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									Cross Departmental Team to the Cabinet Committee on Housing, Infrastructure and PPPs Annual Progress Report 2003 to Government

1. Terms of Reference 1.

Introduction

The objective of the Cabinet Committee is to facilitate cohesive and co-ordinated delivery across the administrative system of infrastructure investment under the National Development Plan (NDP) and related major national infrastructure projects (including roads, public transport, ports and airports, sanitary services, waste management, energy and communications) and to facilitate delivery of the Government’s housing objectives. The Committee’s remit is to:  Monitor progress in implementation of infrastructure investment under the NDP and other infrastructure provisions against targets and facilitate coordinated action across Departments and agencies to address cross-cutting issues;  Monitor housing output by the private, local authority and voluntary sectors and keep relevant policies under review so as to ensure that they facilitate to the maximum extent the achievement of the necessary level of output;  Monitor progress of the PPP process, identify areas where PPPs might be developed (having regard to the role of the National Development Finance Agency) and promote the use where appropriate of PPPs to deliver essential infrastructure projects;  Identify any emerging blockages and ensure timely and co-ordinated interventions to resolve difficulties, including the development of recommendations as necessary for streamlining institutional arrangements and the planning and impact assessment systems;  Keep priorities under review in the light of progress achieved and changing circumstances; in particular, the Committee will approve the conclusions of the 2003 Mid-term review of the National Development Plan insofar as the infrastructure element is concerned; and  Oversee the NDP Communications Strategy to ensure strong public awareness of and support for, and social partner involvement in championing, rollout of vital national infrastructure projects.

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Membership

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The Cabinet Committee comprises the Taoiseach; the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; the Minister for Finance; the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government; the Minister for Transport; the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; the Attorney General; the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government and the Government Chief Whip. The Minister for Education and Science was added to the membership during the year and, for the first time, the education capital programme features on the Cabinet Committee’s work programme (March 2004).

Working Arrangements 4. The Cabinet Committee normally meets once a month and has met twelve times during the period covered by this Progress Report. The Committee is supported by a Cross-Departmental Team comprising senior officials from relevant Government Departments and chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach. Specialist groups operated as necessary throughout 2003 under the Committee and Team structure to address issues in the key areas of the National Spatial Strategy, NDP communications, legal issues, housing, broadband, wider energy policy and the treatment of infrastructure relative to the General Government Balance. The Cabinet Committee adopted its Work Programme for the year in January 2003 – see Appendix 1. The Programme set out the work of the Committee as involving: (i) addressing planning and infrastructure-related issues that require a collaborative approach between Departments; (ii) determining priorities in the programme, legislative and financing areas; (iii) developing agreed monitoring and evaluation processes; and (iv) communicating progress on implementation of the infrastructure agenda set out in the National Development Plan through, in particular, the NDP Communications Strategy.

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The Main Policy Frameworks

National Development Plan (including the Mid-Term Review) 1. The overarching aims of the Cabinet Committee’s Work Programme for the year were:  Developing priorities under the various NDP infrastructure headings for the remaining lifetime of the Plan;  Working to secure better value-for-money outcomes, especially against the background of significant falls in 2003 in construction and tender price inflation;  Exploring the potential for greater use of non-Exchequer sources of funding, including PPPs, in the roll-out of national infrastructure priorities; and  Assessing the scope for the speedier delivery of outputs. 2. Over the course of the year, a number of thematic specific reviews were completed, including on rail transport, funding for the roads programme, broadband and waste management. These reviews assisted the evaluations of the individual Operational Programmes. A comprehensive mid-term review of the NDP was undertaken by the ESRI and was considered by the Cabinet Committee at its meeting in October. The ESRI mid-term review strongly endorsed the NDP strategy, especially in the area of infrastructure. It pointed to the major economic return arising from the NDP infrastructure programme. It emphasised the need to give continuing priority to investment in infrastructure and this priority was agreed by the Government in Budget 2004 – see section on Multi-Annual Capital Envelopes.

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National Spatial Strategy (NSS) 4. The Government published the NSS on 28 November 2002 as a 20 year planning framework designed to enable every part of the country to achieve its potential. The NSS is aimed at building up the strengths of all areas in order to achieve more balanced regional development and population growth. It recognises that a greater share of economic activity in future must take place outside the Greater Dublin Area and to that end, it sets out a framework within which gateways, hubs and other urban and rural areas will act together to help all areas grow. An Interdepartmental Steering Group oversees implementation of the NSS and the lead co-ordinating entity, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, reports annually to the Cabinet Committee. Structures to integrate the NSS into planning and operational activities at Government, Departmental, State Agency, regional and local levels have been put in place to help ensure that

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the NSS directs the spatial aspects of public planning, policies and programmes, including the determination of investment priorities. 6. At the more strategic level, the Cabinet Committee sought to ensure that the NSS would feature centrally in the wider infrastructure delivery process. With that aim in mind, it invited the Central Statistics Office to give a presentation on the key demographic, spatial and infrastructure-related findings from the Census of Population 2002. Additionally, the NSS provided important inputs to the evaluations comprising the Mid-Term Review of the NDP and CSF and to related studies such as the Strategic Rail Review. The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government provided the Cabinet Committee with a progress report on implementation of the NSS during 2003, with such a report to be presented annually from now on. Gaeltacht and islands infrastructure also featured on the agenda of the Committee – an area in which significant progress has been made, reflecting like the NSS the increasing emphasis on the regional aspects of national policy.

