Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
380. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the €15 million allocated in the jobs initiative May 2011 for local sustainable transport projects is to be used to finance the pre-existing smarter travel project or if it is for new projects and when the announcement of the next phase of smarter travel will be made. [13512/11]
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The €15 million allocated as part of the Government’s jobs initiative is a separate programme from the capital budget being considered for the implementation of the Smarter Travel Areas programme. The €15 million will go into labour-intensive traffic management and smarter travel projects to create safer road junctions, better footpaths, improved bus networks and rail stations and support new cycle schemes. Both the National Transport Authority and the National Sustainable Travel Office will be involved in overseeing the funding of projects from the jobs initiative programme.
The future of the Smarter Travel Areas Programme is currently under active consideration in the context of the available budget for 2011 and the National Recovery Plan. This programme is one which I believe has considerable merit. While the scale originally envisaged for the scheme is no longer possible given the current fiscal situation, there may be some scope to proceed with a scaled back scheme. The local authorities involved will be notified of the outcome in due course.
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