Dublin Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the news that a new public transport link to Dublin Airport is likely to be announced shortly.
The Chamber was responding to comments made by Tánaiste Joan Burton TD at the opening event of the Dublin Chamber Political Leaders Series in the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel in Dublin.
In her speech to over 100 Dublin business people, the Tánaiste stated that she was confident that positive news on the Airport rail link will be announced in the Capital Spending Plan in a few weeks’ time.
According to Dublin Chamber CEO Gina Quin: “Dublin Chamber has long called for a high capacity, efficient and reliable rail link which services Dublin Airport. Dublin Airport is a vital piece of national infrastructure, with four out of every five visitors who arrive to Ireland by air coming through it. Such a link is needed not only to serve Dublin Airport, but also to cater for the rapidly-expanding population of north Dublin. It is forecast that by 2023 an additional 40,000 people will travel into Dublin city centre from north county Dublin. At the same time, passenger numbers through Dublin Airport are expected to exceed 23 million within four years. A new rail link will go a long way to accommodating such strong growth levels.”
The Chamber has expressed hope that the Capital Spending Plan will outline a number of other much-needed infrastructure projects for the Dublin region.
Ms Quin added: “Other than Luas Cross City, there are no major infrastructure projects currently being progressed in Dublin. Despite the return to growth in recent years, capital expenditure in Ireland has not recovered from its precipitous fall during the recession. The country is now suffering the consequences of underinvestment and spending must be returned to appropriate levels if Ireland’s recovery is to consolidate and continue. Capital expenditure currently stands at about one third of what it was at its peak of some €9 billion in 2008. A consistent, sustainable approach to capital expenditure is one of the building blocks of a healthy, growing economy and this must be the aim going forward.”
Speaking at this morning’s event, the Tánaiste recognised Dublin as “the economic engine of Ireland” and acknowledged that “business, both small and large, is the lifeblood of the city”.
Reacting to the comments, Ms Quin said: “The importance of the Dublin region can be seen in three key facts: Dublin accounts for 42% of the country’s GDP, half of all employment and generates 55% of tax revenues. Put simply, ensuring that Dublin is supported and given the tools it needs to reach its potential, is in the interests of the whole country. It is important that the Government follows backs up the Tánaiste’s strong affirmation of Dublin and business in the upcoming Budget for 2016.”
This morning’s briefing was the first of seven Political Leaders Series events that will take place over the coming weeks. The aim of the Chamber’s Political Leaders Series is to give Dublin businesses an opportunity to hear directly from those who want to lead Ireland after the next General Election.
The next event in the series will take place on 17th September featuring Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin. He will be followed on 22nd September by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.