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The Multi-annual Capital Envelopes 8. The Exchequer provided €5.6 billion for infrastructure investment under the Public Capital Programme 2003 - equal to almost 5% of GNP. The total Programme for that year, including non-Exchequer funded investment, amounted to nearly €8.9 billion, maintaining and increasing (2%) the massive level of capital investment in recent years. By way of follow-up to the infrastructure related recommendations set out in the Mid-Term Review of the NDP, the Government decided in November 2003 to put in place a five-year multi-annual framework for capital expenditure, covering the years 2004 – 2008. In implementing the new envelope system, Departments will be allowed to carry-over to the following year any unspent capital allocations, up to a maximum of 10%. This carry-over facility, which will take effect from financial year 2004, should significantly assist in better planning and execution of projects which span a number of years, and lead to better value-for-money. Under the framework, it is envisaged that overall capital investment will be set at 5% of GNP, which is about double the rate of spend across the EU. The envelope for each Ministerial Vote Group will be underpinned by a formal agreement between the Department of Finance and individual line Departments. The agreement will incorporate a number of conditions, including specific details as regards the amount of the envelope each year, project level details, contractual commitments, carryover of savings, adherence to guidelines on appraisal and NDFA-financed/PPP projects and formal arrangements for monitoring and reporting on progress.

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Accounting Rules for PPPs

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During 2003, a Special Task Force, on which the CSO is represented, recommended changes to the manner in which PPP projects are treated by reference to the accounting rules for general government purposes – general government being the classification used for infrastructure under the Stability and Growth Pact rules. Eurostat accepted the recommendation and issued a new ruling on 11 February 2004 that will take immediate and retrospective effect. Eurostat ruled that for a privately financed PPP asset to be off balance sheet, the construction risk and either the availability risk1 or demand risk2 must be transferred to the private sector. This differs from the previous guidelines, which required that all risks and rewards of the contract be assessed and taken into account. The position now is that in the case of an asset that is off-balance sheet, its impact on the GGB is spread over the concession or contract period and not upfront as previously. The CSO expects that, as a result of the new ruling, most privately financed PPP schemes will be classified in future as off balance sheet since these would generally involve significant transfer of either availability or demand risk. Potentially, that makes it considerably easier for certain PPP projects not to incur a GGB charge. The new guidelines will also include scope for the Government to part-finance PPP schemes and still have the asset as off balance sheet. The Government may also be able to guarantee some of the private sector borrowing and thereby potentially reduce the financing cost. However, the private sector's exposure cannot be fully covered; there must be some risk transfer or otherwise, a GGB charge would be incurred. Irrespective of the accounting rules, PPPs will of course be expected to provide value for money. The five-year multi-annual capital envelopes (see paragraphs 8 to 10 above) include a PPP component to be funded by unitary charges. This sets the funding framework for the development of PPPs over the next five years. The capital costs of such projects, whether inside or outside the GGB, must be accommodated within the overall 5% of GNP limit on capital investment. PPPs fully funded by user charges are additional to the envelope.

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Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) 16. In relation to PPPs, the Central PPP Unit in the Department of Finance issued Interim Guidelines on PPPs in July 2003 that set out the procedures for the

Transfer of 'Availability risk' means that Government can reduce payments significantly if the asset’s usage is not available. Payments can therefore be based on indicators such as number of classrooms, numbers of open lanes on motorways, number of metro tracks open for trains etc. 2 'Demand risk' is the case where Government's payment is linked to the actual usage of the good as for example 'number of pupils using the school, numbers of vehicles using the motorway, trains or passengers on the metro line etc'. Transfer of demand risk is much more difficult but any PPP 'worth its salt' would have to incorporate significant non-availability penalties!
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assessment, approval, audit and procurement of projects. Pursuant to an undertaking in ‘Sustaining Progress’, the Unit is now in the process of developing more detailed Guidelines that will be delivered as part of a rolling programme over the next two years. Additionally, a ‘Public Private Partnership National Communications Strategy’, which was agreed with the social partners, was formally launched on 14 April 2003 – see redeveloped website (www.ppp.gov.ie) for further information. 17. The following is a sample of major PPP projects either completed or underway:  Education: The ‘bundle’ of five post-primary schools – completed ahead of schedule. The National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy is currently under construction.  Roads: The second Liffey Valley Bridge was opened in August 2003 and the contract for the 39km M4 Kilcock-Kinnegad motorway was signed in March 2003.  Public Transport: The operational contract for Luas was signed with Connex on 13 May 2002.  Water Services: Under the water services investment programme, 37 projects have been or are being advanced as PPPs, with around a further 70 potential PPP schemes identified.  Waste Management: A Waste to Energy facility is being proposed for Dublin and it will have a capacity to thermally treat 400,000 tonnes pa of domestic and commercial waste. Invitations have been issued to four shortlisted consortia to submit bids for the contract. In addition, approval has been given to proceed with a PPP project for the procurement of biological treatment/materials recovery facilities in the Dublin region and preliminary work undertaken on a potential PPP project involving the procurement of a broad suite of waste infrastructure (including a thermal treatment facility) in the South East region.  Housing: A number of affordable and social housing projects are underway e.g. Cherry Orchard and Mulhuddart, and procurement has commenced on a major regeneration project for Fatima Mansions. Further projects are in the pipeline and PPPs feature as an important part of the Affordable Housing Initiative under the Sustaining Progress agreement.  Other Sectors: New PPP Units were established during 2002 in the Department of Health and Children and in the Courts Service to cater for the development of PPP projects in these areas. Additionally, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government issued its revised Framework for PPPs in the Renewable Energy Sector in April 2003, as a guide for local authorities who are considering advancing such projects in that sector.

