National Development Plan
Overview
 
National Development Plan (NDP) is the title given by the Irish Government
Irish Government
The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.-Members of the Government:Membership of the Government is regulated fundamentally by the Constitution of Ireland. The Government is headed by a prime minister called the Taoiseach...

 to a scheme of organised large-scale expenditure on (mainly) national infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

. The period covered by the seven year plan runs from 2000 to 2006. A second National Development Plan is currently in progress and is due to run until 2013 (spending €70 million a day every day from 2007 to 2013). The main elements to the original plan was the development of a national motorway network between the major cities in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.
Encyclopedia
National Development Plan (NDP) is the title given by the Irish Government
Irish Government
The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.-Members of the Government:Membership of the Government is regulated fundamentally by the Constitution of Ireland. The Government is headed by a prime minister called the Taoiseach...

 to a scheme of organised large-scale expenditure on (mainly) national infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

. The period covered by the seven year plan runs from 2000 to 2006. A second National Development Plan is currently in progress and is due to run until 2013 (spending €70 million a day every day from 2007 to 2013). The main elements to the original plan was the development of a national motorway network between the major cities in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. The upgrading of the rail network was a secondary scheme.

Road network

By the start of 2009 substantial progress had been made on the motorway network, with all sections of the five major inter-urban motorways either under construction or complete. The M1 motorway from Dublin towards Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 has been completed as far as the border with Northern Ireland
Republic of Ireland-United Kingdom border
The Republic of Ireland–United Kingdom border is the boundary between the sovereign states of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland...

. The last section section of N1/M1 route to be completed was the motorway/dual carriageway upgrade that crossed the border to become an upgraded A1 route as far as Newry. This was the first cross-border road project and was opened to traffic on the 2nd of August 2007, thus completing the N1/M1 route.

The N7/M7 motorway
M7 motorway (Republic of Ireland)
The M7 motorway is a motorway in Ireland. The motorway runs continuously from the outskirts of Naas in County Kildare to Rossbrien on the outskirts of Limerick City. The M7 forms part of the Dublin to Limerick N7 national primary road. The section of the motorway bypassing Naas, an 8 km...

 from Dublin to Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

 was completed in 2010. Major work was undertaken to extend the motorway westwards from Portlaoise to Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

 from 2006 onwards when work on the Nenagh to Limerick section commenced. Construction commenced on the Portlaoise to Castletown section in 2007 while work commenced on the Castletown to Nenagh section in 2008. All sections were completed at various times in 2010. Other upgrades during this period include the Naas
Naas
Naas is the county town of County Kildare in Ireland. With a population of just over twenty thousand, it is also the largest town in the county. Naas is a major commuter suburb, with many people residing there and working in Dublin...

 road upgrade, which was finished in August 2006. This involved the widening of a section of the route to three lanes in each direction and the removal of several at-grade junctions.

The M4/N4 from Dublin towards Sligo
Sligo
Sligo is the county town of County Sligo in Ireland. The town is a borough and has a charter and a town mayor. It is sometimes referred to as a city, and sometimes as a town, and is the second largest urban area in Connacht...

 (and providing the link to the N6/M6 for Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

) now reaches as far as the Midlands. By September 2008, the M6 motorway was contiguous from Kinnegad to Athlone. The rest of the M6 route was completed in 2009 as far as Galway (where it will tie in with the proposed M17/M18 schemes). All sections of the M9 motorway to Waterford are also completed. The M9 Carlow bypass element opened in May 2008, while the Waterford-Knocktopher scheme opened in 2010. The M8 Dublin-Cork road motorway
M8 motorway (Ireland)
The M8 motorway is an inter-urban motorway in Ireland, which forms part of the road from the capital - Dublin - to Cork city. The 149 km motorway commences in the townland of Aghaboe, County Laois and runs through the counties of Kilkenny, North Tipperary, South Tipperary and Limerick,...

 moved substantially towards completion in 2008 with the opening of the 37 km Cashel-Mitchelstown scheme and the redesignation of the Cashel bypass to motorway standard. In December 2008, the 40 km M8 Cullahill-Cashel scheme was opened to traffic. All other sections of this route were under construction by late 2007. The 16 km Fermoy to Mitchelstown segment opened to traffic on 25 May 2009. The M8 was completed in 2010 following the opening of the M7/M8 Portlaoise to Castletown/Cullahill route where the M8 intersects with the M7. The N11/M11 is also receiving upgrades along with the new controversial 47 km M3 motorway.

In 2009, works are in progress to upgrade the now-complete M50 motorway
M50 motorway (Ireland)
The M50 motorway is a motorway in Ireland running in a C-shaped ring around the north-eastern, northern, western and southern sides of the capital city, Dublin. The northern end of the route is located at the entrance to the Dublin Port Tunnel. Anti-clockwise it heads northwest through the tunnel...

