Ministers Donohoe & Ring announce €100m additional investment in Transport, Tourism & Sport

17th July, 2015

Govt intent on closing the gap between what is available and what is needed to deliver appropriate infrastructure and services for our people


The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State, Michael Ring TD, have today (Friday) announced an additional €100 million investment in Transport, Tourism and Sport for 2015. This brings the Department’s overall capital envelope for the year to €1.07 billion. This additional funding, which has been sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, will further support our public transport system, allow for much needed maintenance of our road network and facilitate the speedier roll-out of projects this year. (See below for full breakdown of allocation).


Funds will be allocated in the following way:

€60 million for public transport to help address the underinvestment which took place since our economic collapse. Of this:

  • €29million will deliver much needed maintenance on rail rolling stock required for the provision of services. It will lead to continued reliability and punctuality across all rail fleets, enhance the customer experience and help attract more people to use rail services.
  • €9million towards the Rail Safety programme which will help improve journey times on the Dublin/Cork line.
  • €20million will be used to expand / replace bus fleet to meet growing demand.
  • €2million for city bikes expansion and cycling safety measures.

€34 million will be provided towards critical remedial works, maintenance and strengthening of the road network at national, regional and local level, where funding has been severely constrained since the crisis began. This spend has a wide geographic spread and will have positive economic impact. Of this, €10 million will be allocated to pavement works on our national road network, including specific upgrades which are vital for the economy.  €24 million will go towards regional and local roads, which will allow 350km of sub-standard road pavement to be brought up to a high standard across 27 Local Authority areas.


€1 million to enhance road safety, including investment in drug testing devices and other road safety related measures.


€4.2 million will be allocated to tourism related projects, including further development of Ireland’s Ancient East corridor and the Wild Atlantic Way.


€800k will be allocated to the National Indoor Arena, in addition to funding already committed, to accelerate the delivery of this world class facility for our athletes at the National Sports Campus.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘Following on from our economic collapse, the level of funding where land transport is concerned has been dramatically reduced. Where land transport is concerned investment fell from a peak of €3 billion (1.6% of GDP) in 2008 to a historic low level of €850 million (0.5% of GDP) in 2014. As a result a gap developed between what was available and what was needed to adequately maintain, manage and renew existing infrastructure. This Government has been working hard to return our public finances to order so that we can build a better future and provide the levels of investment we require to meet the economic and social needs of our people’.


“This additional investment of €100 million will be used to strengthen our national, regional and local road network, making them safer and better able to support economic development. Funds are also being provided for road safety measures, including the roll-out of drug testing devices which should result in fewer deaths on our roads.


“As we build on the progress we have been making in recent years, more people are returning to work which is great news. However, it is also resulting in a rise in congestion levels in certain areas. This threatens to slow economic activity and have a negative impact on people’s living standards. Today’s announcement will see investment being provided for the renewal and expansion of our bus fleet, which will improve reliability; to enhance rail journey times, which will improve commuter experience; and to expand the bike share scheme, all of which will combat congestion and help facilitate further growth.


Minister Ring said:  ‘Investment in the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, in the form of signage and enhanced web presence will ensure that tourists are encouraged to visit us in even greater numbers so that we can make 2015 our best year ever. Additionally, funding for the National Indoor Arena will accelerate the completion of this project which has long been described as the missing piece in our national sporting infrastructure, and which this Government is committed to delivering for our athletes.”


Breakdown of allocations Allocation Benefits
Roads Programme – sub total €35m
Road strengthening on National road network  €10m Critical pavement works on national road network as well as some economically important upgrades.
For Local Authority Restoration Improvement Programme for regional & local roads €24m 700km of sub-standard road pavement will be brought up to a high standard across 27 local authority areas. Councils to be allowed use up to 20% of their additional RI grant for CIS and up to 10% for LIS
Road Safety measures €1m Deliver on policy commitments in relation to road safety including development of drug testing devices and improved technologies to support road safety measures
Public Transport Programme – sub-total €60m
Buses: Steady State funding gap and Expansion €20m Will contribute to replacement and expansion programme for buses, reducing the average age and associated maintenance costs, improving reliability and beginning to address increased demand and  respond to congestion.
Rail: €38m
€9m Critical rail  investment that will deliver improved journey time on the Dublin/Cork line
  • Heavy Rail Maintenance
€29m This investment in Irish Rail’s railcar renewal in 2015 is critical to ensure the continued reliable operation of services and to securing a viable path for the company.
City Bikes Schemes €2m €1m for city bike expansion and €1m for cycling safety projects. Expanding the catchment area of the Dublin Bikes scheme to the wider Grangegorman Campus area. Increasing cycle lanes and facilities.
Tourism €4.2m
Tourism related projects  €3m
Ireland’s Ancient East (IAE) Signage & Technology programme €300k In the same way as the WAW signage, it will bring the IAE proposition to life on the ground and increase its recognition and visibility
Development of a trade and Consumer Web presence for IAE €250k Crucial to the web prominence and visibility of the IAE and in line with the WAW web presence
Discover Ireland refresh to focus on encourage Wild Atlantic Way and IAE to the domestic market in the shoulder season €200k Increased domestic tourism on WAW and IAE which is particularly important to sustain businesses in the shoulder season
Tourism Capital Priorities 2015/2016 Including €1m for Johnstown House and €1m for Connemara cultural centre €200k New attractions developed on the WAW and the IAE.  The Connemara cultural centre is also in line with Govt priorities for 2016 and the Decade of Commemorations
Gateway Tourist office technology fit out – Gateway offices (Galway/ Cork modelled on the new Suffolk street fit out) €250k Key gateway TIOs updated in line with Dublin office and in tune with changing visitor needs
Sport €0.8m
National Indoor Arena €0.8m Accelerate completion of the National Indoor Arena
Total €100m