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An important institutional aspect to delivery of the infrastructure agenda in the NDP is the statutorily based National Development Finance Agency (NDFA). Established on 1 January 2003, the NDFA is supporting State Authorities in the delivery of infrastructure projects as follows.  providing advice;  evaluating the financial risks involved;  assessing the optimal funding options available (Exchequer, Private, European Investment Bank, NDFA or a combination); and  raising finance for projects where this delivers the best value for money.

Sustaining Progress 19. ‘Sustaining Progress’ recognises the importance of infrastructure delivery in the promotion of the public good and enhanced competitiveness. Housing and Accommodation and Waste Management feature as two of the twelve Special Initiatives in the agreement and separate chapters are included on infrastructure and the environment. The main developments in relation to these areas are set out under the appropriate thematic headings throughout the remainder of this report. Expenditure on infrastructure, primarily through the delivery of the Economic and Social Infrastructure Operational Programme (ESIOP) of the NDP, continues to fund projects in every county in Ireland. An initial database of projects funded by the ESIOP was made available in March 2003 and can be accessed on the NDP website, www.NDP.ie.

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Critical Infrastructure Bill and Dublin Metro Bill 21. A draft scheme of the Strategic National Infrastructure Bill, 2003 is being finalised by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with a view to bringing it to Government early in 2004. The purpose of the proposed legislation is the provision of a streamlined development consent procedure for public and private infrastructure projects of strategic national importance. That will be done through the establishment of a single decision-making body for such projects, to be called the National Infrastructure Board. It is intended that in exercising its role, the Board’s determination will cover all the necessary pre-construction and operating consents for a project and that it will handle only a limited number of such projects at any given time in order to ensure optimal and speedy decision-making. Separately, the option of a metro system for Dublin, including the possibility of dedicated legislation, is under examination and the Minister for Transport has signaled his intention to bring the matter before Government in early 2004 – see also Section 5 on Public Transport.

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Housing

Output Nationwide 1. It is estimated that housing output for 2003 will be over 60,000 units - well in excess of last year’s output of 58,000 units and representing the tenth consecutive year of record output. Figures for the first nine months of 2003 show that house completions in the Greater Dublin Area were up 11.1% on the same nine months period of the previous year. By reference to completions per head of population, Ireland is building at double the average EU rate and according to results from the Census of Population 2002, one in four houses in the State was built since 1991 and over half since 1971.

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Output in Dublin 3. One of the marked features of house completions in 2002 and 2003 has been the significant increase in completions in the Dublin area. Output in Dublin averaged at about 9,500 units per annum over the six-year period to end 2001 but increased to 12,623 units in 2002. That significant upward trend continued into 2003. During the first nine months of 2003, house completions reached 10,500 compared to a total of 9,039 units during the same period in 2002, representing an increase of about 16%.

Local Authority, Social and Affordable Housing Output 4. Output in 2002 by local authorities and voluntary/co-operative organisations amounted to 5,763 housing units. In the first nine months of 2003, a total of 3,276 local authority houses were built or acquired – an increase of almost 35% on the same period in the previous year. Regarding the Affordable Housing Schemes specifically, it is anticipated that the NDP targets for the 1999 affordable housing schemes will be met in 2003. The position at the end of September 2003 (excluding Part V) is that there were 2,053 houses in progress, a further 1,760 proposed and 804 completed. A further 685 households benefited from the Shared Ownership Scheme in this period. In relation to Part V affordable housing, the scheme is at an early stage of development. Nevertheless, there were 331 affordable housing units in progress and 1,087 proposed under these arrangements at the end of September 2003. These figures indicate the significant potential for this mechanism to deliver affordable houses over the coming years In relation to the Affordable Housing Initiative under ‘Sustaining Progress’, the Government announced at end December 2003 the release of State lands in Dublin, Cork and Waterford for affordable housing. The sites will allow approximately 3,600 houses to be built and will all be sold at affordable prices. The release of other lands was announced in July 2003 in Dublin (Infirmary Road

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and Jamestown Road), Kildare (Kildare Town) and Meath (Gormanstown). Altogether, these additional sites, when combined with sites previously released by the Government and existing schemes, will result in approximately 6,100 affordable housing units in total. The basic principles governing the eligibility criteria and the delivery model for the Affordable Housing Initiative overall were also addressed during the course of 2003.

Average Price Levels 7. Despite substantial growth in housing supply, the rate of house price inflation remains a concern. Average new house prices in the third quarter of 2003 were up 13.1% on the equivalent quarter in 2002, while there was greater pressure in the second hand market, with the average price of second hand houses increasing by 16.1% in the same period. Dublin new house prices increased at a slightly lower rate than national average new house prices over the same period (10.7%), reflecting the positive changes in housing supply in the Dublin.

