€8.6bn for public transport as part of Project Ireland 2040

Plans for new roads, public transport and sports facilities have been unveiled as part of Project Ireland 2040.

€8.6 billion is earmarked for public transport over the next ten years, while €6.6bn will be spent on national roads, and €4.5bn on regional and local roads.

Transport Minister Shane Ross, who was critical of his now Department while in Opposition, offered an olive branch to those gathered at the event.

"About 10 years ago, or maybe a little bit longer, there were some who worked in opposition at the time who regarded the Department of Transport as a kind of nursing home for invalid semi-state bodies," said Mr Ross.

"No names mentioned but that was the case. I come today to exercise that particular incident in people's lives because today we are celebrating a new departure into a new and very exciting plan."

Meanwhile, the head of Transport Infrastructure Ireland has said that we cannot keep building on to the M50 to help congestion.

Commuters using the motorway that runs around Dublin face increasing traffic and travel times.

CEO of TII, Michael Nolan says public transport may be the only solution.

"Even during the recession it was traffic on the M50 kept growing and growing at a rate of 6-7% each year," said Mr Nolan.

"We have reached this year the traffic levels that we anticipated in the mid-2020s but the M50 is a finite piece of road space - three lanes, maybe four lanes in each direction.

"You cannot keep building your way out of a problem.

"There has to be a public transport solution to step into that space and provide relief there."

Digital Desk

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