To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the possibility of borrowing funds from the European Investment Bank to allow for the progression of the Metro North project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar T.D
Following agreement with the Department of Finance who take the lead role on EIB matters, engagement has commenced with the EIB as regards a loan for Luas Cross City. The National Transport Authority which is the sanctioning authority for the project is taking the lead role in providing the detailed information and data required by the EIB.
I recently met with senior officials from the European Investment Bank where I took the opportunity to outline my Department’s priorities for investment in Transport Infrastructure in the medium to long term. We discussed the application for Luas Cross City and a presentation on the project was made to the visitors. The EIB officials are very supportive of the Luas Link and I expect a positive outcome to the application.
Given the constraints in exchequer funding I do not currently have any other major public transport projects that I can submit for EIB funding. The EIB has expressed interest in the DART Underground but due to the cost of this project it can only proceed as a PPP project and with a very significant Exchequer contribution. I will be reviewing this project in advance of the next capital plan.
In relation to roads the EIB has contributed to the recently agreed PPP for the N11 Arklow – Rathnew and Newlands Cross project. EIB funding will also be sought for the other three road PPPs announced under the 2012 stimulus package for the N17/18 Gort to Tuam, the N25 New Ross Bypass and the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy.