Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Department of Transport
Light Rail Project
Question 88: To ask the Minister for Transport his views on the development of light rail systems in Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford; if he has been in contact with Galway City Council on the publication of a feasibility study for the Galway Luas; if the Gluas would be developed through a public private partnership; if his Department will conduct feasibility studies in respect of Luas systems for Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12801/10]
The Programme for Government of 2007 made a commitment to conduct feasibility studies into Luas-type light rail systems in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. I subsequently asked the local authorities in these cities, which have responsibility for these studies, to see that the feasibility of Bus Rapid Transit systems was simultaneously taken into account. These studies have been completed or are close to completion in all four cities.
The Final Report on the Galway Public Transport Feasibility Study was adopted by the City Council at its meeting on the 8th March 2010. The report concluded that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is the recommended solution for Galway City.
The recommendation for a BRT system is accompanied by a range of complementary measures that are necessary to facilitate the provision of BRT in Galway City.
The Study examined all options for the future development of public transport in Galway, and included an assessment of the Gluas proposal.
I understand that the Members of the City Council expressed a preference for a light rail system (LRT) for Galway, and also that the City Council would work with the Gluas group to explore issues which arose in the context of its proposal. I understand that the City Council will examine mechanisms to progress these issues and also to progress the development of the improved transport system for Galway as recommended in the Study and endorsed by the City Council.
I will await the outcome of those deliberations by the City Council before concluding my consideration of the Study. Pending this it would be premature to speculate on a public private partnership or any other delivery mechanism.