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Cross-Border Co-operation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (232, 233)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

232. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport the details of the cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects and the funding allocated for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53855/21]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

233. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport the details of his Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53873/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 232 and 233 together.

There are a number of cross-Border transport related projects and initiatives currently underway or planned.

In relation to rail, my Department in co-operation with the Department for Infrastructure (NI) has commenced an all-Island Strategic Rail Review which will strategically consider the rail network on the island of Ireland in relation to improving sustainable connectivity between the major cities, enhancing regional accessibility (including to the North-West) and supporting balanced regional development. The Review will consider connectivity to the main air and sea ports and in this regard, the potential for freight by rail. The Review will also consider the potential scope for improved rail services along existing, or future potential, corridors of the network. The cost of the review will be approximately €1m.

The PEACE PLUS programme 2021-2027 is a successor programme to both the existing PEACE and INTERREG programmes and is jointly funded by the EU, Irish and UK governments. The Programme is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and has been agreed by the Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and SEUPB. It is subject to European Commission approval and, when approved, will provide over €1billion in funding over the period 2021-2027. The Government will also continue to contribute to the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA programmes as they conclude in 2021, 2022 and 2023, with a contribution of €39.19m in 2021.

The priority project for transport under PEACE PLUS, agreed by my Department and the Department for Infrastructure NI, is the replacement and expansion of the Enterprise rail fleet to provide for sustainable rail stock and a move toward an hourly service and reduced journey times. Funding profiles for the programme will be finalised as part of the development of the business case which is underway.

In relation to roads, the current funding arrangements in relation to the A5 are governed by the commitments in the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan - A Fresh Start and in the New Decade, New Approach document. The Government is committed to providing funding of £75 million (sterling) towards the cost of phase 1a of the A5 upgrade scheme subject to the satisfactory conclusion of the statutory planning process which is currently underway in Northern Ireland. Annual allocations to fulfil the Government’s funding commitment will be determined in light of progress with the statutory process.

In relation to aviation, my Department is undertaking a review of the potential for Government support to renewed viable air routes from Cork to Belfast and Dublin to Derry. In doing so, the Department is working with its counterparts in the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive

With regard to other cross-border projects, my Department receives reimbursed funds from the SEUPB for the following three transport related projects being funded under the INTERREG VA Programme:

- Greenways: Carlingford Lough Greenway, Ulster Canal Greenway (Phase 2), North West Greenways Network

- Multimodal Hub: Multimodal Transport Hub in Derry

-‘FASTER’: Electric vehicle charging project

The division and allocation of this fund is the responsibility of the SEUPB.

The Sligo Leitrim Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR) Greenway has been granted €500,000 under the Carbon Tax funding round 2020. The Greenway runs from Collooney in Sligo to Manorhamilton in Leitrim and to Blacklion on the Cavan - Fermanagh border before crossing into Fermanagh and ending in Enniskillen. Although no funding has been drawn down in 2020 or 2021 to date, it is anticipated that €189,000 will be drawn down by end Q4 2021. Any allocations for 2022 and 2023 will be a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to determine as they are now the Authorising Authority (as of September 2021).

The EU’s INTERREG VA Programme will invest approximately €6.4m/£5.8m in a new electric vehicle charging project called ‘FASTER’, which will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging increased use of more environmentally-friendly forms of transport. This project is at an early stage and the breakdown of expenditure for 2022 and 2023 has not been determined as yet. There has been no expenditure on this project in 2021.

Description

Allocated Funding 2021

Allocated Funding 2022

Allocated Funding 2023

Active Travel

€2,000,000

€2,400,000

€2,760,000

Greenways

€189,000 by Q4

TII to determine

TII to determine

Question No. 233 answered with Question No. 232.
Question No. 234 answered with Question No. 110.
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