Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Transport Policy

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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173. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he has studied the weakest links in the transport system nationally; his plans to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13459/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Research and analysis make an important contribution to my Department’s overall mission of delivering an accessible, efficient, safe, and sustainable transport system which supports communities, households and businesses.

My Department has led research across a number of areas across the transport system, which have informed the development and implementation of national transport policy.

A key priority for my Department is to ensure that our transport system is integrated, resilient and decarbonised in a manner that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. My Department delivers research to provide for a robust evidence base for policy development, implementation, communication, and reporting in the transport sector. Research plays a key role in identifying and addressing gaps in data, and in modelling the impacts of emissions and carbon reduction measures across the interconnected transport, economic and social systems.

Climate Action and Sustainability Research is aligned with the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework set out in the Transport chapter of the Climate Action Plan 2024, as well as the Transport Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan. Examples of key studies informing policy development with regard to climate action in the Transport System which my Department has provided input to include Climate Action Plan Transport Modelling, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Redesigning Ireland’s Transport for Net Zero: Towards Systems that Work for People and the Planet. Both reports are available online.

My Department has also supported studies to inform the development and enhancement of our public transport system. The All-Island Strategic Rail Review, which is being undertaken in co-operation with the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, will inform the development of the railway sector on the Island of Ireland over the coming decades, to 2050, in line with net zero targets in both jurisdictions. The Review is considering the future of the rail network with regard to the following ambitions: improving sustainable connectivity between the major cities including the potential for higher/high-speed, enhancing regional accessibility, supporting balanced regional development and rail connectivity to our international gateways. This also includes the role of rail freight. Work on the Review is now at an advanced stage and it is intended that the final Review will be published by the Summer. Further information on the Review is available online.

Other recent examples of focussed analysis to inform policy development by my Department include:

  • Spending Review of Ireland’s Road and Railway Network
  • Focussed Policy Assessment on the Protection and Renewal of Ireland’s Regional and Local Road Network
  • The Economic Cost Traffic Congestion within the Greater Dublin Area
My Department will host the Transport Research Arena (TRA) conference in April of this year, supported by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the European Commission. The biennial conference is the largest European transport and mobility research, innovation, and technology event, and will bring together policymakers, researchers, academia, and industry representatives to discuss how research, innovation and technology can work together to shape our current and future transport and mobility systems. As President of the conference, along with Minister of State Chambers as Vice-President, our aim is to showcase the best Ireland and Europe has to offer across the transport and mobility arena.

The theme of the conference for 2024 is “Transport Transitions: Advancing Sustainable and Inclusive Mobility”, and will be examined under a number of distinct sub-themes, including: Safe & Inclusive Transport; Sustainable Mobility of People & Goods; Efficient & Resilient Systems, and; Collaborative Digitalisation. Further information regarding this event can be found here:


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