Paliamentary Question for the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Leo Varadkar TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER 2/04/2014
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the transport infrastructure that has been undertaken during the course of the current capital investment plan; the priorities for any future plan and if he will furnish specific details on the projects, both planned and undertaken, in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The Government’s current capital investment programme runs until 2016 and is necessarily limited by the State’s financial circumstances. The emphasis to date has been on the need to direct these limited resources to the maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure. My key annual priorities, including investment priorities, over the last 3 years are published on my Department’s website as are annual progress reports for each. Further details of investments can be found in the Department’s Annual Reports which are also published on the Department’s website, .
The main investments in the transport sector come under the responsibility of the National Transport Authority, the National Roads Authority and, in respect of the national rail network, Irish Rail. I have therefore referred the Deputies’ questions on the detail of the specific projects in the current capital plan to the agencies for direct reply, including projects in the Cork region. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
Consideration of a new Government capital investment plan beyond 2016 will begin shortly in association with the upcoming Capital Expenditure Review. It is at only at this stage that priorities can be finalised. In this context, work on a Strategic Framework for Investment in Land Transport is ongoing within my Department. The completion of this work and its publication in 2014 is one of my priorities for this year. This framework will allow us to identify the types of investment that can enhance economic productivity, but also recognise that meeting the needs of people is a critical aspect of transport infrastructure provision. A steering group is guiding this work and stakeholders and advisers such as Forfás have been involved in identifying the issues. To ensure that wider stakeholder needs and concerns are fully addressed, a public consultation on a draft framework will take place this summer.