Dáil Éireann - Volume 667 - 12 November, 2008
Written Answers. - Road Network.
Deputy John Deasy Deputy John Deasy
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport the progress to date in the preparation for the delivery of the Leinster outer orbital route as promised in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39929/08]
Deputy Noel Dempsey Deputy Noel Dempsey
Deputy Noel Dempsey: As the Deputy will be aware, as Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in respect of the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The implementation of individual national road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Act 1993 in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.
In 2007, the NRA completed an updated feasibility study, which built on an earlier 2001 study, which considered in particular the costs and benefits of what has become known as the Leinster Orbital Route.
The updated NRA study, a copy of which was forwarded to my Department in March 2007, concluded that the Leinster Orbital Route linking Drogheda, Navan, Trim and Naas is strategically beneficial for the region in terms of strengthening the links between key development centres, assisting the economic development of these centres and improving the overall regional transport network.
Neither Transport 21 nor the National Development Plan provides any funding for such a scheme to be constructed in the period to 2015. The Government has already made it clear, under Transport 21, that priorities for the roads investment programme after the completion of the major interurban network in 2010, will be the Atlantic Road Corridor as well as the improvement of other key national primary routes and the targeted improvement of certain national secondary routes.
The Minister for Finance has indicated his determination to seek to avoid any diminution in the capital provisions already made in the period to 2015 notwithstanding the current economic difficulties. I would, however, like to make it clear that in this economic climate, further progress on long term projects such as this one will only be possible as and when resources become available.
The Leinster Orbital Route proposal remains an important potential element of our longer-term infrastructure development. My Department will continue to liaise with the roads and  planning authorities concerned to ensure that route options are preserved free of impediment for this potential project.
Dáil Éireann 667 Written Answers. Road Network.