Week’s events: Govt’s Capital Plan, Road Safety Week and Dail Business

2nd October, 2015

The Government’s Capital Plan was announced this week, which outlined plans for investment from 2016-2021. Transport featured heavily in the plan, with almost €10 billion being allocated from an overall investment fund of €27 billion. The funds available for transport declined significantly when the economic crisis hit.  It was my intention that a steady increase in investment be delivered so that we can keep the infrastructure we already have in good working order, address urban congestion and encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport. This is key to supporting future economic growth and development. The Plan, as set out by Minister Howlin, will see annual investment in land transport rise from €1.05 billion in 2014 to €1.93 billion in 2022, which will allow our objects to be met over time and a more efficient and supported transport sector to be delivered in the years ahead.


Of the €10 billion being provided, €6 billion will go towards our roads programme, with €3.6 billion being used for public transport investment. Included in this is an allocation for the new Metro North. This vital piece of infrastructure will serve the transport needs of the northside of Dublin (the city centre – Airport – Swords corridor), which is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and will, at last, provide a rail link from Dublin Airport to the heart of the city.


Later in the week I was before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport to give a mid-year review of my Department’s budget and to answer any questions members may have on this and other emerging issues.


I also took Topical Issues on the use of dirt bikes in built up areas and on funding for Waterford for the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative being undertaken by Fáilte Ireland.


On Thursday I launched Road Safety Week with the Roads Safety Authority (RSA); the focus of which is on tyre safety. Research carried out by the RSA shows that the majority of people know how to check their tyre pressure and wear of tyres/tread depth but that very few actually do. I called for all car owners to carry out appropriate checks on this week (and/or next) to make sure that everything is in good working order so that preventable accidents can be avoided and ultimately lives saved.


I also called on the people of Cabra this week to see how things are going for them and to see the way in which I can help resolve queries they may have.