Access & Infrastructure Ireland West
The message from the West is access all areas! It’s easy to get here, easy to travel around and easy to travel abroad from the West.
Boasting upgraded road, rail and air access, travel times in and around the region have been greatly improved.
A high level of investment in infrastructure in recent years has seen travel times within the region and to Dublin and other urban centres considerably reduced. Congestion is much lower than in the East, with almost no traffic problems in smaller towns. Good bus services operate between the West and the rest of Ireland.
The average commute is much shorter in the West than in the East.
The rail system is being upgraded with better lines and faster direct trains being introduced. Reduced journey times and new, larger carriages are on the way. The Western Rail Corridor is about to open in March 2010, opening up a direct rail link between Galway and Limerick.
Air access to the West comes via a network of airports - two international airports at Shannon and Ireland West Airport Knock as well as three regional airports at Donegal, Sligo and Galway. Shannon has flights to the USA and all over Europe. In 2009 Shannon became the first airport in Europe to offer customs pre-clearance facilities for US bound passengers. Ireland West Airport Knock serves 20 destinations in Ireland, the UK and Europe. The three regional airports serve Dublin, the UK and Europe. And of course there is another airport just over the border in Derry.
Telecommunications are also improving. Broadband is increasingly available throughout the region, however coverage is not yet universal. The National Broadband Scheme aims to have all areas covered for broadband access by September 2010. The successful rollout of this scheme is crucial for connectivity and commerce in the Western Region.