Budget 2023 continues to keep costs down for commuters and ensures that transport developments can continue at pace
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Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton, have welcomed the overall allocation of €3.51 billion next year for the Department of Transport.
This year’s budget ensures that public transport across the country will remain cheaper for commuters and particularly younger people throughout the year.
It also provides for continued enhancements to the public transport network with the roll-out of new services through BusConnects and Connecting Ireland over the coming year, including the purchase of 41 new railcars and over 120 new buses. It also ensures that the ambitious walking and cycling programme already underway can forge ahead, so that more towns and villages are better connected, with safer and more accessible routes for everyone - from school children to older citizens.
The substantial investment in Transport this year means that the ambitious EV charging programme can be ramped up and major infrastructural projects such as Metrolink, DART+, BusConnects and the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme will continue to progress. The budget overall means that people can look forward to more accessible, greener transport across the country and will help ensure that we move closer to meeting our emissions targets.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said:
“Retaining the 20% discount on public transport fares was a key priority for me because it provides immediate and everyday savings to hard pressed commuters and citizens. The expansion of the Youth Leap Card also means that public transport will now be cheaper for more young people.
"We made big strides in 2022, with BusConnects, DART+ and Metrolink all entering the planning system and I am confident that these projects will continue to progress at pace through next year. I am particularly pleased that procurement is expected to commence for four key BusConnects Dublin core bus corridors, with the first corridor, Clongriffin to Fairview, earmarked to enter construction before the end of 2023. I am also pleased to see progress on the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme, BusConnects Cork and redevelopment works at Ceannt and Oranmore Stations in Galway.
"Throughout 2023, I will be working hard to ensure that we expand the coverage and frequency of our public transport network, during the day and also at night, with a particular focus on greatly improving our rural transport connectivity. I have already been in touch with all local authorities across the country to ask them to identify their Pathfinder projects in public transport and active travel. The Budget allocated for 2023 means that these programmes can be delivered at speed.
"Transport is key to Ireland’s future development and sustainability, both to ensure that we can get around easily, cost effectively and safely, but also to ensure that we meet our emissions targets by 2030 and beyond. Overall, I am delighted that Budget 23 maintains the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a 2:1 ratio of expenditure between new public transport infrastructure and new roads.”
Minister Naughton commented:
“The Regional Airports funding of almost €36 million demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting connectivity to the regions and enhancing balanced regional development as we continue to adapt to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Regional Airports Programme will support Shannon, Ireland West, Donegal, and Kerry airports and the PSO service between Donegal and Dublin. Included, and in recognition of the important role of Cork Airport to the economy of the south region and nationally, capital funding of €6 million will be provided to Cork Airport in 2023.
"We will earmark almost €1 billion in protection and renewal of the road network and an additional €400 million in the construction of national and regional and local roads.
"Investing in and protecting our children’s daily journeys and encouraging the take up of walking, cycling and scooting to school is a project I am committed to delivering. I am delighted to confirm that the Safe Routes to School programme will continue to be funded into 2023. This forms part of this government’s commitment to active travel and in 2023 we will continue to invest almost €1 million per day in walking and cycling projects across the country.
"I am particularly pleased to have secured funding for research into how to encourage more women, particularly girls and adolescents, to choose cycling as a mode of regular transport, so that we can instil long-term habits that will benefit not just our environment but also the health and wellbeing of the women of tomorrow.
"The haulage and logistics sector is one which has ensured that our supermarket shelves remained stocked, and our pharmacies were equipped with medicines and other key products continued to be available for families, communities and businesses across the country. They did so flawlessly as Ireland navigated the turbulent waters of Brexit and COVID-19. Earlier this year, Government put in place a significant support package for the haulage sector to help meet the increased costs of doing business and I hope to be in a position to announce further supports for our hauliers in the coming weeks.“
€1.9 billion for sustainable mobility, including active travel and greenways, public transport and carbon reduction programmes.
Young Adult Travel Card - Budget 2023 will provide for a new ‘Youth Travel Card’, offering a 50% discount on fares across the transport network next year. The ‘Youth Travel Card’ will allow any person who is aged between 19 and 23 years old to avail of an entitlement for discounted travel costs and will increase the level of discount over and above the current student discount to an average discount of 50% across all services, including city, intercity and rural services.
€360 million investment in nationwide walking and cycling infrastructure, including funding for greenways (€60 million) and the roll out of the Safe Routes to School Programme.
Key Cycling, Walking and Greenway infrastructure projects in 2023:
Key public transport projects in 2023 include:
An allocation of €563.5 million will be made to Public Service Obligation (PSO) and Local Link services provided by State operators and under contract by the National Transport Authority. This includes approx. €185 million funding in 2023 to support the 20% average fare discount, and residual pressures arising from suppressed passenger demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
€110 million is being provided towards making the switch to electric vehicles. Specifically grant support is being provided for the:
Circa €730 million of Exchequer capital and current funds will be allocated to national roads in 2023, including for the protection and renewal of existing roads, PPPs and the development of new projects.
The following new national road projects will be under construction next year, thereby progressing key objectives under revised new NDP:
In addition funding will be provided for projects that are at earlier stages in the development pipeline.
€614 million is being provided in capital and current investment for regional and local roads.
Under this programme, the 2023 allocation will allow the department to provide grant support to local authorities for a range of targeted programmes, including funding for:
Implementation will also continue, subject to the required approvals, on strategic improvement schemes provided for in the NDP, including the following projects which are at construction stage:
In recognition of the importance of our regional airports to supporting connectivity to the regions and enhancing balanced regional development, Government has sustained the substantial high level supports to regional airports since the onset of COVID-19 and throughout the recovery of the aviation sector experienced this year with a total package of almost €36 million announced today.
€109 million will be allocated in 2023 to maritime transport and safety as well as ongoing support to the Irish Coast Guard. In respect of the latter, funding will provide enhanced building and IT programmes as well as investment in the SAR service including training and equipment. In terms of maritime safety, it will provide support for Irish Lights, navigation aids and safety equipment as well as commencement of a Marine Accident Investigation Unit