6.3.4 | High Quality International Connectivity: the Region’s Ports and Airports As an island nation with an open economy, our airports and ports play a vital role in our competitiveness and international connectivity. With the uncertainties of BREXIT on our economy, our gateways to the world are key to safeguarding our resilience and ability to adapt to change. Consolidating our port and airport gateways will be contingent on the development and improvement of road and rail infrastructure and public transport services for the movement of people and goods in line with priorities defined through National Ports Policy and National Aviation Policy.
The EU TEN-T network comprises roads, railway lines, inland waterways, inland and maritime ports, airports and rail-road terminals throughout the Member States. The Network aims to achieve efficient, safe and seamless transport chains for passengers and freight. The Network will enhance internal markets, strengthen territorial, economic and social cohesion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ireland’s Core Corridor under the Network is the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor. There are opportunities for regional connections to the Network. Under the EU Connecting Europe Facility, funding is allocated to develop the EU TEN-T Core Network and Comprehensive Network in Ireland. The NPF recognises the need to improve land transport connections to the major ports and airports and protect the strategic function of the key transport corridors. The National Ports policy identifies hinterland connections as critically important to a port’s ability to facilitate large volumes of traffic. It is important that reliable and sustainable hinterland connections are part of an integrated transport chain. The policy highlights the potential of the port network to offer multi-modal distribution networks. There is an increased potential for the role of rail freight to and from ports in addition to road transport 17 . Optimising the EU TEN-T corridor, integrating efficient movement to and from ports and achieving smooth transition between ports and Metropolitan Areas is a key priority. The opportunities to strengthen rail freight through the Region is recognised and supported by the RSES. Limerick Junction for example, is an important regional asset interconnecting Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford rail corridors with potential phase 2 & 3 extensions to the western rail corridor. There is potential to re-instate the Limerick – Foynes Freight Line and potential to strengthen freight and logistics facilities and network at both Rosslare and Waterford/Belview ports. A Regional Freight Strategy can address such rail network assets, future potential and address the issue of potential regional and national hubs for the transport of freight by rail. 220.127.116.11 | Movement of Freight & Services
The RSES supports actions and innovation that transition our port, aviation and freight sectors to a lowcarbon future.
Low Carbon International Connectivity
In pursuit of the NPF National Strategic Outcome of High-Quality International Connectivity, the RSES supports actions to transition the movement of freight, ports and airports to a low carbon future.
17. 2030 Rail Network Strategy Review Final Report October 2011 11.7 The Case for Public Funding of Rail Freight
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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