 Dublin inner ringroad. The upgrade of parts of the M50 is due to be appended to the NDP. One of the upgrades was the M50 Dublin Port Tunnel
Dublin Port Tunnel
The Dublin Port Tunnel is a road traffic tunnel in Dublin, Ireland, that forms part of the M50 motorway....

 project which was a major scheme involving tunnelling from the M1 north of the city centre, through to the Docklands to the east of the city centre. The tunnel was officially opened by the Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

, Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Patrick Bartholomew "Bertie" Ahern is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008....

, on 20 December 2006. Other upgrades included the changing of the N4/M50 to a free-flow layout and an upgrade of the motorway to three or four lanes in each direction between many junctions. Works are in progress to upgrade the N7/M50 and M1/M50 junctions to free-flow or near free-flow layouts, and to upgrade the rest of the route to three or four-lane motorway.

By early 2009, some progress has been made on the Atlantic Corridor
Atlantic Corridor
The Atlantic Corridor is a road project in Ireland that eventually will link Waterford in the South-East to Letterkenny in the North-West by high-quality dual carriageway or motorway. A major infrastructure project, the scheme was announced as part of the Transport 21 project launch in 2005, and is...

, which aims to link Letterkenny to Waterford, via upgrades of the N15, N17, N18, N20 and N25. The upgrade would see dual-carriageway/motorway links between Letterkenny and Sligo, Sligo and Galway, Galway and Limerick, Limerick and Cork and Cork and Waterford. In November 2008 work commenced on the 22 km section of the N18 HQDC from Crusheen to Gort. Various other sections of the route are planning stages. The M20 Cork-Limerick route is at public consultation stage and an EIS and motorway order are due to be published around April next year. The M17 from Galway to Tuam is at a preliminary design stage. The N18/M18 from Oranmore-Gort (which ties in with the aforementioned M17) is also at preliminary design stage. The N25 Wateford City bypass was completed on 19 October 2009, 10 months ahead of schedule . The N25/M25 New Ross bypass is at the preliminary design stage.

Rail network

Almost all the operational rail network in the Republic has now been upgraded to continuous welded rail – however, much of this work commenced prior to the NDP as part of the Ontrack rail network upgrade programme.

Dublin suburban routes have benefitted from large amounts of new rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

, in the form of suburban railcar
Railcar
A railcar, in British English and Australian English, is a self-propelled railway vehicle designed to transport passengers. The term "railcar" is usually used in reference to a train consisting of a single coach , with a driver's cab at one or both ends. Some railways, e.g., the Great Western...

s. These operate north to Dundalk
Dundalk
Dundalk is the county town of County Louth in Ireland. It is situated where the Castletown River flows into Dundalk Bay. The town is close to the border with Northern Ireland and equi-distant from Dublin and Belfast. The town's name, which was historically written as Dundalgan, has associations...

, northwest to Maynooth
Maynooth
Maynooth is a town in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to a branch of the National University of Ireland, a Papal University and Ireland's main Roman Catholic seminary, St. Patrick's College...

, southwest to Kildare
Kildare
-External links:*******...

 and south to Arklow
Arklow
Arklow , also known as Inbhear Dé from the Avonmore river's older name Abhainn Dé, is a historic town located in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the ninth century, Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion...

. The electrified section of the north-south route through Dublin has had extra EMU
Multiple unit
The term multiple unit or MU is used to describe a self-propelled carriages capable of coupling with other units of the same or similar type and still being controlled from one driving cab. The term is commonly used to denote passenger trainsets consisting of more than one carriage...

s brought into service. Dublin has also seen the opening of a new tram system, Luas
Luas
Luas , also promoted in the development stage as the Dublin Light Rail System, is a tram or light rail system serving Dublin, the first such system in the decades since the closure of the last of the Dublin tramways. In 2007, the system carried 28.4 million passengers, a growth of 10% since...

.

Major projects undertaken were the upgrade of Heuston Station in Dublin to nine platform
Railway platform
A railway platform is a section of pathway, alongside rail tracks at a train station, metro station or tram stop, at which passengers may board or alight from trains or trams. Almost all stations for rail transport have some form of platforms, with larger stations having multiple platforms...

s and the new railcar servicing depot in Drogheda. Many other stations, particularly the Dublin suburban stations, have been upgraded and modernised, with elevators for example on new footbridges. Other measures to improve disabled access have been implemented, and park and ride
Park and ride
Park and ride facilities are car parks with connections to public transport that allow commuters and other people wishing to travel into city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system , or carpool for the rest of their trip...

 facilities have been developed.

