Two new rail routes could be in line for European Union funding after the Government approved plans to add them to a scheme that helps with the cost of a Europe-wide transport network.
The proposed Claremorris to Athenry and Waterford to Rosslare routes are provided for in the draft All-Island Strategic Rail Review (AISRR). The Cabinet approved the addition of the routes for possible inclusion as part of Ireland’s section of the Trans-European Transport (Ten-T) comprehensive network.
The EU’s Ten-T regulation sets out a network of roads, rail lines, ports and airports. Proposed projects for the comprehensive network must be completed by 2050. Revised Ten-T network maps are set to be agreed soon with negotiations between the EU institutions in their final stages.
The Cabinet was told that even though the All-Island Strategic Rail Review was still in draft form, a decision must be made now as to whether Ireland would request changes. Ministers agreed that the two projects should be included as part of Ireland’s comprehensive network.
Inclusion on the Ten-T network provides opportunities to access EU funding. However, it does not grant any automatic entitlement to such funding. Instead, co-funding is made available on a competitive basis, allocated through what are described by the Government as “highly competitive calls” that are open to projects across the EU.
In recent years, Ireland has secured funding for the City Centre Resignalling Project in Dublin and for feasibility studies related to Dart+ South West.
The Cabinet was told that the proposed new rail lines would be subject to separate project appraisal in accordance with the Government’s own public spending code.
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