Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Public Transport

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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65. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the public transport projects aside from the purchase of new buses, firmly committed to in the NDP, either partially or wholly located in, the province of Connacht; the estimated total cost of these projects; the total population of Connacht; the estimated spend per capita; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59262/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I realise the importance of expanding public transport options in cities, towns, and villages within Connacht and across the country. The National Development Plan (NDP) provides €35 billion for transport over the next decade, the largest investment in transport in the history of the state. This provides the necessary support to translate our ambitions for public transport into reality.

Projects like BusConnects in Galway City and Connecting Ireland in rural areas across the province will provide viable alternatives to the private car.  BusConnects, which is a strategic investment priority of the NDP, will be rolled out across all five cities in the country, including Galway, and will massively expand access to public transport as well as radically improving cycling infrastructure.  It will overhaul the current bus system in Galway by implementing a network of ‘next generation’ bus corridors, which includes segregated cycling facilities, on the busiest routes to make journeys faster, predictable, and reliable.

I recognise that we also need to increase access to public transport in rural and regional areas too. The NDP commits to supporting the delivery of Connecting Ireland in the coming years which will seek to significantly improve bus services in rural Ireland. It will improve the existing bus networks, add new bus services, and enhance the current Demand Responsive Transport network. At this stage interested parties are being asked to participate in the Connecting Ireland public consultation process which was launched by the National Transport Authority last month. 

In rail, the NDP will support major transport-led developments in Galway, with funding allocated to support the redevelopment of Ceannt Station, as well as increased investment to expand commuter rail infrastructure and services on the Athenry to Galway Corridor, which will commence with improvements to Oranmore station and track infrastructure.

The rail network generally in Connacht will benefit from the increased investment the NDP provides to support enhanced protection and renewal of the network leading to improvements in service reliability and journey times over the period. The potential of the Western Rail Corridor is being considered as part of the all-island Strategic Rail Review which has now commenced following the appointment of Arup consultants. 

Light rail is another of the strategic investment priorities of the NDP and the feasibility of light rail in Galway will be considered again as part of next year’s review of the Galway Transport Strategy.

In relation to the cost per capita, project costs can only be finalised following the completion of appropriate project development and planning processes. Accordingly it is not possible to provide an investment amount per capita at this stage of the project life cycle of the various proposals listed above. 


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