Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
180. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which it is intended to provide high-quality road transport such as motorways in those areas throughout the country currently without such services, having particular regard to the economic needs of such areas and the need to compete for investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2570/23]
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. 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 Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals.
The NDP seeks to ensure a high degree of accessibility for all regions and urban areas, to other regional centres and to our cities. This is aligned with the National Planning Framework (NPF) with a particular focus on ensuring that our regional cities are enabled to become centres of appropriate scale and that their growth is compact and sustainable.
With regard to national roads, of the new road projects listed in the current NDP, several are under construction with others at an earlier stage of planning and design. Projects under construction include the Dunkettle Interchange, the N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom project, and the N59 Moycullen Bypass. Approximately €5.1 billion is earmarked for new national road projects over the lifetime of the NDP, with the majority of this being provided in the second half of this decade. This is in addition to the priority of ensuring our existing national road network is maintained in a robust and safe standard for users.