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March 07, 2008

Good News for Kildare Commuters

At the launch of the Transport 21 Second Annual Progress Report in respect of 2007, The Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD  was delighted to report that a major highlight of the year was that spending on public transport, at €640m, increased by 82% over 2006.

According to the Annual Report, expenditure on national roads was €2.2 billion and on public transport was €640.4m.  The estimated expenditure on public transport for 2008 is €986m, representing a further year on year increase of 54%.  This demonstrates in a tangible way the overall commitment in Transport 21 to delivering real public transport solutions throughout Ireland. 

In welcoming this report, Kildare Deputy Michael Fitzpatrick noted that “Transport 21 is delivering tangible benefits - increased public transport facilities, more services, shorter travel times and greater connectivity between the regions”.

The Minister reported that at €34bn, this is the largest coordinated transport infrastructure project in Irish history.  It encompasses trains, trams, buses and roads, and it is delivering new projects from 2006 to 2015, in every part of the country.”

Deputy Fitzpatrick noted that among the projects delivered under Transport 21 at the end of 2007 -

  • The commencement of the upgrading of the Kildare Rail line, to permit a major increase in route services. 
  • Progress will continue this year with Transport 21’s 2008 expenditure provision at almost €3bn. 
  • Focus on public transport delivery will continue as a priority, with a total spend of almost €1bn.
  • The deployment of the new intercity railcars will continue across the rail network.  This new fleet will be maintained at a new traincare depot in Portlaoise which will open during the year
  • Work will get underway on the Dublin city centre resignalling project which will increase capacity on the city centre and the Maynooth line.
  • Work will continue on the Kildare line upgrade.
  • Phases 1 and 3 of the M50 upgrade will continue and barrier-free tolling will be introduced on the West-Link Bridge.