‘Derry-Dublin road upgrade a must’ says Michael McDowell, as journey times are still too long

Michael McDowell says the Derry to Dublin road upgrade must proceed as journey times between the cities are still far too long.

The former Justice Minister urged the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan - a vocal proponent of rail - not to neglect road infrastructure.

“We need to connect Sligo to Dublin by motorway and the Derry-Donegal road must be built. People may speak, as the Minister does on occasion, about a preference for rail transport.

“I understand the Minister’s preference for rail transport in certain circumstances, but, again, let us be real.

“We can build a fair few hundred kilometres of railway in Ireland, but it will not have a significant affect on the demands for road transport. I want that on the record,” he said.

Senator McDowell was speaking during a discussion of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021.

He said: “If trucks and cars are powered by hydrogen so be it; they have to travel some way. The journey to Donegal, Derry or Letterkenny should not take five or six hours. It should be possible to do it in four hours.”

Mr McDowell added: “That is the type of progress that makes Ireland a better place in which to do business and it brings regional balance in this country as well.”