The estimate of expenditure for the Department of Transport Published today (14th November 2002) is 1,818 million Euro which is over 2% above the comparable 2002 Estimate.
The Minister for Transport, Mr. Séamus Brennan TD, announced that more than 1 billion Euro will be invested in 2003 in up to 30 major road projects, including the completion of a number of major schemes, the ongoing construction of others and an extensive programme of work for the maintenance of national roads.
The Book of Estimates also provides for in excess of 400 million Euro in investment in capital funding for public transport which will allow for major expansion in capacity on mainline, suburban and DART services, completion of the upgrade and expansion of Hueston Station and continued investment in a comprehensive Rail Safety Programme.
Due to high construction, land inflation and other costs in 2002 the Departments out turn ran somewhat above the published Estimate. It is not expected that these level of costs will apply in 2003 as, for example, construction inflation is slowing down.
Minister Brennan said; The increase in the estimates for the Department of Transport in the present difficult economic climate is a clear indication of the Governments ongoing commitment to delivering infrastructural projects that will be the foundation for future expansion and growth. The 2003 allocation continues the unprecedented level of investment in Public Transport, which began in 1999 and will ensure that the development and expansion of the Public Transport Network in Dublin and the regions is maintained as a priority by the Government.
The Minister has welcomed the maintenance of a high level of investment in the upgrading of the national road network. The provision of 1 billion Euro for national roads in 2003 will allow for funding of major construction works including:
Dublin Port Tunnel
Cloghran/Lissenhall - M1
Lissenhall/Balbriggan - M1
Drogheda By Pass - M1
South Eastern Motorway - M50
Limerick SRR Phase 1 - N7
Kildare By Pass - N7
Youghal By Pass - N25
Glen of the Downs - N11
Knock/Claremorris - N17
Ashford/Rathnew By Pass - N11
Ballincollig By Pass - N22
It is hoped that with many projects reaching completion and coming in on budget during 2003, and with the advance of Public Private Partnership projects, that a number of schemes will be able commence during next year.
National Roads Maintenance (53.396m Euro)
The provision for national road maintenance is being maintained at a level sufficient to ensure a good programme of work.
The total allocation for Public Transport for 2003 is 668m Euro an increase of 2.9m Euro over the allocation for 2002. The Exchequer investment will be augmented by funding from the EU amounting to approximately 90m Eurp in 2003. Total investment for 2003 of approximately 491m Euro compares favourably with the level of funding provided in 2002.
Users of Public Transport will see a real difference in service capacity and frequency in 2003 when the major infrastructural projects, which commenced in 2000 and 2001, begin to kick in.
The Book of Estimates provides 261m Euro for Public Transport Safety and Development. Approximately 90m Euroin EU funds will be provided for CIE public transport projects such as Heuston and the DART Upgrade. Excluding the once-off budget day allocation in 2002 of 31.6m Euro, the funding under this subhead represents a 10% increase on the 2002 provision.
This funding is being used for the following projects:
Rail Safety Programme
Expansion and Upgrade of Heuston Station which is to be completed next year
DART Upgrade Project to increase train link from 6 to 8 cars providing a 100% increase in capacity by 2005 over 2000
Purchase of 36 additional DART Rolling Stock
Purchase of 67 Intercity Carriages
Delivery of 80 Diesel rail cars for the suburban rail network which will go into service from early summer next year
Other investments in public transport include:
The provision of 245 million Euro, an increase of 5% on the provision in 2002, in the subvention for the public service obligation in the provision of Public Transport Services.
A provision of 126.9 million Euro for the capital costs of the Luas light rail system. Luas is now well advanced and enabling works such as utilities diversion, depot construction and bridge building is almost complete and track laying has been going on for some months. 26 trams have been delivered and testing and commissioning has begun. Next year represents peak expenditure year for the project and in addition to the Exchequer allocation and EU contributions, the Railway Procurement Agency will have a borrowing requirement of approximately 90 million Euro. By the end of 2003, all of the construction work on the Luas lines is scheduled to be completed. This will allow for commencement of passenger services soon afterwards. Euro A provision of 5.6 million Euro is for mobilisation costs associated with Luas. Connex, who have been awarded the operating rights have begun to gear up and will step-up their preparations, including driver recruitment, as construction progresses and the commencement date draws near.
Preparatory work on the Dublin Metro will also continue in 2003. A major portion of the provision of 9 million Euro will allow the Railway Procurement Agency to continue with analysis and progress the procurement process.
The level of funding for Public Transport Projects at 12.8m Euro has been maintained at the 2002 level. This will allow funding for accessibility projects, the rural public transport initiative, integrated ticketing and research into public transport.
Provision has been made for the establishment of the Railway Safety Commission
The total allocation for Aviation for 2003 is 31m Euro, an increase of 1.3m Euro over the allocation for 2002
The provision for regional airports and regional air services at 28.524 million Euro represents an increase on the 2002 provision. This level of funding allows the existing range of support schemes to be maintained. The Department will continue to provide support for the programme of regional PSO air services, which provide air links between the regional airports and Dublin. In addition to support for air services, the Department will continue to provide direct support to the regional airports for Marketing/Safety/Security measures. The Estimate also includes a provision for capital funding of 6.124m Euro to facilitate the full delivery of round one of NDP commitments to the regional airports.
The allocation for Dublin Transportation Office traffic management grants for 2003 is 40 million Euro. This will fund measures such as quality bus corridors, the strategic cycle network, the implementation of traffic cells, traffic calming and street improvement projects, pedestrian routes, walking corridors and improved facilities for people with disabilities, investment in computerised traffic signal control systems and travel and parking information systems, and the development of local integrated land use and transport framework plans. The traffic management grants are considered to provide good value for money, as a relatively small outlay can have a significant positive impact on congestion levels, both directly and indirectly through facilitating the use of public transport, cycling and walking.
The provision of 5 million Euro under Roads Related Services includes funding of the penalty points system.
More information: Tom Rowley (01) 6041089 087 8124723
Mary Sheerin (01) 6041088 087 2577148