Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
76. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on prioritising a by-pass of Tipperary town as part of the N24 project; the reason there was no mention of same in the National Development Plan; his views on the importance of prioritising the by-passing of Tipperary town due to the traffic and environmental issues caused by the current road layout; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49337/21]
As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and securing exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Once funding arrangements have been put in place with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for TII in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.This is also subject to the Public Spending Code Guidelines and the necessary statutory approvals.
In the new NDP, launched on 4thOctober, approximately €5.1 billion is earmarked for new national road projects to 2030. This funding will enable improved connectivity across the country as well as compact growth, which are core components of the revised NDP. The funding will enable the development of many new national road projects, including the completion of projects which are already at construction stage and those close to it, as well as the development of many others.
The N24 project is included in the NDP under a list of projects which may be taken forward to construction. When evaluating the progression of these projects, a prioritisation will be undertaken which will be in line with the 2:1 Programme for Government commitment on new public transport and new roads, the "NIFTI" framework, the National Planning Framework and the requirements of the Climate Action Plan. It will also take account of available funding levels in any given year, as well as a focus, where appropriate, on town bypasses which facilitate compact growth.
A proposed bypass of Tipperary town will be considered in the coming months in this context, informed in part by the budget and agreed funding levels for 2022 - which are not yet decided.
The latest information on the status of the N24 project, including the Tipperary town bypass, is available to TII. Noting this, I have referred your query to TII for a direct reply on the current project status. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.