everything else links off the Homepage


the Meath Master Plan - an Alternative Vision as devised by Independant traffic researchers
Brian Guckian  087 9140105   railprojects@eircom.net
Tadhg Crowley 085 7159013 tadhgcrowley@gmail.com               

Meath on Track

Railusers Ireland


notes for Tadgh' speech - not the whole text

Welcome everyone, my name is Tadhg Crowley, thank you all for coming and for your interest and willingness to hear about a solution for Tara and for Meath.


This is probably an unusual day and an unusual march:

we have not marched here just to say we are against something, we have primarily marched here to promote and talk about something positive, a real solution. A solution to the transport, quality of life, environmental and heritage issues in Meath, called the Meath MASTER Plan.

I’ll explain what the plan is in a moment.


We should not have to be here today proposing a people’s solution, unfortunately the government has completely failed Meath over the last 10 years.

Meath has been neglected,

  1. with little if any investment in job creation so that many people are forced to commute to Dublin just to make their livelihood,
  2. with Minimal investment in basic services such as schools, water, sewerage services etc.
  3. and NO investment in public transport infrastructure. They have taken “choice” away from the people of Meath, and with the tolled M3 the government is not providing any kind of a solution and is actually further removing choice.


The M3 will not provide transport choice, it will limit peoples choice in terms of where they want to work & where they want to live.  

It will force people in Meath to become more dependent on long distance commuting, it will force them to become more dependent on their cars, more dependent on oil and make families and businesses more vulnerable to the impacts of rising fuel prices. It will also generate more pollution in the region through C02 emissions.

It will force businesses to locate in Dublin or Navan only and therefore cause both Navan and Dublin to sprawl significantly – it will also lead to bigger traffic jams at Blanchardstown.

There is also a really important factor that sets the tone for the future of the M3 motorway.

The oil price today is at $126/ barrel, in 2002 it was at $23 so it has risen by over 500% in 6 years and by over 100% in the last year alone.

Financial analysts recently predicted that oil would reach $200/ barrel within 2 years, and if that happened the petrol price in the US would double. Similar impacts can be expected here.

In my view the M3 motorway has a limited future. Essentially it is obsolete now in terms of its backward and simplistic role in transport provision.

The M3 will likely become obsolete within 7 years due to prohibitive costs of using it.  I really don’t think that if people have to pay €2/litre at petrol pumps, that they will then also want to or be able to pay between €2000 and €4000 per year on toll charges.

What that means is that huge numbers of commuters will avoid the M3 and number of journeys on the M3 will significantly drop. The NRA says the M3 will provide for approx. 23,000 trips per day in the first year of use…but I believe within 7 years its usage will drop significantly below that due to prohibitive costs…and it will drop to a level easily “within the capacity” of the MASTER Plans 2+1 solution.


The Meath MASTER Plan provides a better way and provides more options and more stability for Meath’s future.


So what is the Meath MASTER Plan and what benefits will it bring for the people?


The Meath MASTER Plan has 3 key components:


  1. A Transport Network consisting of Rail Link that serves most of Meath, Coach services, 2+1 road. This solution will take upto 2/3 cars off the roads and so allow people to use the less stressful Rail and Bus options more often.
  2. A UNESCO World Heritage Park that will protect and showcase the wonderful heritage sites of the Region including Tara, Gabhra Valley, Teltown, Trim, Kells, the Boyne Valley. It will include a protected zone around Tara and the Gabhra valley.
  3. The plan also includes Green Building and Energy practices for homes and businesses via subsidies/tax breaks.


So what are the benefits of the Meath MASTER Plan?

  • It provides real CHOICE  to the people
  • It provides REDUCED COST to the people and businesses.
  • It provides Quality of Life for commuters and for families.


It gives CHOICE to the people…

  1. In transport (by Rail, and by bus all ages will be able to travel throughout Meath and not just between Meath and Dublin).
  2. the choice to work and live in Meath, by promoting investment in local businesses
  3. It provides the choice to preserve their county, their valuable environment, heritage, and with the Meath World Heritage Park they will have a choice for better health, and a resource for their recreation & leisure and as well as providing valuable tourism revenue for the county.


It will provide REDUCED COST,

  1. For people and businesses since the Meath MASTER Plan is a NO TOLL solution.
  2. They will not be dependent on using cars so they can use public transport run on cleaner fuels when the petrol price starts to rise.
  3. The green building and energy options of the plan will allow people and businesses to reduce their energy bills significantly. (homes can save a total of 31million per year if they convert only half their energy provision to green energy). With Natural Gas costs rising by 20% this year.

It provides improved QUALITY OF LIFE

  1. by allowing people to commute over shorter distances and therefore spend more time within their communities, and with their families.
  2. For example by using the rail people can work in Dunshaughlin and live in Kells, or work in Ashbourne and live in Trim, or work in Navan and live in Ratoath.

The Meath MASTER plan puts the people of Meath and their future generations first. It is a solution for the people, for community and for their families...and it is a solution for a better, healthier, cleaner and less costly future for the people of Meath.


I sincerely hope the people of Meath can have a deeper look at this solution, that they can embrace the Meath MASTER Plan and make it their own, because it was created for them, for their future.


Thank you everyone for listening.




more about the Meath Master Plan march and Harp Gathering at Dail Eirreann - May 2008 - HERE