Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (45, 55)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

45. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the status of plans for the electrification of the bus and rail fleet. [25880/20]

View answer

Duncan Smith

Question:

55. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Transport the status of the proposal in the Programme for Government for new buses to be electric or hybrid after 2025; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25667/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 and 55 together.

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

At a policy level, the Deputy has highlighted the Programme for Government commitment that all new urban buses be electric or electric hybrid and I am glad to say that commitment is built into this year's bus purchase programme and obviously remains an integral part of all future bus purchase programmes.

Again at a policy level, in terms of the potential, or further, electrification of the rail network there are three important strands to that -

- extension of the existing DART network as part of the DART+ programme;

- future introduction of electrified services on the Cork commuter network as set out in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study; and

- options for the major inter-urban network which will be considered as part of an imminent Departmental-led major review of speeds on the Belfast-Dublin-Limerick Junction-Cork line

In terms of the current status of the bus purchase programme, DART+ programme and roll-out of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy I have referred your question to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days