New Rosslare to Le Havre shipping route could benefit Waterford
The Green Party in Waterford has welcomed moves to open a new shipping route linking Rosslare Europort to Le Havre in France.
An Irish delegation met with representatives of the French government and officials from the port of Le Havre last Friday with a view connecting the two ports by sea.
Responding to the news, Cllr. Marc Ó Cathasaigh commented the route has the potential to relieve some of the pressure on Dublin while benefiting the Southeast region and to help insulate Waterford from the worst effects of a crash-out Brexit.
"Rosslare Europort is of enormous strategic significance, all the more so with the spectre of Brexit looming. We know that Dublin Port and its surrounding infrastructure is creaking at the seams, and opening additional capacity through Rosslare could allow the Southeast to become a counterweight to Dublin-centric development and help drive economic activity here in Waterford."
The Tramore-based councillor also believes that opening a route to Le Havre could unlock European funding to develop the surrounding infrastructure.
"Le Harve is a designated Tier 1 corridor port under the Trans European Transport Network (Ten-T) policy. Making this connection would open the possibility of upgrading Rosslare to Tier 1 status. The Green Party has been advocating for the Limerick to Rosslare route to be included in Ireland’s ‘Core Network’ under the Ten-T designation - at the moment, it’s not even listed in the ‘Comprehensive Network.’
"An upgraded connection running from Rosslare to Limerick would serve three of the island’s largest ports - Rosslare, Port of Waterford and Foynes, two airport - Shannon and Waterford, and serve to connect two of our regional cities," he explained.
“From a climate adaptation perspective, we know that investing in rail is a very effective way of reducing transport emissions. It’s shocking to think that less than 1% of our freight in this country is carried by rail, even though it’s the most energy-efficient way to move heavy goods.
"Similarly, offering high-speed rail connections between Limerick and Waterford would not only increase connectivity between those cities but would also allow people resident in Clonmel and Carrick to consider the train as an effective commuting option. That would put an additional 25,000 people within easy commuting reach of Waterford city, terminating right underneath the proposed North Quays development.
“The Ten-T designation is important, as it unlocks funding and makes sure Waterford features in this type of strategic planning. Already, the government plans to roll out a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) network for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), funded under the EU Commission’s Green Connects Project, leaving Waterford behind while Limerick, Cork and Dublin move ahead," Marc concluded.