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  • Southside

‘Today is a good day’ – Government unveils massive €116bn masterplan

Monday, 19th February, 2018 6:00pm
‘Today is a good day’ – Government unveils massive €116bn masterplan

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, opens the door of the first tram to run on the Luas Cross City tram test last June. A new extention will see the service rolled out to Poolbeg.

‘Today is a good day’ – Government unveils massive €116bn masterplan

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, opens the door of the first tram to run on the Luas Cross City tram test last June. A new extention will see the service rolled out to Poolbeg.

A LUAS extension to Poolbeg is just one of the projects announced under the ambitious €116bn masterplan for the future of Ireland unveiled by the Government last week.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, announced massive investment across the transport, tourism and sport sectors for the next decade, with work on major projects commencing within weeks.

Speaking in Sligo Minister Ross said: “Since becoming a minister one of my top priorities has been to get people and goods from A to B quickly, simply and cost effectively - with emphasis on quality, accessibility and the protection of our environment.

“I am very happy that today, in this plan, my department is putting its money where its mouth is.

“For instance, in the next few weeks we will be begin preparatory work on the new Metro Link, which will ultimately connect Swords to Sandyford, bringing rail access to the airport and beyond and complementing transport choices for the Greater Dublin Area as well as the country as a whole.

“Major public transport items such as Bus Connects and projects like the Metro Link and expanded DART and Luas services will ease congestion, lower carbon output and add greatly to the quality and standard of our transport system.

“Greenways and accessible sustainable transport is at the centre of our plans to enhance our travel network, support our valuable tourism industry and benefit every facet of Irish life.”

Roads, trains and planes all feature in the plan withinvestment in regional and local roads set to rise substantially over the next decade, with a spend totalling €4.5bn.

Dublin Bus will get money for new routes while the long-delayed Metro North will finally ensure a direct rail service from the city centre to the airport.

While works are unlikely to begin within the 10-year timeframe, advanced planning will take place for Luas extensions to Bray, Finglas, Lucan and Poolbeg.

“We will be investing more than €8 billion in our road network over the next decade,” the minister added.

“Well maintained roads are safer roads. And keeping people safe on our roads, particularly in rural Ireland, is a paramount priority of mine.”

There will also be a focus on investing in top class sporting facilities at local level while at the same time the range of world class facilities available to elite athletes will be expanded.

“We will do this through the continuation of the Sports Capital Programme that benefits all counties and regions and growing Sports Campus Ireland,” the minister explained.

“It’s not often that a Minister of such a vitally important Department as Transport, Tourism and Sport gets to deliver, not just a coherent, well-costed, joined up plan that takes the needs of the entire country into consideration, but also has the cash to deliver on it. Today is a good day.”

Minister Josepha Madigan (FG) said the plan will support families and strengthen communities in Dublin and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.

Speaking about Project 2040 Minister Madigan said: “In the first version of Fine Gael’s Republic of Opportunity document, we said it is time to plan for what Ireland is going to look like in 2040.

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