Transport in Ireland: Wikis

  
  
  

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Life 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 Ireland, the Minister for Transport, acting through the Department of Transport, is responsible for the State's road network, rail network, public transport, airports and several other areas. Although some sections of road have been built using private or public-private funds, and are operated as toll roads, they are owned by the Government of Ireland. The rail network is also state-owned and operated, while the government currently still owns the main airports. Public transport is mainly in the hands of a statutory corporation, Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), and its subsidiaries, Bus Átha Cliath (Dublin Bus), Bus Éireann (Irish Bus), and Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail).

On November 1 2005, the Dublin government published the Transport 21 plan which includes €18bn for improved roads and €16bn for improved rail, including the Western Railway Corridor and the Dublin Metro.

In Northern Ireland, the road network and railways are in state ownership. The Department for Regional Development is responsible for these and other areas (such as water services). Two of the three main airports in Northern Ireland are privately operated and owned. The exception is City of Derry Airport, which is owned and funded by Derry City Council. A statutory corporation, the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (which trades as Translink) operates public transport services through its three subsidiaries - NI Railways Company Limited, Ulsterbus Limited, and Citybus Limited (now branded as Metro).

Contents

Railways

Total
1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge
1,947 km (1,210 mi) (1998); 38 km (24 mi) electrified; 485 km (301 mi) double track; some addititions and removals since 1997
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
28 km (17 mi) (2004) (Luas tramway); 28 km (17 mi) electrified; 28 km (17 mi) double track; additional track under construction
914 mm (3 ft)  narrow gauge
1,365 km (848 mi) (2006) (industrial railway operated by Bord na Móna)

Ireland's railways are in State ownership, with Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) operating services in the Republic and NI Railways operating services in Northern Ireland. The two companies co-operate in providing the joint Enterprise service between Dublin and Belfast. InterCity services are provided between Dublin and the major towns and cities of the Republic, and between Belfast and Derry. Suburban railway networks operate in Dublin, Dublin Suburban Rail, and Belfast, Belfast Suburban Rail, with a limited local services being offered in, or planned for, Cork, Limerick, and Galway.

Many lines in the west were decommissioned in the 1930s under Éamon de Valera, with a further large cull in services by both CIÉ and the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) during the 1960s, leaving few working lines in the northern third of the island. There is a campaign to bring some closed lines back into service, in particular the Limerick-Sligo line (the Western Railway Corridor), to facilitate economic regeneration in the west, which has lagged behind the rest of the country. There is also a move to restore service on the Dublin to Navan line, and smaller campaigns to re-establish the rail links between Sligo and Enniskillen/Omagh/Derry and Mullingar and Athlone/Galway

Since 1984 an electrically operated train service has run between Bray and Howth, called the Dublin Area Rapid Transit. In 2004 a light rail system, Luas, was opened in Dublin. As of September 2008, legal permission has been sought to build a metro system is also in the planning stage. The construction of the Luas system caused much disruption in Dublin; in retrospect many believe an underground would have been a better option. One of the current options being discussed is to upgrade the Luas to a metro system when the metro is being installed.

Roads

Total - 117,318 km (72,898 mi)
South: 92,500 km (57,500 mi) including 667 km (414 mi) of motorway (2009)
North: 24,818 km (15,421 mi) including 148 km (92 mi) of motorway (2008)
paved - 87,043 km (54,086 mi), unpaved - 5,457 km (3,391 mi)

Ireland's roads link Dublin with all the major cities (Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Belfast and Derry). Driving is on the left.

State-owned Bus Éireann (Irish Bus) provides most bus services in the Republic of Ireland, outside Dublin, including an express coach network connecting most cities in Ireland, along with local bus services in the provincial cities. There are also a number of private operators, the biggest of which include Aircoach, a subsidiary of FirstGroup which provides services to Dublin Airport from Dublin city centre amongst others, and Scottish Citylink which competes on the Dublin-Galway route. Matthews Coaches run a direct service from Bettystown, Laytown and Julianstown to Dublin. Some private rural operators exist, such as Halpenny's in Blackrock, County Louth, who were the first private bus operator to run a public service in Ireland, Bus Feda (Feda O'Donnell Coaches), who operate twice daily routes from Ranafast, County Donegal to Galway and back,[1] as well as Lough Swilly Bus Company.

Bus Átha Cliath (Dublin Bus), a sister company of Bus Éireann, provides most of the bus services in Dublin, with some other operators providing a number of routes.

In Northern Ireland Ulsterbus provides the bus network, with its sister company Metro providing services in Belfast. Both are part of state-owned Translink.

Most cross-border services (e.g. Dublin city centre to Belfast) are run jointly between Bus Éireann and Ulsterbus, with some services run across the border exclusively by one of the two companies (e.g. Derry–Sligo run by Bus Éireann).

