An Taisce: The North West does not need a motorway

As pressure mounts on the government to improve infrastructure to the North West – An Taisce says there’s no need for a motorway to Sligo.

The comments come as part of the overall discussion on the National Planning Framework which will outline a strategic plan for how the country will develop over the next 20 years.

The revised plan could be revealed by government in Sligo next week.

Rural TDs say it’s been a bad week for rural Ireland between broadband and the lack of reference to towns like Sligo and Letterkenny in the National Planning Framework.

Sligo Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin says he’s been lobbied by many groups in Sligo many of them business groups to ensure that Sligo is a designated hub for development:

He says improved infrastructure including a motorway to the North West needs to be developed:

But An Taisce, the National Heritage Trust for Ireland says the numbers of cars on the road to Sligo doesn’t justify a motorway.

The group which is responsible for protecting our national heritage says that the government should focus on investing in public transport in it’s new planning framework.

Communications officer with An Taisce Charles Stanley-Smith says at least 30,000 cars a day are needed to justify a motorway but some in Ireland are clocking less than 10,000 vehicles a day.

Spokesperson Charles Stanley-Smith told Ocean FM News this week says that while good roads are needed to the North West – a motorway is not:

But it doesn’t look like good news for public transport with the Irish Times reporting today that the new plan will not include an extension to the Western Rail Corridor, which features in the Programme for Government.

Groups such as West on Track have been campaigning for years to have the railway line reopened.

It was also included in the deal between the Independents and Fine Gael during government talks but perhaps a compromise can yet be reached.

In the meantime other groups like the Western Rail Trail say it’s good news for greenways.

Their spokesperson is Brendan Quinn:

It’s yet to be confirmed when exactly the new plan will be published but Tony McLoughlin says it imminent.

Deputy McLoughlin says he simply will not stop until the North West is named in the new National Planning Framework: