TII must work with other groups to avoid infrastructure project delays – chairman

Gareth Llewellyn to tell Oireachtas Committee TII will play part in State’s climate targets

Newly appointed chairman Gareth Llewellyn will say that TII must operate within the funding made available and will take its lead from the Department of Transport. Photograph: iStock

Newly appointed chairman Gareth Llewellyn will say that TII must operate within the funding made available and will take its lead from the Department of Transport. Photograph: iStock

 

The new chairman of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) will tell politicians that he is aware of the delays that can add to the cost of infrastructure like the planned metro and how the organisation will have to work with others to minimise them.

Gareth Llewellyn, will also tell the Oireachtas Committee on Transport that he believes the TII will play an important role in delivering on Ireland’s climate action targets.

His appearance at the committee comes just weeks after it was announced that the long-awaited Metrolink project will not be delivered until 2031 at the earliest under the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) new strategy for for the Greater Dublin Area.

Mr Llewellyn will outline his own background, how he spent his early career in the public sector with the UK’s Environment Agency before joining global energy business National Grid plc.

He later became an executive director at Network Rail, the owner of the rail infrastructure in Britain and was the chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the UK before he retired from the role last year.

Mr Llewellyn will brief TDs and Senators on TII’s role in the National Development Plan (NDP).

He will say that TII must operate within the funding made available and will take its lead from the Department of Transport and NTA “in determining where investment should be best made to achieve value for money and to deliver more sustainable transport infrastructure and services”.

His opening statement says: “When it comes to new infrastructure, whether it be a new road or light rail [Metrolink for example], I am very conscious that external factors can often result in delays adding cost to the project and leaving the public waiting longer than expected before they see improvements in travel.”

He adds: “TII has a proven history of delivering projects and the skills and capability to deliver the new infrastructure.

“It will need to work closely with stakeholders to ensure any potential delays at all stages in the process are minimised.”

Climate

On climate action Mr Llewellyn says that road transport is responsible for around 18 per cent of Ireland’s carbon emissions”.

He outlines how there will be a modal shift from personal vehicles to public transport and active travel, demand management interventions, changes to infrastructure design, and accommodating growth in electric, hybrid and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles which will require policy interventions, investment in infrastructure and new services.

He says: “All represent a sizeable challenge and TII will need to assess how its obligations in the NDP can deliver the required change.

“With its highly professional and capable workforce I sense TII will play an important role in facilitating the change and delivering the carbon reduction targets.”