Trends in Demand 8. There are no indications as yet that the deceleration in the pace of economic growth is impacting on the demand for housing. While population increased by 8% in the period 1996 to 2002, the increase in the number of private households was even greater at 14.7%. Similarly the average household size over the same period fell from 3.14 to 2.94, compared to the European average of 2.6. Overall, the combined impact of population growth and social change means that Ireland is moving closer to EU norms in relation to household size and is likely to reach EU levels by 2010. The NDP was based on ESRI forecasts that 500,000 additional housing units will have to be built in order to meet demand over ten year period to the end of this decade. The National Spatial Strategy reflects a similar projected level of growth in housing demand. That means that by the end of this decade, the Irish housing stock will have increased by about one-third and that the annual supply of houses would have to be maintained at around 50,000 per annum over the coming years to meet the forecasted demand. There are a number of constituents of this demand: growth in population, migration and demand for second homes and replacement dwellings. The ESRI Mid-term Review of the NDP suggested that the demand for second homes had a significant impact on housing output over the past number of years. However, there are no statistics available on the distribution of output between second and other homes. The models of housing demand underpinning recent ESRI analysis suggests that the demand for second and replacement homes will decline significantly post 2006.

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Roads

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Financial Position regarding National Roads Programme 1. The Exchequer provision for the national roads improvement and maintenance programme over the period 2000 to 2003 exceeded the NDP forecast by over 30%. For 2003, the total Exchequer funding commitment was €1.263 billion - an increase of 11.4% on the expenditure outturn for 2002 (€1.135 billion). The 2003 allocation included an additional €209 million announced in the Budget 2003.

Report of the Senior Officials’ Group 2. A Senior Officials’ Group, which was established to advise on the roads programme, presented its report to the Cabinet Committee in March 2003. The Group was mandated to examine and make recommendations on:  additional and/or alternative funding options, including PPP arrangements, to secure the implementation of the National Roads Programme as set out in the NDP/CSF/ESIOP; and  changes to management, procurement and planning arrangements for the National Roads Programme so as to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness of programme delivery. 3. The group focused on: (i) scope for securing additional output within existing funding levels; (ii) additional funding options; and (iii) planning/institutional, procurement and land acquisition issues. It produced a number of recommendations in the following areas:      4. cost estimation and control and measures to reduce costs; form of contracts and scope for innovation; additional funding options; project management issues, including multi-annual budgets; and land values, acquisitions and zonings.

In line with the recommendations of the report, a rolling multi-annual funding framework has been introduced consequent on the Budget 2004 announcement on multi-annual capital envelopes. There has also been a strengthening of cost estimation and control systems, greater use of the D&B form of contract, and consideration given to additional sources of funding, including to the securitisation of toll revenues, in conjunction with the NDFA.

Outputs under the National Roads Programme 5. Over the period 2000 to 2003, 37 road projects (255 kms) were completed. At the end of 2003 work was underway on 17 projects and a further 16 were at tender stage.

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Projects completed in 2003 include:

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(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) 7.

M7 Kildare Bypass M1 Dublin – Dundalk Inter-urban involving 3 separate projects N4 Celbridge Interchange N25 Youghal By-Pass Skibereen Bypass M50 Second Westlink Bridge

Projects on which work commenced in 2003 include the following:
Scheme Road Type Length Km. Expected Completion of Contract Q1, 2005 Q3, 2006 Q2, 2005 Q4, 2004 Q3, 2004 Q3, 2005* Q1, 2005* Q2, 2005 Q1, 2005

Carrickmacross By-Pass Single Carriageway 9 Kilcock / Kinnegad Motorway 38 McNeads Bridge – Kinnegad Dual Carriageway 5 Hughestown / Meera Single Carriageway 3 Naas Road (Kingswood Interchange Interchange) M7 Monasterevin by-Pass Motorway 17 N8 Cashel By-Pass Dual Carriageway 7 N21 Ballycarty / Tralee Single Carriageway 3 N26 Ballina – Bohola (Phase 1) Single Carriageway 5 *Under favourable conditions, an earlier completion may be achieved.

N2 N4 N4 N4 N7

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Projects on which work is expected to start in 2004 are:
Scheme M1 N1 N2 N2 N4 N6 N7 N8 N15 N18 N21 N25 N25 N30 Dundalk Western By-Pass (PPP) Border/Dundalk Ashbourne By-Pass/M50 Jct. Monaghan By-Pass Phase 1* Sligo Inner Relief Road Loughrea By-Pass Naas Road Widening Fermoy ByPass (PPP) Ballyshannon/Bundoran By-Pass Ennis By-Pass Road Type Motorway Dual Carriageway Dual Carriageway Single Carriageway Dual Carriageway Single Carriageway Dual Carriageway Motorway Single Carriageway Dual Carriageway and Single Carriageway Single Carriageway Dual Carriageway Interchange Single Carriageway Length Km 11 10 17 2 5 4 15 18 11 14 7 7 18 1 5 Region BMW BMW S&E BMW BMW BMW S&E S&E BMW S&E S&E S&E S&E S&E S&E

Castleisland/Abbeyfeale* Waterford City By-Pass Kinsale Road Interchange Enniscorthy/Clonroche* (Moneytucker) N52 Mullingar By-Pass* Single Carriageway 5 BMW N55 Cavan By-Pass* Single Carriageway 3 BMW *Tender process to proceed and schemes to start in 2004 under favourable programme management and funding conditions

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A full listing of projects completed since 2000, in construction (and due for completion in 2004 and 2005) and at tender stage is included at Appendix 2. Public Transport – Rail and Bus

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Public Capital Investment Programme 1. €565 million (Exchequer = €402m; EU = €124m; and CIE Own Resources = €39m) was invested throughout 2003 in upgrading rail and bus infrastructure under the NDP, building on a total investment for 2000 – 2002 of €1.47 billion.

