The head of Dublin City Council’s Economic Development Committee has raised alarm that a serious lack of investment in Dublin’s infrastructure during the economic downturn has left the city completely unprepared for the upturn.

In a stark warning to policy makers, Cllr Paul McAuliffe said the lack of investment in housing, transport infrastructure and public services has led to unsustainably high rents, heavy traffic congestion, pressure on public transport services and a lack of available office space in the desired locations.

Cllr McAuliffe explained, “Dublin City Council has just published the city’s latest economic monitor which shows that the city simply doesn’t have the infrastructure and services to cater for the economic recovery. The lack of investment in key areas like housing and transport has left the city unable to cope with the level of demand on its services.

“The report shows that the lack of available housing in the city has driven rent prices to their highest level in 6 years and twice as high as the rest of the country. Office rents have surged by 25% in just a year. The use of public transport is at its highest level in 5 years. Dublin Airport is at its busiest level in 9 years. Traffic congestion is increasing by the day. There is growing pressure on public transport services.

“Far too many projects for Dublin were put on hold over the downturn and we are now in a position where the capital is creaking at the first signs of growth. We don’t have nearly enough housing. We don’t have enough office space. We don’t have the expanded transport network that was promised. Our road network, cycle lanes and bus lanes have not been developed as planned. As a city, we are lagging way behind and it is putting the potential of our economic recovery at risk.

“It is only with concerted effort by policy makers that we will overcome these major barriers to progress in the capital. This has to happen right now. There is no time for putting this on the long-finger or making election promises that never come to pass. A lack of action will impede Ireland’s economic recovery.”