Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Revised National Development Plan: Discussion

Photo of Steven MatthewsSteven Matthews (Wicklow, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

The Chairman raised some good points and I am glad he brought them into the discussion. Mr. Creegan hit the nail on the head about safety. I visited one of my local schools, St. Andrew's, in Bray recently to talk to the students about transport. The overwhelming desire from those students was to have safe cycle routes to school. They all want to cycle to school. They probably would all attempt to cycle to school, but it is probably the parents who will not let them. I would be the same. I would be concerned about letting my child cycle on certain roads to go to school; we need that safe infrastructure. Local authorities have a significant role to play in this. We need to give councillors the support and the powers to be able to allocate road space for safe cycling infrastructure. I thank Mr. Creegan for that.

I have a question for TII on the carbon cost of infrastructure. We keep referring to the cost per mile of motorway or dual carriageway at €12 million per mile and say we could electrify five miles or six miles of single-line or double-line rail for that and get more people travelling on it with a lower carbon footprint. Does TII factor the cost of carbon into projects when comparing public transport with roads projects? This includes the embedded cost of the construction material but also the fact that for the next 20, 30 or 40 years we will have carbon-emitting vehicles on those roads. Despite the move to electric vehicles, petrol and diesel cars are still being bought which will still be on the roads for the next 20 or 30 years.


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