Mainline Rail 2. Under the Rail Safety Programme, some €100m was invested during the year on works associated with the Rail Safety Programme. A key output is that over 80 percent (495 km) of the national rail grid had been upgraded to continuous welded track by the end of 2003. Orders have been placed for 67 mainline rail carriages for entry into service in late 2005. Work on the Heuston Station upgrade (phase 1 of the Kildare line upgrade) is essentially complete. The total budgeted cost was €117m but the project will be delivered significantly under this figure. The upgrade involved increasing the number of platforms at Heuston Station from 5 to 9; upgrading the signalling system; and increasing the station’s capacity to accommodate additional mainline and commuter trains. All of the existing platforms have been replaced with new longer platforms. New, more efficient track work has been commissioned, as has new signalling in the station precincts. Work continues on the replacement of track work and signalling under the Rail Safety Programme. As these works and the Heuston Station redevelopment are completed, customers will begin to see substantial reductions in journey times. From the introduction of the summer timetable in 2004, reductions of up to 30 minutes in journey times were implemented. In terms of long-range policy options, the Cabinet Committee considered the Strategic Rail Review prior to its publication in April 2003. The Review sets out a 20 years strategic framework for the development of rail - both passenger and freight. The Review represented an important contribution to the Mid-Term Review of the NDP generally and to a long-range evaluation of options in the wider transport area, including within the context of the five-year multi-annual financial envelope now in place with effect from 2004.

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Integrated Ticketing 8. The Railway Procurement Agency undertook further work during 2003 on the design and development of a smartcard based integrated ticketing system for

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Dublin. The system is scheduled for delivery in 2005 with phased rollouts commencing in 2004. Interim arrangements are being put in place between Luas and connecting bus services. The project cost, excluding a 10% contingency, has been estimated at €26.9million. There is a preference for enhanced private sector participation through outsourcing in building, operating and maintaining the system.

Commuter Rail in Greater Dublin Area 9. DART: 38 new DART carriages were delivered since November 2000 – representing an increase of almost 50% in capacity in the space of less than three years. A further 40 DART railcars have been ordered for delivery in 2004 as part of Phase 1 of the DART Upgrade Project. They will go into service in conjunction with the roll-out of the DART Upgrade Project. This order will bring the DART fleet up to a total of 156 units, or just short of double the initial fleet of 80. The DART upgrade project is designed to increase train lengths on the DART system from the present maximum of 6 to 8 at rush hour and will include work to extend platforms and upgrade the power supply. As part of the project all stations along the route will be fully upgraded to allow disabled access to all platforms. This work will be completed in 2005. Outer Suburban: 20 railcars, delivered in 2000, are now operating on the Maynooth line, resulting in a 100% increase in capacity. A further 80 railcars will be in service by the end of January 2004. Together with the introduction of a new timetable in December 2003 they have provided increases in capacity on the various corridors as follows: Northern – 43%, South-East – 30%, Western – 24%, South-Western – 130%. Approval to order a further 36 railcars, identical to the 80 mentioned above, was granted in November 2003 for delivery in 2005. When delivery is complete Iarnrod Eireann will have 180 diesel rail cars in its fleet. In order to maintain these to the highest standards, a new diesel rail car depot was officially opened in Drogheda in November 2003. This state of the art facility was opened on time and under budget.

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LUAS: The projected completion dates are May 2004 for Line A/C (Tallaght to
Connolly) and March 2004 for Line B (Sandyford to St. Stephen’s Green), with services scheduled to begin at the end of August 2004 and the end of June 2004 respectively.

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Metro: On foot of a Government decision, the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) undertook an assessment of the various options for a metro system in Dublin. Following a visit by the Minister for Transport to Madrid in March, a follow-up visit by senior officials in April and a presentation by Professor Melis Maynar to the Cabinet Committee on the Madrid metro project, the RPA produced a revised proposal in June which involves a significant decrease on previous cost estimates attributable, for example, to modifications in route alignment and station specification. The current position is that the Minister for

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Transport has signalled his intention to bring the matter before Government in early 2004. The Minister will propose the introduction of the Critical Transport Infrastructure (Dublin Metro) Bill that will seek to deal with such issues as streamlining of statutory processes, Compulsory Purchase Orders and 24 hour tunnelling.

Bus Services in the Greater Dublin Area 15. Targets are set in the NDP for 500 replacement buses and 275 additional buses. 90 new buses were purchased in 2003.Of these, 20 were funded from the Exchequer. By the end of 2003, 424 new buses have been delivered to Bus Átha Cliath, 299 replacement buses and 125 additional to the fleet– this total does not include the 150 new buses delivered in 1999. All new buses are low floor and wheelchair accessible. Construction of a new bus garage in Harristown, North Dublin commenced in September 2003. The new garage, with capacity for 240 buses, will allow for further fleet expansion and the transfer of buses/routes from existing depots to alleviate capacity problems. It is expected that work will be completed before the end of 2004. Overall, there has been a 25% increase in Dublin Bus peak hour capacity since the start of the NDP.

