Government Formation: Programme commits to overhauling Ireland's transport network

The Programme for Government agreed by party leaders today commits to overhauling Ireland's transport network, providing an integrated system and ambitious targets in emissions and climate change.
Government Formation: Programme commits to overhauling Ireland's transport network
Leo Varadkar during a press brieifng to promote the wearing of masks on public transport at Merrion Square, Dublin. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Leo Varadkar during a press brieifng to promote the wearing of masks on public transport at Merrion Square, Dublin. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Programme for Government

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In the transport section, mooted as a key win for the Green Party, the document says that the new government will:

  • Review fare structures to ensure that public transport is as accessible as possible
  • Task the NTA to produce a park and ride implementation plan for each of the five cities to help reduce congestion and journey times
  • Develop and implement a sustainable rural mobility plan Prioritise public transport projects that enhance regional and rural connectivity
  • Ensure a national integrated public transport system with an integrated timetable, one tag-on ticketing system and coordination between bus and rail timetables of all operators
  • Prioritise rail projects in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford on existing and unused lines
  • Significantly decarbonise our transport fleet with a particular focus on cars and light goods vehicles
  • Legislate to ban the registration of new fossil-fuelled cars and light vehicles from 2030 onwards and phase out diesel and petrol cars from Irish cities from 2030
  • Legislate for e-scooters and e-bikes Prioritise plans for the delivery of Metrolink, Luas and other light rail expansion, DART expansion and interconnector and Bus Connects in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick

The document also commits to a 2:1 spend on public transport over roads.

"The Government is committed to a 2:1 ratio of expenditure between new public transport infrastructure and new roads over its lifetime. This ratio will be maintained in each Budget by the Government. In the event of an under-spend on roads, this will not impact on public transport spending."

On climate, the document commits to establishing a national clean air strategy which would extend the ban on smoky coal.

The document also includes a Green New Deal as one of its missions, committing to a 7% per annum reduction in carbon emissions.

The deal also plans:

  • To deliver 500,000 retrofits to homes by 2030
  • Learning from district heating pilot projects to launch a scaled-up programme.
  • Accelerated electrification of the transport system including electric bikes, electric vehicles and electric public transport alongside a ban on new registrations of petrol and diesel cars from 2030
  • A strategy for remote working and remote service delivery, taking advantage of the opportunity for rapid roll-out of the National Broadband Plan.
  • An unprecedented modal shift in all areas by a re-orientation of investment to walking, cycling and public transport
  • A new sustainable rural mobility plan
  • A major drive to realise the potential of Ireland’s offshore renewables.
  • Expansion and incentivising of micro generation including rooftop solar energy
  • A new strategy to expand afforestation, particularly Close to Nature Forestry and agro-forestry.

The deal will be discussed by parliamentary parties today before being sent to members.

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