Waterways

Total (2004) - 753 km (468 mi)
(pleasure craft only on inland waterways, several lengthy estuarine waterways)

Pipelines

Natural gas transmission network 1,795 km (1,115 mi) (2003). There is a much more extensive distribution network.

Ports and harbours

Ireland has ports in the towns of Arklow, Belfast (Port of Belfast), Cork (Cork Harbour), Derry (Londonderry Port), Drogheda, Dublin (Dublin Port), Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Foynes, Galway, Larne, Limerick, New Ross, Rosslare Europort, Sligo, Waterford (Port of Waterford) and Wicklow.

Ports in the Republic handle 3,600,000 travelers crossing the Irish Sea each year, amounting to 92% of all sea travel.[2] This has been steadily dropping for a number of years (20% since 1999), probably as a result of low cost airlines.

Ferry connections between Britain and Ireland via the Irish Sea include the routes from Swansea to Cork, Fishguard and Pembroke to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire, Stranraer to Belfast and Larne, and Cairnryan to Larne. There is also a connection between Liverpool and Belfast via the Isle of Man. The world's largest car ferry, Ulysses, is operated by Irish Ferries on the Dublin–Holyhead route.

In addition, Rosslare and Cork run ferries to France.

The vast majority of heavy goods trade is done by sea. Northern Irish ports handle 10 megatonnes (Mt) of goods trade with Britain annually, while ports in the south handle 7.6 Mt, representing 50% and 40% respectively of total trade by weight.

Several potential Irish Sea tunnel projects have been proposed, most recently the "Tusker Tunnel" between the ports of Rosslare and Fishguard proposed by the Institution of Engineers of Ireland in 2004.[3][4] A different proposed route is between Dublin and Holyhead, proposed in 1997 by a leading British engineering firm, Symonds, for a rail tunnel from Dublin to Holyhead. Either tunnel, at 80 km (50 mi), would be by far the longest in the world, and would cost an estimated €20bn.

Merchant marine

Total - 35 ships (with a volume of 1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over) totalling 288,401 GRT/383,628 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
Ships by type - bulk carrier 7, cargo ship 22, chemical tanker 1, container ship 3, roll-on/roll-off ship 1, short-sea passenger 1
Foreign-owned - Germany 3, Italy 7, Norway 2
Registered in other countries - 18 (2003 est.)

Airports

Ireland

The main airports are Dublin Airport, Cork Airport and Shannon Airport Many regional airports exist, some flying to international destinations. For example Ireland West Airport Knock in County Mayo, Galway Airport, Sligo Airport, Kerry Airport and Waterford Airport. Services to the Aran Islands are operated from Aerfort na Minna (Connemara Regional Airport).

The Republic's former state airline, Aer Lingus provides air services from Dublin, Belfast International, Cork and Shannon to Europe, North America and the Middle East. Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports are run by the State body, Dublin Airport Authority (formerly Aer Rianta). Two other Irish airlines are Ryanair, one of the largest in the world and Aer Arann. There are a number of other operates specialising in general aviation.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has three airports main airports and of these the major one is Belfast International Airport. The others are George Best Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport.

Passenger Numbers

In 2008 the passenger numbers were as follows:

Rank Airport Runways Max Length Passengers
1 Dublin 3 2,637 m (8,650 ft) 23,500,000[5]
2 Belfast International 2 2,780 m (9,100 ft) 5,262,354[6]
3 Cork 2 2,133 m (7,000 ft) 3,250,000[7]
4 Shannon 2 3,119 m (10,230 ft) 3,100,000[8]
5 Belfast City 1 1,829 m (6,000 ft) 2,570,742[6]
6 Knock 1 2,340 m (7,700 ft) 630,170[9]
7 City of Derry 1 1,967 m (6,450 ft) 439,033[6]
8 Kerry 2 2,000 m (6,600 ft) 420,000[10]
9 Galway 1 1,289 m (4,230 ft) 270,000
10 Waterford 1 1,433 m (4,700 ft) 144,000
11 Donegal 1 1,496 m (4,910 ft) 65,537[11]
12 Sligo 1 1,199 m (3,930 ft) 44,500†
13 Weston 1 924 m (3,030 ft) 21,522
14 Abbeyshrule 1 620 m (2,000 ft) 3,000††

† Latest available figures are for 2007. †† Latest available figures are for 2006.

