Budget 2020 – Transport, Tourism and Sport

This year’s budget posed a significant challenge in safeguarding our economy against the effects of a no-deal Brexit. Under these trying circumstances I am very pleased to be in a position to announce a 16.5% increase in the overall budget allocation to my department. This allocation will provide the necessary resources to continue stable investment in our transport system, continue to develop our sport sector, and support our tourism sector particularly with regard to mitigating the potential impacts of a hard Brexit.

Over recent years the Government has worked hard to ensure that conditions and policies are in place to tackle climate change and support citizens in making more sustainable transport choices. In 2020, investment in the public transport system will now exceed €1 billion for the first time. This will support a wide range of transport projects, including progressing major infrastructure investments as part of BusConnects and Metrolink, continuing to improve our rail services nationwide, and supporting the phased transition of our transport fleet to more environmentally friendly fuel types.

I also welcome the commitment made by Minister Donohoe to ring fence funds raised by the carbon tax to support our Climate Action Plan. This commitment will bring an additional €10.5m for investment in greenways, urban cycling infrastructure and increased investment in recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Throughout 2020, we will continue to invest in enhancing regional accessibility, investing over €1 billion in the maintenance of national and regional and local roads, as well as commencing the construction of a number of new road schemes. This investment is essential to delivering local services and supporting economic growth in rural and regional areas.

In total, €37.8m will be provided to the Aviation Sector. Of this, €21.8m will go towards the Regional Airports Programme, including the provision of €5m towards the planned extension of Waterford Regional Airport’s runway.
€103m of funding will be invested in maritime safety. This will ensure that the Irish Coast Guard can operate safely and effectively. Key priorities here will be to ramp up building programme for the Coast Guard and increase investment in safety-related training, equipment and systems.
Budget 2020 represents a significant step forward in terms of the ability of the transport sector to deliver upon our ambition. Overall the money we have secured will allow the transport, tourism and sport sectors connect more people with more places, linking and strengthening communities across the country.

Sustainable Mobility and Climate action

  • €1 billion for sustainable mobility measures;
    • Key Projects in 2020 include –
      • BusConnects: PSO bus fleet renewal and expansion
      • Improved PSO bus and rail services
      • Improved rail maintenance
      • Luas: extended trams
      • Extensive walking and cycling programme

Enhanced Regional Accessibility

  • €600 million for national roads maintenance and construction;
    • Key Projects in 2020 include –
      • N5 Westport to Turlough
      • Dunkettle Interchange
      • Listowel Bypass
      • Moycullen Bypass
      • Completion of Sallins Bypass
      • N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom
  • €520 million for regional and local roads maintenance and construction

Tourism Sector

  • Total allocation of €186 million
    • €85 million to fund the work of Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland
    • €46 million for the Tourism Marketing Fund
    • €30 million for investment in enhancing tourist attractions and activity-based tourism
    • €23 million for Greenways development
  • Tourism Brexit Funding
    • An additional €40 million Brexit funding ring fenced for Tourism in 2020, available for commitment in the event of a no deal Brexit
    • A supplementary package of €7m to be spent immediately in 2019 on mitigating effects of Brexit

Sport Sector:

  • Total allocation of €125 million includes
    • €34 million on sports capital grants and meeting existing commitments under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.
    • €66 million funding for Sport Ireland, which includes an additional €6 million to fund the National Sports Policy
    • €10 million for the large scale sports infrastructure fund
    • €8 million to fund major events, including Tokyo Olympics, Euro 2020, and preparations for Ryder Cup


Budget 2020 and you
BusConnects Submission II