Minister Varadkar sets out his departmental priorities for 2013

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has set out his priorities for the year ahead including the start of work on the Cross City Luas line, a resumed private-finance roads programme, a fully-independent Shannon Airport, and a successful outcome for the Gathering Ireland.


“2013 is going to be a busy, interesting and exciting year in Transport, Tourism & Sport. Ireland takes up the presidency of the European Council and hosts The Gathering Ireland 2013. It will also see work starting on the Cross City Luas project, and the establishment of an independent Shannon NewCo, bringing together the airport and Shannon Development,” Minister Varadkar said.


“Hopefully, 2013 will also see a further improvement in road safety alongside the publication of a new road safety strategy. I am looking forward to working with Ministers of State Alan Kelly and Michael Ring, my Departmental officials, and the staff in the agencies and companies under my remit during what will be a busy but fruitful year.”


Priorities for 2013

1. Implement planned budget savings bringing the Department in on budget at the end of 2013 to help reduce the Government’s budget deficit;
2. Commence enabling works on the Cross City Luas project;
3. Realise ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ project, meeting the target of 325,000 additional visitors and €170 million in additional revenue;
4. Restart the PPP roads programme by commencing work on the N7 (Newlands Cross), N11 (Rathew) and N17/18 (Gort-Tuam) projects;
5. Resolve the CIE financial situation without recourse to additional subvention;
6. Establish Shannon NewCo – the independent Shannon Airport – and restore the airport to passenger growth;
7. Launch a new Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020;
8. Meet the objectives set down for the Irish Presidency of the Council of Transport Ministers;
9. Determine the structure of the public service (PSO) bus market, secure funding of the CIE companies post-2014, and re-organise Irish Rail by year’s end;
10. Launch the new plastic card licence and implement the nationwide review of speed limits;
11. Develop new facilities at the National Sports Campus including the access roads and multi-use pitches and pavilion;
12. Promote Sport (Physical Education) as an examination subject;
13. Pass the Road Traffic, Vessels Registration, Taxi, Sport Ireland and Vehicle Clamping Bills;
14. Publish the new Ports Policy;
15. Complete the consultation phase for the new Aviation Policy and begin work on a Tourism policy review;
16. Implement a Maritime ‘Safety at Sea’ initiative;
17. Launch and pilot a new Community and Local Improvement Scheme for minor local roads;
18. Develop new schemes to encourage cycling and walking and bring the Mullingar to Dublin section of the proposed coast-to-coast greenway to shovel-ready status;
19. Report on the feasibility of an Irish Museum of Sport;
20. Complete the merger of NRA and RPA

Date: 1. 1. 2013