Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (487)

Thomas Pringle


487. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if SmarterTravel, A Sustainable Transport Future will be implemented in full by 2020, in view of further delays to the planned update to the plan described in the first progress report of the Climate Action Plan 2019; the obstacles to its implementation to date; and the action he will take regarding rising emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates from the transport sector before 2020. [46446/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I will this week launch a public consultation on reviewing sustainable mobility policy which looks across all aspects of current policy in relation to public transport and active travel.

As noted in the First Progress Report of the Climate Action Plan 2019, the launch is slightly later than originally envisaged, but there were a number of administrative issues which required finalisation.

The Deputy will see from the comprehensive suite of documents which will be published on my Department’s website later in the week that the review of sustainable mobility policy is a wide-ranging and extensive exercise and I look forward to engaging with the public and stakeholders on this first review of policy in 10 years.

Among the documents to be published will be a high-level assessment of the actions under the existing policy Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future, a policy which was launched in 2009 with a policy horizon until 2020. This assessment, and indeed the wider policy review itself, will allow all stakeholders to reflect on what has been achieved, what remains to be done and how our policy frameworks can support the realisation of a more sustainable transport system.

In terms of actions to be taken before 2020, there are a number of initiatives underway which I have no doubt the Deputy will welcome, these include –

- Increased capacity on the Luas Green Line through the introduction of extended trams into service;

- The continued expansion of PSO bus services, such as the introduction of a new 24hour service in Dublin or the new high-frequency 225 route in Cork;

- The planned expansion of the commuter rail fleet in the Greater Dublin Area which Government has approved a few weeks ago;

- Conclusion of contracts for constructing a new National Train Control Centre, with actual construction to start in the New Year;

- Construction continuing on a number of cycling projects, such as the very significant Royal Canal Greenway in Dublin City Centre;

- Establishment by the NTA of a new Cycling Office and a new Park and Ride Development Office;

- Commissioning a study on transport demand management in our major cities, with tenders received currently being considered by my Department.

As the Deputy can see from these examples, there is a considerable body of work underway out to year end.