Alliance Youth (AY) has called on the Northern Ireland Executive to make an integrated, sustainable all-island transport network a top priority for the next legislative session. Speaking at a North-South Forum eventbringing together representatives of all parties in Ireland to discuss transport, AY representatives Stephen Martin and Johnny Chivers strongly advocated that putting safe, effective and sustainable transport provision at the top of the Executive’s ‘to do’ list. They said it was essential to getting the Northern Ireland economy on track.
AY Secretary Stephen Martin commented: ‘ While funding a road network fit for the 21st century is imperative, building more roads very often results in simply more space for more cars. Northern Ireland should not be attempting to play catch up on our international competitors. We need to be thinking not where we would like to be today but what our likely
needs are going to be in 20 years’ time. We need to plan for the implementation
of schemes that will deliver then.
‘Northern Ireland must plan major investment in environmentally sustainable public transport schemes. Strong consideration should be given to the expansion of our existing rail network together with urgent attention given to the upgrading of the Derry to Belfast route and the
creation of a rapid transit system for the Greater Belfast area to reduce traffic flow in and around the city which will likely grown exponentially in years to come.’
AY South Antrim representative Johnny Chivers added: ‘ While there are many issues that have landed into the new Stormont Ministers’ in-trays since the return of devolution, surely very few merit the attention, effort and determination an all-island transport strategy requires. The benefits of such a strategy could prove highly beneficial to the Republic and
transformational for the economy and our way of life here in Northern Ireland.’