No significant road schemes scheduled to start in 2022

Minister signals €1bn to be spent on various commitments under public-private partnerships

Budget 2022: Some €561m is being provided in capital investment for regional and local roads. File photograph: Getty

Budget 2022: Some €561m is being provided in capital investment for regional and local roads. File photograph: Getty

 

Budget 2022 does not identify any major new road schemes that will start next year but Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said some €1 billion would be spent on maintenance and meeting commitments under public-private partnerships.

Mr Ryan’s department said there would be ongoing work next year on the N5 Westport to Turlough route; the M50 traffic control and management system; the N56 Dungloe to Glenties road; the N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom bypasss; the M8/N40 Dunkettle Interchange in Cork; the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge road; the N59 Moycullen Bypass; and N69 Listowel Bypass.

Major road schemes such as the Galway outer ring road and the M20 Limerick to Cork road are to be subject to environmental appraisal next year including assessments of their net effect on carbon emissions.

Some €561 million is being provided in capital investment for regional and local roads. A total of €1.4 billion would allow for the progression of some of major road schemes identified in the National Development Plan.

Electric vehicles

Mr Ryan also said the rollout of electric buses would continue with a fully electric town bus service operating in Athlone by the end of the year

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said there would be increased funding for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) including some €100 million for EV grants and charging infrastructure.

Ms Naughton said the funding in Budget 2022 “will allow us to sustainably connect more people with more places, strengthen communities across the country, and will contribute significantly to our nation’s strategic connectivity”.

The department also said some €360 million was being provided for active travel and development of greenways.

It said €108 million in maritime funding would allow for increased investment in safety-related training, equipment and systems for the Irish Coast Guard.

Fuel surcharge

Meanwhile, hauliers said they would likely to add a fuel surcharge on deliveries in response to the increase in fuel outlined in the budget.

The Irish Road Haulage Association described Budget 2022 as “a serious setback” to the sector, with its president Eugene Drennan saying many hauliers and their families would be “deeply dispirited”.

“ Faced with the direct obstructions imposed by Brexit, a decline in business activity through Covid-19 and unprecedented labour shortages, we needed to see some measures in Budget 2022 to support the sector,” he said.

“No such measures were forthcoming - instead we saw an increase in fuel costs and a repeat of the Government’s stubborn unwillingness to recognise that licensed hauliers have no option but to use diesel.”