As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. The M50 upgrade project, approved in 2005, resulted in the addition of a third lane in both directions from the M1 to Sandyford and a fourth auxiliary lane in places together with the development of freeflow junctions and the introduction of barrier free tolling. This major investment has significantly enhanced the capacity of the motorway. There are no proposals at present for further investment in additional capacity. One of the conditions attached to An Bord Pleanála's approval of the upgrade was the publication of a scheme of demand management measures within three years of the completion of the work. The NRA with the relevant local authorities has been working on such a scheme and a draft of their report has been published.
Regarding the overall position in respect of future transport investment and capacity constraints I wish to advise that my Department is currently drafting a Strategic Framework for Investment in Land Transport (SFILT). The preparation of the Framework will have regard to various transport objectives including the need to obtain best value for money through the timely maintenance and renewal of existing infrastructure and ensuring the best use of existing assets, improving the economic evaluation methodology for investment in new capacity to address or pre-empt bottlenecks, ensuring that the transport system is as safe as possible, promoting improved quality of life taking account of affordability considerations, accessibility and enhancing the public realm and improving integration of the transport system in both inter-modal and intra-modal terms.