calculated brazen affront to the Irish citizen.
What can the little guy do? Were Irish men born to pray and save? Is the romantic Ireland of equality, justice and a moral sense of fair play dead and gone?

'For what died the sons of Roisin?, was it greed?
For what died the sons of Roisin was it fame?
When we've sold enough of Ireland to be but strangers in it
For what died the sons of Roisin.'

author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Tue Dec 15, 2009 08:32author address author phone

No New Rail Projects Until Finances Get back On Track

Wednesday December 09 2009 By Paul Melia

No new rail projects will go ahead until we have more money, the Government
admitted yesterday.
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said that money had been allocated to just two
projects -- the Metro North and DART underground in Dublin -- and that all other
schemes would be delayed for the foreseeable future.
This means that plans to extend the Luas light-rail system to Lucan, Bray, and
Broombridge near Cabra have been put on hold, while the Metro West project
linking Tallaght to Dublin Airport will also be now delayed.
The Metro North and DART underground alone are expected to cost in excess of
6.5bn, and all of the projects in the Transport 21 public transport programme
were expected to be completed by 2017.
Also expected to be delayed are the Navan train line, while the Tuam to Galway
line is likely to stay at the design stage.
Speaking at the opening of the extension of the Red (Tallaght) Luas line to the
docklands yesterday, Mr Dempsey said all projects would be brought through the
planning process but that building work would not begin until money was
"Both of them, the Metro and DART underground, are in the capital programme
going forward," he said. "The Government is absolutely committed to both of
those programmes.
"There's a couple of other Luas extensions that will open over the next couple
of years, and further ones that are in planning," he said.
"We intend to ensure we can bring all of those through planning and design and
then we will build when we have the money to build.
"It's not going to be possible to build within the same timeframe. They will be
built as soon as we have the finances."
The 1.5km journey from the Luas stop at Busarus to The Point took just over
seven minutes on the first night of operation for the Luas extension into the
city's docklands.
Eager young fans going to the Lily Allen concert at The O2 arena crowded onto
the tram for the speedy journey.
Trams were also ready to pick the thousands of fans up after the concert and
take them back into the city.
The Luas extension to Cherrywood is expected to open in the second half of next
year, while an extension to Citywest will open in 2011. Both are part-funded by
the private sector.
The Luas Docklands (C1) extension will carry 1.8 million passengers a year.
There are four stops -- George's Dock, Mayor Square, Spencer Dock and The Point.
Public consultation on the line began in January 2001, and the final route was
selected in November 2003.
Work began in February 2007 after planning permission was secured, and it cost
90m to build and was completed on time and within budget.
Journey times from Tallaght to The Point will take 52 minutes, while trams will
run in the opposite direction every six and a half minutes at peak times and
every eight minutes at all other times on weekdays.
Railway Procurement Agency chief executive Frank Allen said he was delighted the
first new extension to Luas was ready to go into service.
- Paul Melia
Irish Independent\

author by Michaelangelo - -publication date Fri Dec 18, 2009 13:11author address author phone

Yes, this huge payout of taxpayers money to Ferrovial is still unopposed by Fine Gael in the Dail, who have always given a carte blanche to the Tara Motorway.

You would think that taxpayers in this recession would be up in arms against the M3 on this account alone even if they don't give a damn about their own environment and heritage !

This generation reminds me of the mob who wanted to tear the 1916 men to shreds as they were marched off after their surrender , saved only by the British Army !

No Balls :-)

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