Irish government commits to two-to-one spending ratio on public transport and roads

The Irish government has committed to honoring its commitment to a two-to-one spending ratio on public transport to roads as part of its National Development Plan.

The plan, reports the Evening Standard, sets out the big transport and road projects the government will spend money on from now until 2030.

Michael McGrath said public transport needs “transformative change”, which he said is provided for in the government’s revised plan.

The National Development Plan was launched on Monday after the Irish government signs off on the blueprint during a meeting in Cork.

Mr McGrath said it will be the largest public capital investment programme in the history of the state in transport and housing. The 10-year plan has an overall budget of 165 billion euro (£141.4 billion).

It plans for transport projects worth 35 billion euro (£29.9 billion) up to the end of the decade.

Mr McGrath said: “There is a programme for government commitment, which was agreed to by the three parties on entering government last year, and that is that when it comes to new infrastructure investment in transport, there will be a ratio of two to one in favour of public transport investment, relative to investment in new road infrastructure.

“We are looking at a transport capital budget of 35 billion euro out to 2030, and there are a whole range of projects at different stages in the project development life cycle. What I want to see now is an element of competition, whereby all of those involved in promoting and sponsoring these projects get them through all those various stages to the point where they are ready to go.”

A number of the major public transport projects, which are so important for our country, will take a number of years to get to the point where they’re ready for construction

He said the ratio still allows allows funding for road projects to be advanced.

“I mean, for example here we (have) Dunkettle Interchange being built in Cork, the N22 and other projects are in the pipeline, which will also be delivered,” Mr McGrath added.

“A number of the major public transport projects, which are so important for our country, will take a number of years to get to the point where they’re ready for construction.”

To ensure the project does not run over budget, the minister said he has brought in reforms for external oversight of major capital investment projects.

He said he has brought in additional members to the Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board, which has overall responsibility for monitoring and leading the implementation of the National Development Plan and its planning framework.

“So people with external expertise in delivering projects in the private sector, for example, will be joining that board to lend that experience to the state,” the Fianna Fail minister added.

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