€1.3bn shortfall in transport spending
Spending on roads, rail and other transport infrastructure is €1.3bn below the level needed to maintain it in good working order.
Figures from the Department of Transport show that the State has under-funded 'steady state' investment for the last four years, which comes after the IMF warned in recent weeks that Ireland's infrastructure was at risk of deteriorating due to a lack of funding set aside for ongoing maintenance.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said €1.6bn was required every year to maintain the transport system in good working order, but that a funding shortfall of €1.3bn had emerged over the last four years. It added that monies allocated under the capital plan out to 2021 were not enough to maintain the network.
Official figures show there is an accumulated deficit of €665m for local and regional roads, €138m for heavy rail, €20m for buses and at least €480m for national roads.
Current levels of planned expenditure will be about €900m below the estimated 'steady state' requirements, the Chamber said, meaning that by 2021 the accumulated deficit will rise to more than €2.2bn.
Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke said the lack of spending was affecting competitiveness and "holding back economic productivity". She called for more investment in the network.