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Improvements to the Bus Éireann Fleet 18. The NDP target is 450 new buses to upgrade rural transport fleets and 110 new buses to improve services in the urban centres outside Dublin. 68 buses were purchased in 2003, 30 of which were funded from BE own resources for expressway services and 38 replacement buses were Exchequer funded. By the end of 2003, 383 new buses were purchased. Overall, Bus Éireann has increased capacity by 40% on all main corridors into Dublin The entire regular urban bus fleet in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford is now low floor. Enhancement of Stranorlar Station to allow easy access and improve facilities for the mobility impaired has been completed and similar work at Sligo station has commenced and is due for completion early in 2004.

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Quality Bus Corridors (QBCs) 20. Promotion of public transport is central to easing congestion in the Greater Dublin Area and a key element of this is the delivery of Quality Bus Corridors. As a result of work by the DTO and the Greater Dublin Area’s local authorities, there are nine QBCs currently in operation - Malahide, Lucan, Stillorgan, Finglas, North Clondalkin, Rathfarnham, Tallaght, Swords and Blanchardstown. Results have been impressive, with bus journey times faster than the equivalent journey by car on 8 out of the 9 QBCs.

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The Minister has prioritised further QBC rollout and funding through his Department’s Traffic Management Grants has been doubled to €35m in 2004. Development of QBCs as part of a Quality Bus Network (QBN) is the responsibility of the QBN Project Office, established early in 2003 by Dublin City Council. The Department of Transport provided some €5.5 million to Cork City Council for the development of Green Routes and a Park & Ride facility in 2003. Further funding will be provided for these purposes in 2004.

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Telecommunications

Overview of Broadband Network 1. Ireland stands fourth in the Eurobarometer of internet penetration (behind Holland, Denmark and Sweden) and has a world class and competitive infrastructure in terms of international connectivity and national backbone. However, the country’s network deficiency is at the local level.

Rollout of MANS Network – Phase 1 2. In order to deepen national competitiveness into the future through stimulating investment in broadband infrastructure at the local level, the Government decided to finance the building, along with local authorities, of metropolitan area networks (MANs) or fibre loops in 19 key towns with a population of 1,500+ around Ireland. The Phase 1 element consists of two parallel parts: First part - Infrastructure: Very good progress is being made on rolling out broadband infrastructure to the 19 towns, with construction now underway in 18 of the centres (the Letterkenny network (20 km) is due to be launched by the end of the year). Second part - Management Process: When completed, the Metropolitan Area Networks will be operated by a neutral, private sector management services entity, providing open access to the networks on a cost basis to all interested parties. The entity will be selected very shortly following an open tender process that is now nearing completion.

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Future Policy and Action 4. In November 2003, following discussion at the Cabinet Committee, the Government approved proposals from the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on the national broadband strategy. The proposals include future investment in regional MANs via the multi-annual capital envelope announced in Budget 2004, a demand stimulation programme including colocation facilities and local group broadband schemes, and a national group broadband scheme and framework proposal from ESB Telecom on broadband backhaul from regional towns to international connectivity points in Dublin.

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7. 1.

Energy Policy

The Cabinet Committee undertook an examination of wider energy policy issues during 2003. The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources prepared a detailed discussion paper and presentation on wider energy policy issues for the Committee in July 2003. Following the presentation, a subgroup of the CDT was established to progress discussions on these issues. That subgroup provided a progress report to the Cabinet Committee in November 2003. In December 2003, the Taoiseach convened a meeting of Ministers and senior officials. They reviewed the key decisions to be made in early 2004 and agreed an integrated policy approach and process for Cross-Departmental engagement on these decisions in advance of consideration by Government. It was agreed at the above meeting that a senior group of officials and advisors, to be chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach and involving appropriate external expertise as required, would start work immediately, beginning with preparations for the decision on emissions trading.

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8.

Ports

Background 1. Almost all of Ireland’s overseas trade goes by sea, highlighting the commercial significance of the ports and their strategic importance in the transport chain. The ports have faced a climate of change in recent years in the shape of increasing competitive forces, market liberalisation, increasing specialisation driven by new technology and innovation and ongoing capital funding requirements.

Review of Ports 2. During 2003, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources published the High Level Review of the State Commercial Ports operating under the Harbours Acts 1996 and 2000 and has initiated a comprehensive public consultation process that will feed into and inform future policy deliberations. The time is opportune to initiate a full re-assessment of current ports policy in terms of how ports are meeting customer and national needs and how best they can finance any necessary new infrastructure having full regard to the environment and local communities living in close proximity to port facilities. The key issues to be considered in the ports policy review include shareholder expectations regarding the commercial performance of the port companies, the future funding of capital investment in port facilities and competition issues within and between ports.

3.

4.

18

9. NDP Investment 1.

Waste Management

The NDP anticipates a capital investment of €825m towards the provision of waste management infrastructure as follows:  €570m through the PPP method;  €127m through local authority own resources; and  €127m through the Exchequer and EU co-funded grant scheme.

