Written Answers. - Public Transport.

John Gormley

Question:

153 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Transport the main public transport and roads projects outlined in the Dublin Transport Office's platform for change transport plan for the capital in order of priority for implementation. [2690/03]

The updated Dublin Transport Office strategy, A Platform for Change 2000-2016, provides the framework for the development of the transport network in the greater Dublin area in the period to 2016. Significant elements of the strategy are now being delivered under the national development plan with priority being given to: increasing capacity on the suburban rail system through expanding capacity of the DART system. By 2005, there will have been a 100% increase in the capacity of the system compared with 2000. With 80 diesel railcars coming into service this year there will have been an increase of 130% in the capacity of suburban services on the Kildare line while services on the Maynooth line and suburban services on the northern line will also have been increased; the provision of the Luas light rail system which is scheduled to commence services in 2004; increasing the capacity of the bus fleet of Dublin Bus. This has been increased steadily and an increased of 23% in peak hour capacity has been provided. In addition, Bus Éireann has increased the capacity by approximately 40% on the main commuter services into Dublin; capacity improvements to N7; and introduction of quality bus corridors.

Over the coming years there will be further increases in the capacity of the bus system, suburban rail services and the Luas, while the metro proposal is currently under consideration. The national development plan provides for investment of more than €2 billion in public transport and traffic management in Dublin in the period to 2006, including provision of more than €250 million in respect of traffic management grants. Nearly €2 billion will be invested in roads in the Dublin region. This represents total investment of almost €4 billion over the life of the national development plan.

Major road projects to a total value of approximately €1.4 billion are currently under construction in the Dublin city and county area including the second bridge on the M50, south-eastern motorway, Dublin port tunnel and M1 – Cloghran-Balbriggan. These and other major road projects in the greater Dublin area including the N11 – Glen of the Downs and N7 – Kildare bypass are due for completion over the next two years or so. In addition to the large number of projects under way, the majority of the remaining national road projects provided for in Platform for Change are well advanced in planning and will proceed to construction as quickly as possible having regard to the funding available.

Question No. 154 answered with Question No. 90.