To ask the Minister for Transport if the National Roads Authority has submitted plans for a new round of Public Private Partnerships for the national road building and maintenance programme; if he has had discussions with the Minister for Finance in this regard; his plans for the financing of future road building and maintenance programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Thomas P. Broughan.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 6th December, 2007.
Ref No: 32768/07 Lottery: 148
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Noel Dempsey TD)
As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The implementation of individual national road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Act, 1993 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. In particular, the allocation of funding in relation to the construction or maintenance of national roads is a matter for the NRA under Section 19 of the Roads Act, 1993.
Also, the statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads, is vested in the NRA under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Roads Act 2007).
The Government's Transport 21 Programme and the National Development Plan provide for an estimated €2 billion in private financing for the existing toll road programme bringing total investment in national roads under Transport 21 to just over €18 billion.
A total of 10 national road improvement schemes were identified by the NRA for development as toll-based PPP projects. The delivery of these 10 schemes represents the completion of the National Roads Authority's toll road programme and the fulfillment of the private finance road targets set out in Transport 21. I am satisfied that the correct balance has been struck in Transport 21 between toll-based PPP projects and projects supported directly by the Exchequer.
From time to time the NRA have indicated that the potential exists for further PPP-type road schemes, but I have no plan to expand the PPP network at the moment.