Regional Waste Management Plans 2. Following the introduction of emergency legislation in 2001, all local and regional waste management plans have now been adopted and local authorities are now actively rolling out new waste recycling and recovery projects with the assistance of the waste infrastructure capital grants scheme. In addition, segregated collection services have expanded significantly and are now available to some 500,000 households (one third of all households in the State) and further extensions are planned. Work is continuing on a national overview of regional waste management plans and it is expected that this will be published in the near future. A National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste is also being put in place which will encourage the introduction of a wide range of measures aimed at the separate collection, recovery and recycling of organic wastes and will seek to significantly reduce the landfill of biodegradable municipal waste. Preparatory work on the establishment of a National Waste Prevention Programme and a Market Development Programme for recyclable materials is also well advanced.

3.

Waste Infrastructure Grants 4. €55 million was provided from the Environment Fund (financed by the proceeds of the Plastic Bags and Landfill Levies) to support a wide range of waste-related initiatives in 2003. Of this, some €22m went largely towards significantly increasing the numbers of bring banks and civic amenity sites; at present, it is estimated that the numbers of bring bank have increased to some 1,500 nationwide, while the numbers of civic amenity sites have increased to approximately 50. In addition, €5m was provided in 2003 towards meeting the costs incurred by local authorities in operating such facilities.

Legislative Changes

19

5.

The Protection of the Environment Act, 2003 provides inter alia for the amendment of the waste management planning, waste licensing, waste charging and enforcement provisions of the Waste Management Acts. Amongst the key provisions in the Act are:  that the review, variation and replacement of a waste management plan has become an executive function for local authority management; and  that the making and waiver of waste charges has become an executive function. Local authorities have also been given explicit power to discontinue the collection of domestic waste in the event of non-payment of charges.

6.

In addition to the considerably strengthened enforcement powers provided for in the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, €7m has been allocated to local authorities for the first year of a major five-year programme of enforcement of the waste laws and a new Office of Environmental Enforcement has been established within the Environmental Protection Agency.

Landfill Ban 7. A ban on the landfill of most commercial packaging waste was introduced with effect from 1 March 2003. The regulations require all producers to segregate and recycle packaging waste arising on their own premises into specified waste streams – i.e. waste glass, paper, aluminium, steel, fibreboard, wood and plastic sheeting - and have it collected by authorised operators for recycling. This will support the achievement of higher targets in relation to the recovery of packaging waste by 2005.

Producer Responsibility Initiatives 8. The development and implementation of a number of key Producer Responsibility Initiatives (PRI's) is now a major priority. The success of the initiatives in the packaging waste and farm plastics areas are now being built on with work underway in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders on similar initiatives in areas such as end-of-life vehicles, newsprint, tyres, batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment to be introduced between now and mid-2005.

Awareness 9. In October 2003, the biggest awareness campaign ever put in place in relation to waste was launched. The campaign combines a high-profile advertising and PR element, designed to result in concrete actions on the part of the individual in relation to reducing, re-using and recycling waste, with a communications campaign involving the social partners and other key players in identifying the major issues of concern in relation to waste and waste infrastructure so that soundly-based information can be provided in response.

20

Thermal Treatment Facilities 10. In relation to thermal treatment, which most of the local authority waste management plans provide for, there have been a number of developments during the year. Planning permission has been granted to a private waste management company for a municipal waste thermal treatment facility at Carranstown, County Meath (although this is subject to a legal challenge). The procurement of a facility for the Dublin region, through a PPP, has now moved to the stage where bids have been sought from the four short-listed consortia. Work is also underway on a PPP project for the provision of a package of Biological Treatment and Materials Recovery facilities in Dublin. In the South East, the local authorities in the region have recently been given approval for the engagement of professional advisers to lead a PPP process of procuring a suite of waste infrastructure for the region, including a thermal treatment facility. In addition, a private waste management company has applied for planning permission for Phase I of a thermal treatment facility in Ringaskiddy in County Cork, designed to deal with hazardous waste. The project is currently on appeal to An Bord Pleanála, with a decision expected in January 2004. It is intended that a subsequent second phase of this project would provide capacity to deal with municipal waste.

Water and Wastewater Treatment Programmes 11. A three-year rolling programme was launched in 2000, with the second phase, covering 2002 to 2004, announced in spring 2002 and the third phase, 2003-2005, announced in the August 2003. The increased capital funding for water services in recent years has made significant inroads into Ireland's infrastructural deficit in this area. Of perhaps greatest significance has been the Dublin Bay Project completed in 2003 - the largest wastewater treatment facility constructed in the EU and with a capacity of 1,700,000 p.e. The facility now provides tertiary treatment for all the domestic and industrial wastewater from the Dublin region. The radical improvement in water quality in the Bay consequential on the commissioning of the new plant is expected to give Dublin the distinction of being the only capital in Europe with its own Blue Flag beach. Other large wastewater treatment projects are currently coming to completion in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Wexford, while new projects expected to start construction or already in progress include wastewater schemes for Waterford, Dungarvan, Tramore, Bantry, Portlaoise, Sligo, Thurles, Tullamore, Bray/Shanganagh and Sligo. Major schemes completed since the first three-year water services programme was announced are Drogheda, Dundalk, Midleton, Westport and Courtown Riverchapel Leixlip, Navan, Osberstown and Loughrea sewerage schemes, as well as the Leixlip, Monaghan, Sligo & Environs and Lisdoonvarna water schemes.

12.

13.

14.

21

15.

Overall, substantial increases in water and wastewater treatment capacity are being achieved as a result of increasing spending on water and sewerage infrastructure with more than 230 schemes (110 water /wastewater and some 120 serviced land) completed since the first phase of the NDP investment was announced in 2000.

