Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1071. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the recently received report on the possible extension of the western rail corridor will be published; when a decision will be made on the report; the reason for the delay on same; if he will make a decision on the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3476/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1040 and 1071 together.
As the Deputies are aware, Project Ireland 2040 committed to conducting an independent review toward evaluating a possible extension of the existing Western Rail Corridor northwards to Tuam (Phase 2) and/or Claremorris (Phase 3). Project Ireland 2040 also states that if Government accepts a proposal to extend the route then that extension will be prioritised over the lifetime of the National Development Plan.
In line with this commitment, Iarnród Éireann commissioned a financial and economic appraisal of the proposal and in late 2019, submitted a copy of that appraisal to my Department. As was signalled publicly at the time of the commissioning of the appraisal, in accordance with the Public Spending Code (PSC) my Department is now reviewing the documentation that has been received and is engaging with Iarnród Éireann and the consultants as required. Again as has been stated previously and as indicated in Project Ireland 2040, the matter will then be brought to Government for its decision once this reviewing is complete.