Re: Re: The Irish attitude to development – what is holding us back?
Home › Forums › Ireland › The Irish attitude to development – what is holding us back? › Re: Re: The Irish attitude to development – what is holding us back?
QUOTE=Frank Taylor]Do you have any data to back up your assertion that ? [/QUOTE]
Thanks to those who have offered some good insights into this issue. As regards ‘data’ to back this up, all I can go on is empirical observation. Consider the following examples:
cost estimate for building a Dublin metro (was estimated at about 3 times – if I remember correctly – the estimate given by Spanish metro builders based on the Madrid network);
apparent reluctance to build a metro (for cost reasons, technical reasons or just because we are inexplicably incapable of doing what most other European capital and second cities have done:
– worth bearing in mind: the London underground was started in the 1860s so how technically challenging is it really by modern day construction standards; many cities of lesser or equal size and wealth have managed to build underground lines (Prague, Sofia, Budapest, Vienna, etc etc);
lack of proper motorway network:
– worth bearing in mind that Ireland (one of wealthiest countries in Europe) has one of the least number of km of motorway per person in western Europe;
– worth bearing in mind that we do not even have huge natural obstacles to overcome – no Alps, no major rivers, no deep ravines, no earthquake sensitive regions. No just flat land and we appear unable to lay a flat road network over it.
– even the roads we do have lack any sense of systematic design so you can go from a motorway to a boreen in the space of five meters. To me this indicates either complicated resourcing issues (as indicated in a contribution to this thread) or a lack of a total plan/vision. I presume it is the latter as all other European countries also face complicated EU resourcing issues, but still manage to have an integrated motorway network;
– delay in completing the M50 â€“ don’t wish to appear archaeologically insensitive, but why? To prevent the destruction of a memorial of our colonial past â€“ will we be preserving British watchtowers along the Armagh border in the years to come??? It is nice to see that our colonial past still stands in the way of our potentially progressive future!
lack of a non-Dublin orientated road and rail infrastructure â€“ evidence â€“ just get in your car and see;
lack of adequate recycling infrastructure â€“ effectively none by western European standards;
construction of high-rise buildings â€“ how many proposals have been blocked by various protest groups;
lack of adequate public transport â€“ try to travel in rural Ireland without a car. In Dublin? â€“ we seem incapable of having a fully functioning integrated ticket system, yet we are so proud of telling people how Ireland was producing so much of the world’s software products in the 1990s;
– case study: compare Dublin with Vienna. Vienna â€“ population 1.55 million people; 6 underground lines (one currently being extended); 60+ tram lines; I don’t know how many bus lines; 7 S-Bahn lines (like Arrow suburban service) and 3 or 4 regional train lines connecting outer satellite towns; special air-link train which is ultra modern. In addition, it has a properly integrated ticketing system and is largely reliable, clean and safe;
– Dublin â€“ population about 1-1.2 million; no underground lines, 2 tram lines just built; I don’t know the number of bus routes â€“ I estimate a couple of hundred but could be wrong; Dart line and how many Arrow lines. No direct air link. No integrated ticketing system and you still pay at the door causing unnecessary delays;
– Why? Bear in mind, Vienna rebuilt its transport infrastructure completely in the last 40-50 years (after destruction of WWII). Dublin has never had its transport system bombed into nothingness and yet is about 30 years behind. Neither did Austria receive the huge EU funding which Ireland did. On the contrary, it has been a net contributor to the EU since it joined in the 1990s. So why is Dublin’s transport development so retarded in comparison?????
– Consider Madrid. Spain was one of the poor men of Europe along with Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Despite all of the hype about the Celtic tiger etc, Spain has been silently purring away in the back ground and has not been boasting in the inflated manner that Ireland has. Result? â€“ look at Spain’s developed underground system in Madrid and suburban rail network; look at the high speed AVE train to Seville and the new high speed line being built to Barcelona, look at the motorway network etc etc. Interesting. Even those traditionally poor countries in the EU are outstripping one of the allegedly wealthiest and they are doing it in style and with modesty. Just travel on the AVE from Madrid to Seville and then travel CIE from Dublin to Cork â€“ you will get all of the data you need to exemplify the severely retarded nature of development in Ireland. As I quoted before â€“ a third world country, just with bad weather.
I could go on, but I don’t see any point. For anyone that has ever stepped outside of the country and compared its infrastructure with other EU states will know how exaggerated all of these claims are about Ireland’s dramatic success.