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Ireland plans £23bn roads and rail spend

THE IRISH government announced plans last week to invest £23 billion in transport projects in the next 10 years.

Transpor t 21, unveiled by minister Martin Cullen, will see £8 billion provided by private sector investment. Road tolling is also a possibility to fund the improved network.

Proposals include seven extra light rail lines in Dublin and two metro links, suburban commuter rail services for Cork and Galway and an 'Atlantic corridor' road connecting Donegal to Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford.

All of the country's national primary and secondary road routes will also be improved from 2010-2015.

Mr Cullen said: 'Transport 21 will deliver a 21st century infrastructure. It is detailed and deliverable.' A spokeswoman from Irish trade body the Construction Industry Federation said: 'The proposals are very ambitious so we are hoping that all the schemes actually go ahead and don't get shelved several years down the line like others have done in the past.'