Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD says he is disappointed with the low level of investment in transport in Budget 2017, claiming that it reflects Transport Minister Shane Ross’s failure to properly engage with the issues facing the sector. Deputy Troy also pointed out that Ross has failed to reflect the strategic importance of transport infrastructure in supporting communities and the economy.
Deputy Troy said, “Minister Ross has left a lot to be desired with his measly transport allocation in Budget 2017. The low level of funding allocated to current expenditure and capital investment is disappointing. It reflects that developing our transport network is simply not a priority for the Government.
“Many urban areas are experiencing serious traffic congestion. This is particularly prevalent in Dublin. Unfortunately Budget 2017 does not provide any capital investment to advance key strategic public transport projects, including metro north and the DART expansion programme. It seems Minister Ross is satisfied to simply continue reviewing these projects for yet another year as gridlock takes hold in the capital.
“We must invest in our transport infrastructure if we want our cities to remain desirable locations to live and work in. It is also vital that we have an adequate transport network in place to continue attracting tourists to visit Ireland. Despite this Minister Ross has secured no additional funding to advance key public transport projects to design or planning stages. This is deeply disappointing but not surprising given his utter failure to engage with the issues facing the sector and his semi-detached approach to being a Minister.
“The failure to secure more investment for the roads network is incredible, especially when you consider the state of disrepair that many routes are in right across the country. Under-investment in roads over the last four years has been extremely damaging, with maintenance spending on average 47% below that required to keep road surfaces in a steady state condition.
“This is something that must be looked at again as the failure to keep a minimum level of maintenance investment is merely placing large scale capital costs on the shoulders of future generations.”