IRELAND: National railway Iarnród Éireann is set to be benefit from an additional €60m which the government has allocated to the Ministry of Transport, Tourism & Sport’s public transport budget for 2015. The aim is to catch up with the backlog of work which resulted from country’s recession.

Rolling stock maintenance has been allocated €29m, with the aim of improving reliability and punctuality, enhancing the customer experience and attracting more passengers to rail. The programme to reduce journey times on the Dublin – Cork route has been allocated €9m. Buses have also been allocated €20m, and cycling €2m.

‘Following on from our economic collapse, the level of funding where land transport is concerned has been dramatically reduced’, said Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport. ‘Where land transport is concerned investment fell from a peak of €3bn (1·6% of GDP) in 2008 to a historic low level of €850m (0·5% of GDP) in 2014. As a result a gap developed between what was available and what was needed to adequately maintain, manage and renew existing infrastructure.’