Budget 2018: €2bn for roads, transport and boosting tourism

Government allocates €112m for spending on selling Republic as holiday destination

The Government plans to spend €2 billion on improving roads, public transport and supporting tourism next year.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said in Tuesday's Budget 2018 speech that €2 billion had been earmarked for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The Government’s figures show that the department will receive €699 million for current spending and just under €1.33 billion for capital spending.

Mr Donohoe confirmed that the Government would allocate €112 million to spend on selling the Republic as a holiday destination abroad and on boosting its attractiveness to visitors.



There will be an extra €9.6 million for transport that the minister said would support increased public transport and improvements to the Republic’s roads.

Day-to-day spending on this area will increase to €414 million next year as a result, Mr Donohoe noted.

The department has €7.5 billion to spend on building roads, sports facilities and other infrastructure over the four years to 2021.

This will allow it go ahead with as the second phase of the National Indoor Arena – part of the National Sports Campus – in Blanchardstown in Dublin.

The department will also use the cash to continue working on a number of road projects such as the Sallins bypass and Osberstown interchange in Co Kildare.

A number of public-private partnership projects, such as the New Ross bypass and the Gorey to Enniscorthy road will also benefit.

The department will also provide cash to Donegal County Council to repair roads and bridges damaged by recent severe weather that hit the north west.

The Minister predicted that this would aid commuters, allow balanced regional development and improve competitiveness.

The department is also prioritising spending on public transport in Dublin through a programme launched earlier this year called BusConnects.

This is part of a proposed €1 billion overhaul of the capital’s bus network announced earleir this year.


The project is meant to transform the capital’s bus system to speed up journeys, improve reliability and cut costs.

Dublin Bus welcomed the news. "As the largest public transport operator in the state, the commitment to invest €1 billion in Dublin's bus network is great news for our customers and a huge opportunity to continue the growth and success of Dublin Bus," the Government-owned company said.

Mr Donohoe noted that investments in cultural and sporting life were vital. He told the Dáil that €111 million would be allocated for current and capital spending on sport next year.

That cash will be spent on supporting the development of the recently re-opened Páirc Uí Chaoimh hurling and football ground in Cork and the Kerry Sports Academy at Institute of Technology Tralee.

The deparment will also spend a portion of this allocation on meeting existing commitments under the local authority swimming pool programme.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas