The route to competitiveness

People and goods demand quality transport infrastructure to move efficiently and competitively: trade cannot thrive without world-class transport.

For the Western Region, we keep the pressure on the government, local councils, semi-state and transport providers for improvements in road, rail and air connectivity. Enhancements here will enable the region to develop local businesses and tourism and compete for, and win, international investment.

Air

Air
As an island economy, high quality, reliable, international air access is vital. The Western Region is the most remote region of Ireland, which is situated on the Western periphery of Europe, and that’s why we need good international air services to compete effectively in business and tourism. Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport at Knock – the two international airports within the Western Region – are vital service providers and gateways to further development here.

Rail
Inter-city, commuter and freight rail services are crucial to an advanced and efficient transport infrastructure. A more sustainable transport mode than car use, travel by rail will increase in importance as we work towards reducing our CO2 emissions locally, nationally and globally. The WDC Policy Analysis team monitors rail services and infrastructural developments and advises on improvements where needed and where possible, examining ways to grow rail freight traffic services from the Western Region, which already has the most significant rail freight volumes in the country.

Roads
The road network remains the primary transport mode in Ireland, with two thirds of commuters travelling to work by car (Census 2011). The road network is particularly important in rural regions where access to rail services is more limited. While there has been significant investment in the Irish national road network, there is still no motorway north of Galway yet. Improvements in the road network in other parts of the country make the scarcity in the West even more apparent. The WDC argues that the Western Region, and especially the North West, requires improved quality road infrastructure so that businesses located here are not to be put at a competitive disadvantage. The quality of the road network is also critical for tourism development.

Rail

Inter-city, commuter and freight rail services are crucial to an advanced and efficient transport infrastructure. A more sustainable transport mode than car use, travel by rail will increase in importance as we work towards reducing our CO2 emissions locally, nationally and globally. The WDC Policy Analysis team monitors rail services and infrastructural developments and advises on improvements where needed and where possible, examining ways to grow rail freight traffic services from the Western Region, which already has the most significant rail freight volumes in the country.

Roads

The road network remains the primary transport mode in Ireland, with two thirds of commuters travelling to work by car (Census 2011). The road network is particularly important in rural regions where access to rail services is more limited. While there has been significant investment in the Irish national road network, there is still no motorway north of Galway. Improvements in the road network in other parts of the country make the scarcity in the West even more apparent. The WDC argues that the Western Region, and especially the North West, requires improved quality road infrastructure so that businesses located here are not to be put at a competitive disadvantage. The quality of the road network is also critical for tourism development.