Thursday, 8 March 2018
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Public Transport Initiatives
480. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of projects (details supplied) as conceptualised under the 2015 Capital Plan as of 1 February 2018; the amount that had been spent on them between their announcement and to date; the areas in which projects are included in the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework; and the estimated amount of prior expenditure that will remain relevant to the project in the future. [11274/18]
As the Deputy is aware, the recently published Project Ireland 2040 comprising the National Planning Framework (NPF) and National Development Plan (NDP) sets out a number of Public Transport Investment priorities including the DART Expansion programme, City Centre re-signalling and MetroLink. The DART Expansion Programme comprises of the DART Underground Tunnel and a series of projects, including the City Centre Re-signalling project, interlinked with the Tunnel but which also have benefits in and of themselves as stand-alone projects. This series of projects will create a full metropolitan area DART network for Dublin with all the lines linked and connected. This integrated network will provide a core, high-capacity transit system and will deliver a very substantial increase in peak-hour capacity on all lines from Drogheda, Maynooth, Celbridge/Hazelhatch and Greystones. The route for the DART Underground Tunnel will be established and protected to allow for its future delivery.
The NDP also proposes to take forward a Metro Link scheme to run from Swords, via Dublin Airport to Dublin’s south city centre (operating in tunnel under the city centre) and onwards to Sandyford using the existing Luas Green Line to ensure that growth along this corridor can be accommodated. This will provide Dublin with a high capacity, high-frequency cross-city rail corridor serving critical destinations such as Swords, Dublin Airport, Dublin City University, Ballymun, the Mater Hospital and existing destinations along the Luas Green Line to Sandyford. Metro Link will provide faster reliable journey times to and from these key destinations while offering interchange with other rail, DART Expansion, light rail and bus services.
As the Deputy is also aware, the NTA's Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area provides the overarching framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services for Dublin over the next two decades including those investment priorities identified in the NDP. In light of the NTA’s responsibility in this matter, I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for further update.
Implementation of the eight Capital Plan regional and local road improvement projects mentioned by the Deputy is the responsibility of the relevant road authority with grant support from my Department.
As it will be some years before funding under the Capital Plan builds up to the level required to maintain the regional and local road network in a steady state condition, expenditure continues to be primarily directed towards maintenance and renewal work. This means that the Capital Plan upgrade projects have to be implemented on a phased basis as budgets allow and as projects are advanced through the project development stages by the relevant road authorities.
Two of the projects have reached construction stage - the Sallins Bypass and the upgrade of the Nangor and Adamstown roads in the vicinity of Grange Castle business park. The main design and construction elements of the Naas Bypass widening Scheme, Osberstown Interchange and Sallins Bypass Schemes are being progressed under one construction contract. Kildare County Council is the contracting authority and these three projects are expected to be completed on a phased basis over 2019/2020. In the case of the Nangor and Adamstown road upgrade, South Dublin County Council is the contracting authority and it is anticipated that the project will be completed in 2019.
The other projects will be progressed as the necessary development consents, land acquisition and procurement are advanced and as funding can be made available by my Department. As regards grant expenditure to date for these projects, this information is included in the Regional and Local Roads Payment and Allocations Booklets which are available in the Oireachtas library.
In relation to the national road projects mentioned by the Deputy, as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for TII in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act. I have, therefore referred the Deputy's Question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.