Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD, have welcomed the overall Budget 2022 allocation of €3.4 billion for travel next year for the Department of Transport. This year’s budget supports our goal of achieving cleaner, greener transport by 2030.
Investment in 2022 will support a wide range of sustainable mobility projects, including:
- The introduction of a new Young Adult Travel Card, offering a 50% discount on fares across the transport network for those age 19 to 23.
- 165 new fully electric buses for our cities and towns, 24 hybrid-electric buses for urban PSO bus fleets and 81 more buses for regional and local services.
- BusConnects, DART+ and MetroLink: all three projects will enter the planning system.
- A fully-electric town bus service operating in Athlone by the end of the year.
- Increased funding for the transition to electric vehicles including over €100m for EV grants and charging infrastructure.
- Maintaining our government’s commitment to invest €360 million per year to support walking and cycling projects nationwide including €60m for greenways.
2022 spending will also include €36 million in supports for the aviation sector as part of the Regional Airports Programme and compensation for COVID-19 related damages, as well as a supplementary package in the 2021 budget of €90 million.
Speaking about travel at the Budget 2022 press conference, Minister Ryan said, “transport has a critical role to play in our daily lives, and how we travel has a direct bearing on our carbon emissions. By reorienting our investment towards walking and cycling, sustainable public transport in both urban and rural areas, and electric vehicles, we can make it easier for people to make changes that benefit us all. I’m particularly pleased that we’ll see major progress on greenways all over Ireland, that fully electric buses will hit the road in numbers, and that our big public transport schemes will go forward to planning. This is the start of an ambitious project to transform how we travel.”
With particular reference to the Young Adult Card, Minister Ryan said, “this exciting new initiative follows engagement with my colleague the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, and with representatives from Comhairle na nOg, who first proposed the introduction of a youth card earlier this year. By giving all young people up to age 23 discounted public transport we’re hoping to build the habit of a lifetime.”
Minister Naughton commented, “the total aviation funding package of €126 million being announced today demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting our aviation sector as it emerges as one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic. Throughout 2022, we remain determined that aviation can build back stronger from the impacts of COVID-19.”
“The money we have secured as part of Budget 2022 will allow us to sustainably connect more people with more places, strengthen communities across the country, and will contribute significantly to our nation’s strategic connectivity. Capital funding of €561 million will allow the department to provide significant grant support for the protection and renewal of regional and local roads as well as supporting a number of significant construction starts, which will be to the benefit of all road users from a safety perspective.”
Continuing, Minister Naughton said, “2022 will see Government continue to invest almost €1 million per day in walking and cycling projects nationally, with a particular emphasis on safe infrastructure outside and on the lead up to schools allowing students to safely walk, cycle or scoot to school as part of their daily commute.”
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