Gateway Irish Urban Reference Destination Distances

Midlands Gateway Urban Destination Distances
The distances given below are in kilometres as travelling through the Midlands Gateway ATM (Athlone-Tullamore-Mullingar).
Where it is logical to travel along the east or west coast directly, these distances are provided according to the popular route.
Urban by-passes, Rockades, Diversions, Detours and all other dispositives prolonging the travelled distances between destinations are equated to ZERO.
This is an estimation distance guide only.
× City /Town 1 City /Town 2 City /Town 3 City /Town 4 City /Town 5 City /Town 6 City /Town 7 City /Town 8 City /Town 9 City /Town 10 City /Town 11 City /Town 12 City /Town 13 City /Town 14 City /Town 15 City /Town 16 City /Town 17 City /Town 18 City /Town 19 City /Town 20 City /Town 21 City /Town 22 City /Town 23 City /Town 24 City /Town 25 City /Town 26 City /Town 27 City /Town 28 City /Town 29 City /Town 30 City /Town 31 City /Town 32 City /Town 33
km Athboy
km 80 Athlone
km 188 241 Ballymena
km 144 221 46 Belfast
km 100 128 298 285 Castlebar
km 60 80 152 136 168 Cavan
km 232 255 44 91 269 180 Coleraine
km 368 217 467 424 274 300 491 Cork
km 220 234 89 114 221 163 50 478 Derry
km 40 142 163 120 230 88 187 309 188 Drogheda
km 80 124 211 168 235 108 235 259 236 53 M-50
Dublin
km 72 160 127 84 248 80 152 341 165 37 85 Dundalk
km 248 219 418 375 301 274 443 78 430 260 211 211 Dungarvan
km 60 40 222 176 130 40 200 297 193 90 80 120 251 Edgeworthstown
km 184 108 453 407 173 213 387 140 408 296 243 324 160 148 Ennis
km 120 126 434 168 160 46 157 363 107 137 154 100 337 86 234 Enniskillen
km 128 96 354 341 92 160 326 201 276 268 219 249 227 136 80 190 Galway
km 152 124 333 290 250 178 358 148 345 175 126 207 96 155 150 265 174 Kilkenny
km 160 230 515 472 290 319 539 87 476 357 308 389 165 296 155 382 215 195 Killarney
km 160 123 409 366 183 217 417 99 368 251 202 283 119 175 41 280 109 131 114 Limerick
km 40 55 245 197 112 56 228 284 191 118 105 147 244 15 156 101 156 162 310 202 Longford
km 32 48 215 169 154 59 232 242 221 75 65 85 216 35 155 121 144 120 261 159 42 Mullingar
km 60 116 244 201 227 130 269 223 256 86 37 118 175 107 206 193 205 89 272 165 114 72 Naas
km 100 80 368 325 174 169 332 134 307 210 161 242 151 146 84 232 100 93 149 43 153 111 124 Nenagh
km 60 179 97 110 199 72 102 423 57 133 181 110 375 143 338 50 255 290 404 297 128 130 201 254 Omagh
km 200 202 375 332 328 300 400 195 387 217 160 249 117 235 239 363 306 121 280 198 242 200 141 202 332 Rosslare
km 180 134 374 392 168 279 402 119 352 277 227 309 146 214 20 342 94 158 134 28 221 179 190 69 329 224 Shannon
km 160 117 215 202 84 121 187 323 137 201 207 200 334 96 255 75 175 228 338 231 81 123 199 195 114 358 216 Sligo
km 260 215 509 466 249 312 483 118 434 351 302 383 195 289 148 375 175 228 33 107 296 254 265 143 398 295 128 297 Tralee
km 60 43 256 213 169 93 281 207 256 149 101 130 181 80 165 156 138 85 226 124 77 35 89 76 204 164 144 158 219 Tullamore
km 160 174 373 330 310 228 397 123 385 215 166 247 46 205 170 291 236 51 208 129 212 170 129 160 329 73 155 289 226 135 Waterford
km 180 189 350 307 315 244 374 184 362 112 134 224 107 263 228 307 295 110 269 187 228 186 129 189 307 19 214 333 285 151 63 Wexford
km 120 170 270 227 280 204 295 254 282 112 55 144 176 181 281 146 265 132 346 240 188 146 75 199 227 109 265 253 340 146 133 84 Wicklow

See also

References

  1. ^ Feda O'Donnell Coaches
  2. ^ CSO figures
  3. ^ IEI report (pdf)
  4. ^ BBC report
  5. ^ Dublin airport passenger traffic to fall, says authority
  6. ^ a b c UK Airport Statistics: 2008 - annual
  7. ^ 3.25 Million Passengers Travel Through Cork Airport in 2008
  8. ^ Numbers down again last year at Shannon Airport
  9. ^ Knock Airport reports record passenger numbers
  10. ^ Passenger numbers up at Kerry Airport
  11. ^ Donegal Airport Exceeds Traffic Estimates

External links








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