To ask the Minister for Transport if he has held discussions with the National Roads Authority to review the toll pricing regime operated by the NRA on the M50; the way his Department monitors and invigilates the policies and performance of the NRA; if he has received submissions from the National Toll Roads and the NRA on full road pricing along the M50 or other roads; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Ciarán Lynch. (Nominated by: Thomas P. Broughan).
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 8th May, 2008.
Ref No: 17335/08 Lottery: 25 Proof: 100
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Noel Dempsey TD)
Under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended) 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 National Roads Authority (NRA).
An M50 Demand Management Report was carried out last year for the NRA by independent consultants and conveyed to my Department. It was received in my Department in the last quarter of 2007. This was an initial exploratory study and I understand it will be updated in three years time when recommendations will be made to support any action that may or may not be taken in this area post 2010.
As the Deputy is aware, as Minister for Transport I am responsible for overall policy and funding issues relating to the National Roads Programme element of Transport 21. The detailed planning, design and implementation of individual national road improvement projects are a matter for the NRA under the Roads Act 1993 (as amended).
My Department oversees the effective implementation of the national roads element of the Transport 21 investment programme by providing policy guidance to the NRA and through ongoing monitoring of NRA expenditure.
The main focus of the current monitoring arrangements is on:
- overall programme progress and alignment of programme with Government priorities;
- expenditure drawdown;
- arrangements in place for programme/project management and cost estimation and control.
Officials from my Department are in regular contact with the NRA liaising with them on various aspects of the national roads programme. The NRA is required to submit progress reports to my Department on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.