Ireland's transport policy is centred around the efficient movement of people and ensuring increased accessibility to all passengers using the transport network.
A strong transport system enhances competitiveness, sustains economic progress, promotes balanced regional development and contributes to social cohesion.
Ireland's strategic objectives when it comes to public transport are:
Within the framework of a balanced and integrated transport policy, it is imperative for the State to provide for the safe, efficient and cost-effective movement of people and goods by road. With 5306 kilometres of national roads in Ireland (as well as 916 kilometres of motorway), it is an area that affects almost every person in the country.
It is critical that Irish aviation practices and procedures comply with best international standards; promoting the development of a vibrant, competitive and progressively regulated aviation sector and the provision of adequate airport infrastructure and competitive airport services.
Ireland's aviation policy is centred around three main aims:
Developing Ireland's maritime transport sector, by facilitating the achievement of international safety levels and by enhancing infrastructure needed to secure employment in the shipping, fishing and leisure sectors is a key priority.
The government aims to foster conditions supportive of the development of Irish based ship ownership, ship management and related maritime activities. It is also of critical importance to insure the safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment from ship-based sources.
All new vessels (as well as vessels that are being modified) must be certified as being safe to exist on Irish waters.
The sea safety policy is also helped by the Coast Guard which assists in 3,000 marine emergencies each year, helping 4,500 people and saving 2000 lives. The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction.
As set out in the National Ports Policy the relationship and interaction between the commercial ports sector and the planning and development system is extremely important in ensuring continued sustainable development of the ports sector.
The provision of capacity into the future remains a crucial strategic objective; however, ports policy is not prescriptive as regards the location of future port capacity.
By 2040 the population of Ireland is expected to grow by over 1 million to 5.7 million people. This growth will drive greater demand for transport. While this is a sign of a vibrant economy, it intensifies our challenge to remove carbon from the air - as transport accounted for 19.8% of Ireland’s greenhouse gases in 2017.
Furthermore, air pollution emitted from transportation contributes to poor local air quality which reduces people’s quality of life and harms their health.
The Climate Action Plan 2019 lays out specific goals for Ireland including;