Written Answers. - Rail Network.

Denis Naughten


125 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Transport the total budget set aside for the BMW region for rail development; if part of the additional funds to come under the mid-term review will be allocated for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17328/03]

The national development plan identifies a number of rail development projects in the BMW region relating to rail safety improvements, upgrading of track-work and other public transport projects. The plan estimated the total cost of these projects at €477 million. The 2003 Estimates allocation for my Department continues to provide a significant level of investment in public transport which began in 1999, and will ensure that the development and expansion of the public transport infrastructure is maintained as a priority

The mid-term review of the ESIOP-NDP is at present under way. This evaluation is being carried out by external consultants on behalf of the Department of Finance. Its key objective is to provide an independent analysis of progress and to make recommendations for adjustments, where and if appropriate to the programme. It is expected that the review will be completed in the autumn of 2003.