Sunday 28 May 2017

Infrastructure warning over soaring population

Around 90pc of the island's population will be living in just eight city regions over the next two decades, a new report claimed today.

The study by leading engineers warns with the population North and South set to soar from 6.25 million to eight million by the 2030s, the country's infrastructure urgently needs to be brought up to scratch.

According to the research, the greatest headcount will be along the Dublin-Belfast corridor, which will house four million people.

A south west corridor linking the cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick will have around two million inhabitants with many working in pharmaceuticals, biomedicine and agriculture.

The report, Infrastructure For An Island Population Of Eight Million, urges the Government to focus investment on eight key cities - Dublin, Belfast, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Derry.

John Power, director-general of Engineers Ireland, said the country needed to get on a par with top international competitors.

"It is clear that there is still an acute infrastructure deficit in Ireland," he added.

"This study provides a framework that can help the Government to direct funds to where maximum return on investment will be provided."

The report, compiled by Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering and InterTradeIreland, says better quality transport and broadband connections are needed to make the country more competitive.

It highlights the Dublin-Belfast corridor as being crucial to attracting inward investment and calls for improved air and port services in the area.

It also recommends close links between universities and industry as well as highly developed education, health, and cultural services.

The report's authors claim greater private sector involvement could help fund the developments and predict the possible establishment of an 'island infrastructure bank' to provide long term finance from both the public and private sectors.

Press Association

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