Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (69, 70)

John Gormley

Question:

131 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Transport if the provision of a rail service from Dublin to Navan is being considered by his Department; and the steps required to introduce such a service. [6817/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

The strategic rail review examined the feasibility of restoring rail services to Navan via two routes, a Clonsilla to Navan link and a Drogheda to Navan connection. The review concluded that there was no economic case for reopening either link. I understand however, that once the regional planning guidelines for the greater Dublin area are adopted in the coming months, Irish Rail is planning to examine the possibility of reopening part of the Clonsilla to Navan line, as far as Dunboyne.

Joe Costello

Question:

132 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Transport if he intends to take advantage of the relaxation of EU rules on state borrowing to press for funding for major infrastructural projects in his Department, such as the Dublin metro and various road projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6769/04]

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The new guidance from EUROSTAT on the treatment of public private partnership-funded infrastructure is welcome. It clarifies the ground rules for the accounting treatment of PPP transactionsvis-à-vis the GGB and, in particular, the requirements relating to the real and substantial transfer of risk to the private partner. The implications of the new guidelines will be considered on a case by case basis in respect of PPP projects under the national roads programme and other major infrastructural developments such as the Dublin metro. In the first instance, of course, projects proposed for funding by way of PPP must be examined to ensure they represent good value for money.