Tuesday, 28 February 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
337. Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Transport the level of investment in bus transport under the national development plan; his plans to enable Dublin Bus to purchase buses in 2006 to add to its fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8152/06]
Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): Under the NDP-Transport 21, Dublin Bus has purchased 530 new buses to date, of which 113 are additional and 417 are replacement buses. Some 268 of these buses were funded, partially and/or fully, by the Exchequer and 262 of these buses were funded from Dublin Bus’s own resources. The total Exchequer investment involved over the period 2000 to 2005, inclusive, was €59 million.
Under the NDP, Bus Éireann has purchased 421 new buses to date, of which 65 are additional and 356 are replacement buses. The Exchequer funded 172 of these buses and 249 of these buses were funded from Bus Éireann’s own resources. The total Exchequer investment involved over the period 2000 to 2005 was €34 million.
Transport 21 provides for further significant investment in bus services. In relation to plans for Dublin Bus fleet expansion, the company recently submitted an application for funding to me for additional fleet requirements for 2006 and 2007. My Department is finalising its assessment of the application. I will make a decision on the application when the assessment has been completed.
338. Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Transport his plans for investment in public transport on the north side of Dublin; the areas of the city which can be expected to benefit from metro north and metro west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8153/06]
Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): Under Transport 21, a number of projects are proposed with significant investment, which will benefit the north side of Dublin. New metro and Luas services will provide fast, efficient and modern transport to key residential, educational and business locations. The network will be fully integrated and will stretch from Swords in the north, to Bray in the south and Lucan in the west. This network will allow all Dubliners to easily traverse the city. While the specific alignment has yet to be finalised, it is proposed that metro north will run from St. Stephen’s Green to Swords and will service key areas on Dublin’s north side, including DCU, Ballymun and Dublin Airport. Metro west will link the Tallaght Luas with the metro north line and will provide services north of the river between Blanchardstown and Ballymun.
Under Transport 21, metro north and metro west are scheduled for completion in 2012 and 2014, respectively. The Tallaght Luas line will be extended from Connolly Station to the docklands. The Tallaght and Sandyford lines will be joined in the city centre and extended to Liffey junction.
With regard to Irish Rail services, the city centre resignalling project, provided for in Transport 21, and the continued enhancement of the suburban rail rolling stock fleet, will provide for further capacity enhancement for DART and suburban rail services serving both southside and northside locations. The resignalling project will involve upgrading of signalling to accommodate an additional four train paths per direction per hour, up from 12 at present to 16, in the critical city centre area. These additional paths will give Iarnród Éireann much needed flexibility to increase frequencies not only on the DART but also on the northern and Maynooth suburban lines.
Transport 21 also provides for electrification of the northern line to Balbriggan and the acquisition of electric railcars for use on the newly electrified lines. This project effectively means that the DART network will be extended to Balbriggan bringing obvious benefits for north Dublin commuters. Transport 21 also provides for a programme of investment to expand the bus network in all areas of the greater Dublin area comprising integrated radial and orbital services.
On 20 January 2006, Dublin Bus submitted an application for funding to me for additional fleet requirements in 2006 and 2007 and this is currently being assessed by my Department. I will make a decision on the application when this assessment is completed.
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