'Minister for fixing potholes' Shane Ross confirms 170 new buses and completion of Luas 'on budget and on time'
Transport Minister Shane Ross says he never thought he would announce “with pride” that he is now “the Minister for Fixing Potholes”.
He made the comment following the Budget as he detailed his department’s spending of €1.8bn (up 4pc) on transport, tourism and sport for the year ahead.
Among the main items are:
- Money to maintain and improve regional and local roads goes up by 10pc to €275m. After years of cuts he said this was an important area that “affects people in their everyday lives”.
- There is €344m provision for public transport investment to see out the completion of Luas Cross City.
- Mr Ross forecast we will see the first trams by the end of 2017 – “on budget and on time”.
- The current Capital Plan of €10bn for seven years gets an additional €55m.
- And there is an extra €33m (11pc rise) for public transport service contracts as well as for rural transport.
- Dublin will get 100 new buses with Bus Eirean getting 70.
- The rail network is to get €160m for maintenance and renewal.
Mr Ross said his spending was all about keeping the country moving.
On road safety he said he was concerned about the rise in fatalities this year, with the Medical Bureau for road safety getting extra funding to help curb drug driving.