Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 21 May, 2003
Written Answers. - Road Network.
Mr. Noonan Mr. Noonan
140. Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Transport the progress to date on the delivery of the inter-urban motorways; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13708/03]
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
163. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Transport the proposed completion dates for the inter-urban motorways; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13709/03]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 and 163 together.
The national development plan, together with the Economic and Social Infrastructure Operational Programme, form the strategic policy context for the upgrading of the national road network in the period to 2006.
The implementation of individual projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority, NRA, in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.
The position overall on the upgrading of the five inter-urban routes is that good progress has been made. Of the total of 31 projects on these routes two have been completed, six are under way, work is due to start on two more, and plan ning and design work is well advanced on the remaining 21 projects.
Preferred route corridors have been identified for all projects. The completion shortly of three major projects on the M1 will provide a motorway standard route from Dublin to just south of Dundalk. In addition a substantial programme of work is under way and in planning on other national routes. Major projects under construction include the Glen of the Downs and Ashford/Rathnew bypasses on the N11 and Ballincollig bypass on the N25.
Exchequer investment in the national roads programme has increased dramatically. Total Exchequer investment in the national roads programme over the period 2000-2003 will amount to €3.823 billion. This is approximately 13% greater than the amount provided for in the NDP. Investment in the programme in 2003 has been maintained at a high level despite the more difficult economic and budgetary conditions.
The increased cost of the programme however has impacted on the pace and momentum of implementation. Delivery of some projects including those on the major inter-urban routes will, therefore, take longer than originally anticipated. On the basis of a continuation of existing levels of funding the NRA estimates that full completion of the major inter-urban routes could extend to 2009-2010. However, route completion dates will depend on the funding levels available in the years ahead, including from additional funding sources, and on construction and land acquisition costs. I seek to ensure that the major inter-urban routes are completed to motorway-high quality standard to the greatest extent possible by 2006 and in any event earlier than 2009-2010.
Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 100.
Question No. 142 answered with Question No. 104.
Dáil Éireann 567 Written Answers. Road Network.