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Transport Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (155, 248, 249)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

155. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport the measures he is taking to reduce traffic congestion and emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53572/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

248. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport the steps he is taking to reduce traffic movements in city centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53570/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

249. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport the measures he is taking to reduce traffic congestion and emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53571/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155, 248 and 249 together.

Reducing our reliance on the private car, especially for short journeys, is a key part of reducing transport emissions and alleviating traffic congestion.

Across a range of initiatives, my Department is considering ways to tackle car dependency. My Department launched the Demand Management Study to identify what drives transport demand and to assess ways to sustainably manage demand. The Study considers measures that not only reduce overall demand, but also assesses their impact on reducing emissions, tackling congestion, improving air quality, and improving the overall urban environment of Ireland’s largest five cities. The Phase 1 Report was published in April 2021 (available from: www.gov.ie/en/publication/63517-publication-of-five-cities-demand-management-study-phase-1-report-and-toolkits/). The Phase 2 Report is anticipated by end 2021.

My Department is also committed to improving the range of sustainable mobility options and providing a viable alternative to the private car, where possible. The Programme for Government committed to 2:1 spending on sustainable mobility to roads, and large-scale investment is underway in active travel infrastructure and public transport including a number of long-term rail and metro projects. Provision of alternatives to private car travel will improve in the years to come. My Department will publish the Sustainable Mobility Policy Review in the coming months to ensure services are sustainable into the future and are meeting the needs of a modern economy.

In recognition of the new Climate Act, which legislates for carbon neutrality by 2050 and 51% emissions reduction by 2030, my Department has engaged in analysis in recent months to reach our 2030 emission reduction target, which will be outlined in the forthcoming Climate Action Plan 2021. Alongside a reduction in overall travel demand, a shift to sustainable mobility including a significant uptake of electric vehicles in our national car fleet, a general reduction in conventional, fossil-fuel led kilometres will be required to reduce emissions in line with this target. While this will be challenging to deliver, it is vital to ensure a sustainable, low-carbon transport system for the future.

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