BaileNuachtAithisc an Taoisigh

Speech of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., Project Ireland 2040 - Transport Thematic Event Dublin Port Company, Alexandra Road Monday 25 June 2018


Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I am delighted to be back here in Dublin Port to kick-off an important discussion about the new links and connections we can make under Project Ireland 2040. 
I would like to thank Minister Ross, his Department, and all of the panellists for taking part. My thanks also to Lucy and Éamonn for hosting us and to Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell for moderating the discussion. 
Politics is often about the ‘right now’, solving the problems of today.
But leadership in politics must also be about what happens next, imagining, investing in, and creating the world of tomorrow.
Project Ireland is our plan to take the entire country forward, balancing rural and urban investment, and preparing us for future economic challenges and opportunities.
There are three themes we want to talk about today: 
1. Linking our communities;
2. Linking our cities to each other; and
3. Linking Ireland with the wider world.

Dublin Port provides a perfect example about how it is possible to link a city to the world through the right investment and forward planning. 
There are four parts to this vision.
First, it is about linking all parts of Ireland to each other. In the past, all roads led to Dublin. That’s no longer the case. They will now link with each other, for example the Atlantic Economic Corridor which will connect cities and towns on the West coast of Ireland.
Second, it’s about making cities work better and making it more people friendly and more livable, so we are investing in public transport, pedestrian and cycling paths. 
Third, it’s ensuring that we are more friendly to the environment, and that means investing in things like lo-energy cars, and banning new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. 
And, fourth, it’s about ensuring we have international connectivity, through supporting all our international airports and ports. 
It’s a plan for the future that is being implemented right now.
So far this year we have spent 18% more on investing in public infrastructure compared to this time last year. Next year alone, there will be a 25% increase - that’s €1.5 billion extra. 
We want to achieve compact growth, sustainable mobility, and strengthen rural economies and communities, and the investment plans we have set out in Project Ireland 2040 will make that happen.
Under Project Ireland 2040 we will invest:
· €8.6 billion in public transport; 
· €4.8 billion in our airports and ports;
· €7.6 billion in our national roads; and 
· €4.5 billion in our regional and local and rural roads.
· Cycling facilities / Greenways as well.
In terms of collaboration, the four competitive Funds under Project Ireland 2040 have a major role to play. These have a combined commitment of €4bn to fund collaborative projects that deliver on Project Ireland’s objectives, including the broad themes of urban and rural regeneration and development, disruptive technologies, and climate action. 
We now have the plan and the money to pay for it.
Let's build on it.
Thank you.