To ask the Minister for Transport if he plans to take a co-ordinating role to ensure that new road and planned new rail routes share alignments where appropriate.
- Olivia Mitchell.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 17th November, 2004.
(for example in the instance of the planned Dublin/Navan road and rail plans)
Ref No: 29115/04
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Martin Cullen)
The planning, design and implementation of national road improvement projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the local authorities concerned.
The local authorities, in their role as statutory road authorities, undertake the detailed planning of individual road projects taking account of the overall policy on the national roads programme, local development plans and environmental impacts.
In relation to rail development, Irish Rail is responsible, in the first instance, for formulating plans, which will meet the identified demands for rail services into the future. Major rail projects require a Railway Order, issued by me in my capacity as Minister for Transport, and involving the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement and the holding, by an appointed inspector, of a public enquiry at which all interested parties may be represented.
Irish Rail are currently developing a proposal to serve Dunboyne via a route which will branch off near Clonsilla on the Dublin/Sligo rail line and run through areas such as Hansfield which has recently been zoned to cater for substantial residential development. This line will then run Northwards towards Dunboyne terminating at a Park & Ride facility adjacent to the N3. Irish Rail and Meath County Council are currently undertaking a feasibility study of the rail proposal. This study will include an assessment of how road and rail proposals compliment each other.
Under the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the Regional Authorities have recently finalised their Regional Planning Guidelines (RPGs) for their Regions. These RPGs provide regional land use strategies consistent with the National Spatial Strategy. They also identify proposed measures for the further development of transport in the regions. All local authorities are now required to have regard to these RPGs. My Department is working closely with the Regional Authorities to ensure that planning of transport projects takes full account of the RPGs.