Intercity travel has benefited from new suburban railcars freeing up intercity rolling stock previously in use. 67 new locomotive-hauled intercity carriages were also introduced. Over 100 "regional railcars" have also been ordered, these will be DMUs for use on peripheral services that are not commuter-only. Services have been increased on routes such as that from Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

 to Ennis
Ennis
Ennis is the county town of Clare in Ireland. Situated on the River Fergus, it lies north of Limerick and south of Galway. Its name is a shortening of the original ....

.

Planned developments include enhancing suburban rail in Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, with a section of rail due to be reopened to Midleton
Midleton
Midleton, historically Middleton , is a town in south-eastern County Cork, Ireland. It lies some 22 km east of Cork City on the Owenacurra River and the N25 road, which connects Cork to the port of Rosslare...

, east of the city. Other projects under discussion, some or all of which are likely to be undertaken at some stage, include:
  • A railway line from Dublin to Navan
    Navan
    -People:Navan was the childhood home of Pierce Brosnan, who appeared in the television series Remington Steele and was the fifth film actor to play James Bond. TV personality Hector Ó hEochagáin, and comedians Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan also hail from Navan....

    .
  • Developing a rail link to Dublin Airport
    Dublin Airport
    Dublin Airport, , is operated by the Dublin Airport Authority. Located in Collinstown, in the Fingal part of County Dublin, 18.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2010, making it the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Cork and Shannon...

     (possibly as an underground Metro link).
  • Opening a new city centre railway terminus for Sligo and western commuter services at Spencer Dock
    Spencer Dock
    Spencer Dock is a location within North Wall, Dublin, Ireland. The dockland area was originally part of the end of the Royal Canal, which still reaches the River Liffey here...

    .
  • Creating an Interconnector tunnel
    Interconnector (rail tunnel)
    DART Underground , previously known as the Interconnector, is a planned railway tunnel in Ireland, projected to run under the city centre of Dublin. The tunnel would allow for the expansion of the electrified DART and the Dublin Suburban Rail network, and connect Heuston Station with Pearse Station...

     south from the Docklands railway station
    Docklands railway station
    Docklands Station is a new railway station serving the Dublin Docklands area in Ireland owned by Córas Iompair Éireann planned as part of the Government Transport 21 initiative....

     in Spencer Dock
    Spencer Dock
    Spencer Dock is a location within North Wall, Dublin, Ireland. The dockland area was originally part of the end of the Royal Canal, which still reaches the River Liffey here...

     to Pearse Station and west to Heuston Station.
  • Reopening a Western Railway Corridor
    Western Railway Corridor
    The Western Railway Corridor , or Conair Iarnróid an Iarthair , in Ireland is a recent term for a mostly disused railway line running through the West of Ireland...

     from Limerick
    Limerick
    Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

     to Sligo
    Sligo
    Sligo is the county town of County Sligo in Ireland. The town is a borough and has a charter and a town mayor. It is sometimes referred to as a city, and sometimes as a town, and is the second largest urban area in Connacht...

    . , preliminary work has begun on reopening the Ennis to Athenry, and Athenry to Tuam sections, as well as preserving right of way north of Tuam.

Other developments

The national bus operator Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann provides bus services in Ireland with the exception of those operated entirely within the Dublin Region, which are provided by Dublin Bus. Bus Éireann, established as a separate company in 1987, is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann. The logo of Bus Éireann incorporates a red Irish...

's fleet has been significantly invested in, with most of the fleet now five years old or less. The company is now pursuing a policy similar to that of some car owners, retiring buses at a much younger age while still holding some value, and keeping front-end services modern.

This is a particularly visible aspect of the NDP, many buses were up to 20 years old previously.

See also

  • Transport in Ireland
    Transport in Ireland
    Most of the transport system in Ireland is in public hands, either side of the Irish border. The Irish road network has evolved separately in the two jurisdictions Ireland is divided up into, while the Irish rail network was mostly created prior to the partition of Ireland.In the Republic of...

  • Transport 21
    Transport 21
    Transport 21 is an Irish infrastructure plan, announced in November 2005. It aims to greatly expand Ireland's transport network. A cost estimate of €34 billion was attached to the plan at the time....

  • History of roads in Ireland
    History of Roads in Ireland
    There have been routes and trackways in Ireland connecting settlements and facilitating trade since ancient times and the country now has an extensive network of public roads connecting all parts of the island.-Early history:...

  • Motorways in the Republic of Ireland
    Motorways in the Republic of Ireland
    In Ireland, the highest category of road is a Motorway , indicated by the prefix M followed by one or two digits...


External links

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