Saturday, October 11, 2008
M3 motorway will lose money, says TaraWatch
Irish examiner - Breaking News - 10 October 2008
The proposed M3 motorway will lose money, according to a financial analysis included today in TaraWatch's pre-Budgetary submission. The primary conclusion is there is a need for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the National Development Plan (NDP), before any spending decisions are made on Transport 21. These conclusions are supported by the EPA Report on the Irish Environment, released on Wed October 8, which calls for SEA analysis of the NDP. The submission also details legal cases being taken against the Irish Government, by the European Commission and in the Supreme Court, regarding alleged breaches of SEA law.
The M3 Motorway PPP contractor, Ferrovial, is also examined in detail. A financial analysis of the M3 motorway, performed by a licensed engineer, Rodney Aldrich, claimed that the M3 motorway will be a losing proposition for taxpayers in collecting toll revenues, based on the NRA traffic projections, in order to cover construction and operating costs. Aldrich concluded that: "The tolls will fall short by a total of 1.165bn euro in repaying a 45-year financing." Mr Aldrich concluded: "If a rail link supplements improvements to the current N3, the possibility exists to avoid 180,000,000 euro in excess carbon emissions penalties that might very well result if the M3 is completed. "The Department of Finance should perform a fresh cost-benefit analysis, and investigate all real and shadow costs associated with the M3 before funding it any further.
Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said: "The National Development Plan, and the M3 motorway, are losing propositions for the Irish taxpayer. "Even a cursory analysis of the PPP numbers shows that the M3, and the NDP, are examples of 'cowboy economics', and the figures simply don't add up." "The recent EPA Report on the State of the Irish Environment 2008 supports our findings, by calling for cost-benefit analysis and Strategic Environmental Assessment of the NDP."