Dáil Éireann - Volume 534 - 05 April, 2001
Written Answers. - Dublin Traffic Management.
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
33. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to claims made by the president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce (details supplied) that traffic congestion in Dublin was now costing the economy more than £550 million per year; the plans he has to deal with the traffic congestion problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10145/01]
Mr. Dempsey Mr. Dempsey
Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Urgent action is being co-ordinated to improve and manage Dublin transport arrangements. This action is intended to bring major benefits in economic terms, in terms of quality of life and in relation to the environment.
The Dublin Transportation Office co-ordinates and monitors the implementation of the Dublin transportation initiative strategy. I am satisfied that satisfactory progress is being made with the implementation of the DTI Strategy, and that significant and important measures are under way to tackle traffic congestion in the greater Dublin area.
The DTO policy document A Platform for Change, which was launched by the Taoiseach on 2 October 2000, sets out a comprehensive integrated strategy to respond to the transportation needs of the greater Dublin area, GDA, in the period to 2016. This strategy document updates and builds substantially on progress achieved under the Dublin transportation initiative final report approved by the Government in 1995, taking account of the strategic planning guidelines published in 1999.
Further work is being completed on the detail of the strategy, including an examination of the various demand management options available with a view to ensuring that the greatly enhanced public transport facilities, which will be provided, will be utilised to the greatest extent possible.
The total estimated capital cost of the strategy is £14.2 billion and implementation is expected to result in a high quality public transport service being available to most people within ten minutes walking distance of where they live; increase the share of the market accounted for by public transport from 35% to 65%; reduce congestion; improve accessibility; and result in significant environmental gains including reductions in energy use and emissions below what they would be otherwise.
During the period 1994 to 2000, the Dublin Transportation Office paid out grants amounting  to £71.5 million on traffic management schemes in the greater Dublin area. This year, an allocation of £26.35 million has been provided to the DTO in respect of traffic management measures. Under the national development plan, over £3 billion is provided to continue DTI related funding through the period 2000-2006.
The DTO is currently preparing a new short-term action plan, designed to advance and accelerate a set of measures, consistent with the DTI Strategy, which can be completed in the period to end 2003. This plan will be completed in the near future.
Good progress was made with the implementation of the last short-term action plan, 1998-2000 For example, all 150 of the planned new buses have been delivered; work is proceeding on the planning, design and implementation of the quality bus corridor, QBC, network with six QBCs now in operation and three to be introduced before the end of May 2001; the programme of platform lengthening is well under way; delivery of the additional DART rolling stock and railcars has commenced; and the upgrading of the Maynooth-Clonsilla rail line has been completed.
I am confident that the comprehensive measures proposed in the strategy will contribute substantially to the alleviation of traffic congestion in the greater Dublin area, with consequent positive economic effects. In order to provide a stronger framework for the delivery of this DTO Strategy, and for the co-ordination of wider land use and transport planning and programmes in the greater Dublin area, the Government has today published proposals, in a consultation paper, for a greater Dublin strategic land use and transport authority.
Question No. 34 answered with Question No. 31.
Dáil Éireann 534 Written Answers. Dublin Traffic Management.