Role for PPP to solve Dublin gridlock

Exclusive: the Dublin Chamber of Commerce has called for private funding to be explored for infrastructure investment in Dublin as traffic on M50 PPP reaches "dangerous" levels.

Graeme McQueen, public affairs manager for Dublin Chamber of Commerce told Partnerships Bulletin that the Irish government needs to consider different ways of funding infrastructure to meet the needs of post-Brexit Dublin, as the city competes for growth with other European cities.

McQueen believes all options must be explored and that there is a role for PPP.

Calls for infrastructure investment have heightened this week after Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s latest report on the M50 showed that traffic levels have "reached a point of breakdown”, with rush hour traffic on the motorway eight hours a day resulting in major safety concerns.

Projects that the chamber wants to see progress are a complete loop of the M50 to be completed on the eastern side of Dublin and a second outer ring road. Also welcome is the execution of the Metro North by the National Transport Authority, and the expansion of the Luas and DART networks currently underway.

However the chamber is calling on the government to now consider what will come after these projects. McQueen welcomed the expedited Capital Review, and underlined the importance of the National Planning Framework (NPF) saying that ‘"it is very important we get it right".

The chamber has contributed to the discussions on the NPF and has urged recognition that Ireland’s city regions must be seen as key catalysts of growth and recognise their unique selling points.

Meanwhile, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has confirmed to Partnerships Bulletin that the NPF is currently scheduled for determination in the second quarter of 2017, with stakeholder consultation to be extended in the new year for all interested parties to contribute to the process.

There were 152 stakeholders invited to the initial stakeholder consultation in June 2016 including 31 local authorities and all government Departments as well representative bodies and agencies.