The Department of Transport has published a new transport investment framework to help Government deliver its vision for the sustainable development of Irish society.
The National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland (NIFTI) sets out clear principles for the consideration of future transport investment and is closely aligned with key Government policy priorities and commitments, such as the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.
Transport investment is a significant driver of population and settlement patterns. NIFTI seeks to ensure that the transport sector is closely aligned with the development targets set out in the National Planning Framework, including more compact urban growth and balanced regional development.
This new framework replaces the previous Strategic Investment Framework for Land Transport (SIFLT), which was published by the Department of Transport in 2015. NIFTI establishes four strategic investment priorities to address the transport challenges ahead. These priorities, which have equal weighting in the framework, include Decarbonisation, Protection and Renewal, Mobility of People and Goods in Urban Areas, and Enhanced Regional and Rural Connectivity.
Unlike the previous framework, which had ranked the maintenance of the network as the foremost priority, the NIFTI priorities are unranked – thus allowing for greater flexibility in the consideration of projects and for the support of new investment projects where appropriate.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, said: “The National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland recognises that transport investment plays a key role in where and how we live and travel, and its huge potential to create liveable connected communities. It also reflects the need to rapidly decarbonise the sector to deliver our national emissions reduction commitments, by considering active and public transport options first when developing solutions. The Government’s commitment to deliver a cleaner, greener transport system—one that provides accessibility and opportunity for all—are reflected in the principles of this framework.”
Minister of State with responsibility for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton TD, added: “With the publication of the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland, we will ensure that the appropriate balance is struck between the protection and renewal of our existing transport assets and the development of new infrastructure, guaranteeing connectivity to people and businesses in every community across the country.”
While NIFTI will be an important tool in future decision making by capturing critical data for assessment purposes, it will be only one element of a wider process that will inform decisions of Government on transport projects. Investment decisions will also continue to reflect the 2:1 ratio of expenditure between new public transport infrastructure and new roads in the Programme for Government, as well as the guaranteed €360m per annum in investment in active travel.