The Minister for Transport on the 9th of December announced the 2010 Estimates provision for his Department: €2.1 billion for capital investment and €686 million for current expenditure.
The capital provision is down €298 million (12.4 %) on the revised Estimates allocation for 2009.
The underlying provision for current expenditure is down € 60.3 million on the revised 2009 allocation, following implementation of a range of cuts based on the McCarthy Report recommendations.
Following are the principal features of the 2010 Estimates for Transport:
• Public Transport €920 million
The public transport subvention provision payable to CIE is €276 million. This is a reduction of €27 million (8.8%). We have indicated to CIE that the Government will not sanction any fare increase. The CIE companies will seek to minimise the impact by continuing their work to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The provision for the Rural Transport Programme is being maintained at €11 million in recognition of the important role it plays in combating rural isolation, particularly for older people. In 2009 services supported by the Programme are expected to carry 1.5 million passengers. In line with the commitment in the Renewed Programme for Government, a series of studies are underway to see how we can better integrate rural transport services, including the Rural Transport Programme, Bus Eireann rural stage carriage services, health related and school transport services, and get better value for public spending in this area.
The capital provision for public transport investment in 2010 is €625 million, €3 million lower than in 2009. This will see the completion of a number of important projects as follows:
• Western Rail Corridor Phase 1
• Luas extension to Cherrywood
• Kildare Rail Project
• Navan Rail Line Phase 1
Work will continue on the Luas extension to Citywest for completion in 2011.
In keeping with the commitment in the Renewed Programme for Government, priority is being given to the delivery of Metro North and the DART Underground Programme. Planning and design work will continue on the remaining Transport 21 projects with a view to the earliest possible delivery as financial resources become available.
Funding is being maintained for a number of important public transport programmes, including railway safety, accessibility, integrated ticketing and traffic management/bus priority.
Roads €1,637 million
The 2010 provision for the improvement and maintenance of roads is €1.637 billion, €280.5 million (14.6%) down on the revised 2009 allocation. The details are as follows:
The 2010 capital provision for national roads is €1.115 4 billion, €287 million (or 20%) down on 2009. This allocation will fund the very high level of contractual commitments to complete the five major inter- urban motorways and the M50 upgrade in 2010. Major projects expected to be completed in 2010 include:
• M3 Clonee – North of Kells
• N7 Nenagh – Limerick
• N7 Limerick Tunnel
• M7 Castletown – Nenagh
• M7/M8 Portlaoise – Cullahill/Castletown
• N9 Waterford – Knocktopher
• N9 Carlow – Knocktopher
• M9 Kilcullen – Carlow
• M50 Upgrade Phase 2
• Motorway service areas (Tranche 1)
By the end of 2010 we will have completed some 750 km of motorway linking Dublin with the principal cities in the country, reducing journey times, increasing the reliability of journeys and improving road safety. This is a major achievement and reflects great credit on the NRA, local authorities, contractors and consultants. Over €2 billion of private funding has been raised to part fund the investment.
The future priorities for national road investment will be:
• To implement a number of new PPP projects, principally on the Atlantic Road Corridor and the N11,
• To protect the existing investment in national roads, especially national secondaries.
The 2010 provision for the maintenance and improvement of regional and local roads will be €411 million, down €35 million (8%) in line with the McCarthy recommendations. This funding will be used almost exclusively to maintain the fabric of the extensive network of some 90,000 kilometres.
Smarter Travel €25 million
The provision for carbon reduction measures is being increased from €10 million to €25 million in 2010. This will enable increased funding to be provided for demonstration sustainable transport projects and for other measures to encourage sustainable travel.
The Green Schools provision is being maintained at €2 million. To date this programme has achieved a 22% reduction in car use for school travel in participating schools.
Road Safety €37.5 million
The 2010 provision for road safety is €37.5 million, compared with €37.2 million in 2009. This will help maintain the encouraging downward trend in road accident deaths. As of end November, 218 people had lost their lives in road accidents, down 42 on the same period in 2008. The number of fatalities in 2008, at 279, was itself the lowest on record.
Maritime Transport and Safety €53 million
The 2010 provision will be €53 million, compared with €49 million in 2009. The principal item of expenditure is the provision of a search and rescue helicopter service (€27.3million). Also included is expenditure on the Irish Coast Guard, maritime safety and remedial works at regional harbours.
Aviation €23.2 million
The 2010 provision is €23.2 million, compared with €26.2 million in 2009. This funding principally supports the provision of essential air services at regional airports as well as providing operational subvention and funding for essential capital works at these airports.
Administrative Expenditure €2.9 million
The administrative budget of the Department of Transport is being reduced by €2.9 million (7%) in 2010 as recommended in the McCarthy Report. Reductions totalling €2 million are also being made in the administrative budgets of a number of agencies, principally the National Roads Authority, Railway Procurement Agency and Railway Safety Commission. These figures do not include the reductions in public service pay announced by the Minister for Finance earlier in the day.
PPP Operational Payments
This is the only area of expenditure showing a significant increase of €43.4 million in 2010. The funding is used to make annual payments to remunerate PPP financing for road projects where the private investment is not remunerated by tolls. The expenditure involved will increase in 2010 as more road PPP projects are implemented.