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Transportation accessibility issues and the location of a national facility: the case of a new paediatric hospital to serve the Republic of Ireland

Enda Murphy, James E. Killen


This study considers the accessibility of three locations that were identified for consideration by the Health Services Executive for locating a new national children's hospital: The Mater, St. James's and Tallaght. Accessibility to each of these sites is considered first within the context of the Dublin region and then with respect to the area outside that region. For the Dublin region, a Dublin Transportation Office data set that gives travel times in the peak and off-peak periods is used along with small area population statistics derived from the 2002 census to identify: 1) the proportion of the total population, 2) the population aged 0 to 15 years and 3) of the female population aged 15 to 35 years that are nearest each of the three hospital sites. A similar analysis is conducted for the rest of the country using, where appropriate, published public transport schedules. The results suggest that in choosing a location for a single facility that is to serve the Dublin region only and where accessibility interpreted as minimisation of travel time is of over-riding importance, a city centre location is best. However, where the facility is to serve the national population and where the bulk of journeys to it will be by car, the results suggest that a strategic location to the west of the city will maximise accessibility.

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