Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (254)

Bernard Durkan


254. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport the extent to which traffic congestion points have been identified throughout north County Kildare with particular reference to Maynooth, Leixlip, Celbridge and Kilcock; the measures proposed to eliminate any such bottlenecks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27269/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and securing exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the operation and management of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. This is also subject to the Public Spending Code Guidelines and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on any proposed road-based measures to deal with traffic congestion throughout north Co. Kildare.

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

With regard to Public Transport, continued investment in public transport and active travel measures will help to ease traffic congestion. The DART+ Programme is a transformative programme of projects which aims to modernise and improve existing rail services in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). It will provide frequent, modern, electrified services to Hazelhatch-Celbridge on the Kildare Line, Maynooth and M3 Parkway on the Maynooth/Sligo Line. In this regard, the Deputy may be interested to note the recently launched and ongoing Public Consultation process in regard to the DART+ Maynooth line, the duration of which has been extended to 7 October.

Separately the Deputy may be aware of Government's approval last year of the proposed purchase of 41 additional carriages to the InterCity Railcar fleet, which will increase capacity across intercity services on both the Maynooth and Kildare Lines.

In May of this year the National Transport Authority (NTA) wrote to all 31 local authorities to offer its financial and technical support for COVID mobility measures and this support is being funded through my Department's sustainable mobility investment programme. The approach taken was to engage with all local authorities to see what their requirements were and to grant-aid in full, various temporary intervention proposals, subject to those proposals being agreed with the NTA in advance of implementation.

In addition, under the July Stimulus an additional funding was announced to support pedestrians and cyclists in urban and rural Ireland in the coming months. The Stimulus programme aims to further support local authorities across the country as they respond to the needs of local communities and businesses in the months ahead. Funding under the Stimulus programme must be expended by year end. I can advise that Kildare County Council were allocated €1.8m in funding under this programme.

Outside of these funding streams, funding has also been provided under my Departments sustainable mobility investment programme to Kildare County Council through the NTA for a number cycling and walking infrastructural projects. Current cycling and walking projects in the area that the Deputy refers to include Royal Canal Greenway (Maynooth to Fingal), North South Corridor Scheme - Maynooth (inc Footbridge) and Celbridge Bridge. Also in Kildare County, the GDA cycle network in Naas, Kill and Kilcullen and a bus priority scheme in Naas and Newbridge.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 51