Major investment in road network infrastructure can position the North East as a region of long term sustainable economic growth.
That’s according to Ibec, the group that represents Irish business.
The claim comes in the Ibec submission to the public consultation on the National Planning Framework, which calls for an ambitious long-term planning and investment strategy for Ireland to address the growing imbalance between the regions and the greater Dublin economy.
The submission was formulated through extensive consultation with businesses throughout the counties of Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan.
Ibec Senior Regional Policy Executive Helen Leahy said: “Inter-regional connectivity, by means of motorway between major urban centres, is vital in facilitating the co-ordination of development across wider regions. Connecting cities and their regions will help spread the economic and population growth which is currently concentrated on the east coast.
For the North East, the N2/A5 Dublin-Monaghan-Derry is a key road project. An upgraded regional road network would foster many direct and indirect benefits, including increased commercial and business links, increased talent pool for businesses, more efficient and cost effective movement of people and goods with safer and shorter travel times”.
The new Plan must be underpinned by increased State investment, in context of the Public Capital Programme, in transport, broadband, water services, health and education infrastructure across all regions. This would have the knock on effect of increasing productivity, employment opportunities, and improved standards of living by reducing transport costs, connecting regions to cities, and attracting more private sector investment.
Ibec believes the policy areas for the National Planning Framework to address in order to effect change are:
Ambition for our regions- addressing the spatial imbalance.
An All Island approach to planning.
A clear strategy for cities and place making.
Improving the effectiveness of planning.
Equipping Ireland for future development- infrastructure provision.
Better agency coordination, implementation and governance.