22

Appendix I

WORK PROGRAMME 2003
January Strategic Rail Review Role of NDFA February Metro – RPA Outline Business Case Public Transport Priorities National Spatial Strategy March Roads Programme – Funding Options and Project Management Issues NDP Mid-Term Review April Housing Programme Transport – Priorities and Financing Legislative Reform, particularly proposed Critical Infrastructure Bill May Broadband – Review of National Strategy on Broadband Telecommunications June Metro – Madrid Metro and Revised RPA Proposal Waste Management July Energy Mid-Term Review of NDP September Mid-Term Review of the NDP Critical Infrastructure – Proposed Legislation October Mid-Term Review of the NDP – Presentation by the ESRI Broadband Update November Census of Population 2002 – Demographic, Spatial and Infrastructure-related Findings Energy December National Spatial Strategy – Review of Developments in 2003 and Plans for 2004 Gaeltacht and Islands Infrastructure

23

APPENDIX 11

National Road Projects Completed (2000-2003), In Construction, At Tender Stage, Through Statutory Approval Process (January 2004 Version)
Carriageway KM
Year Scheme Dual Single Motor Carriageway Carriageway way Total

A. Completed Schemes (2000-2003) N7 Nenagh By-Pass 2000 N9 Moone/Timolin M50 Free Flow Slips N72 Killarney Northern Road II Total 4 Schemes

--0

--0

11 6.2 --1 18.2

11 6.2 0 1 18.2

2001

M1 Dunleer/Dundalk M1/N2 Dunleer/Ardee Link N4 Downs/McNeads Bridge to Mullingar N4 Joanstown-County Boundary N15 Clar-Barnesmore Gap N20 Blackpool By-Pass N20 Croom By-Pass N20/N21 Adare/Limerick N21 Ballycarty to Killally N24 Bearys Cross to Grange Cross N25 Kilmacthomas By-Pass M50 Southern Cross Route N52 Link to Nenagh By-Pass N56 Mountcharles By-Pass 14 Schemes

17 8 5.3 4 8.5 1.7 10.9 6.1 6.8 10.5 3.6 8.5 4.3 1.9 25.7 17.9 62.2

8.7

17 8 5.3 4 8.5 1.7 6.1 17.7 10.5 3.6 8.5 8.7 4.3 1.9 105.8

Total

2002

N4 Enfield Relief Road N9 Grannagh-Waterford Phase 1B N15 Bunduff/Drowes River (Leitrim) N17 Knock/Claremorris N18 Ballycasey/Dromoland (Phase 1) (Newmarket-on-Fegus Bypass) N22 Bealagrellagh/Gortatlea (Kerry) N24 Piltown/Fiddown N25 Camaross 8 Schemes 0

2.6 0.5 2.5 16 5.7 3.5 9.3 7.8 6.2 41.7

2.6 0.5 2.5 16 5.7 3.5 9.3 7.8 47.9

Total

24

National Road Projects Completed (2000-2003), In Construction, At Tender Stage, Through Statutory Approval Process (January 2004 Version)
Carriageway KM
Year Scheme Motorway Dual Single Total Carriageway Carriage way

Completed Schemes (2000-2003) 2003 M1 Cloghran/Lissenhall M1 Lissenhall/Balbriggan Drogheda By Pass M4 Celbridge Interchange M7 Kildare By-Pass N8 Watergrasshill By-Pass N11 Glen of the Downs N18/N19 Hurlers Cross N25 Youghal By Pass 2nd Westlink Bridge Total N71 Skibbereen By Pass 11 Schemes --50 --25 6 10 22 --12 10 5 10 6 --1.5 7.5 ----6 10 22 --12 10 5 10 6 --1.5 82.5

B. In Construction N2 Carrickmacross By Pass (Q1/2005) M4 Kinnegad/Enfield By-Pass (PPP) (Q3/2006) N4 Hughestown-Meara (Q4/2004) N4 McNeads Bridge - Kinnegad (Q2/2005) N5 Strokestown/Longford (Q2/2004) M7 Monasterevin By-Pass (Q3/2005)* N7 Kingswood Interchange N7 Parkway N7 Limerick Southern Ring Road Phase 1 (Q2/2004) N8 Cashel By-Pass (Q1/2005)* N11 Rathnew/Ashford By-Pass (Q1/2005)* N21 Ballycarthy/Tralee (Q2/2005) N22 Ballincollig By-Pass (Q4/2004) N26 Ballina/Bohola Phase 1 (Q1/2005) M50/N11Wyattville (Q1/2004) M50 South Eastern Motorway (Q3/2005) M50 Dublin Port Tunnel (Q2/2005) (Expected completion dates in brackets. An earlier completion date may be achieved on those marked *) Total 17 Schemes 73 50 28 151 11 6 1 12 5 18 ----1 10 7 14 3 --5 8 38 3 9 9 38 3 5 8 18 --1 10 7 14 3 12 5 1 11 6

25

National Road Projects Completed (2000-2003), In Construction, At Tender Stage, Through Statutory Approval Process (January 2004 Version)
Carriageway KM Year Scheme
Motorway Single Dual Carriage Total Carriageway way

C. At Tender Stage (i.e. Tenders sought or to be sought in 2004)
M1 Dundalk Western By-Pass (PPP) M1 Dundalk/Border N2 Ashbourne ByPass/M50 Jct. N2 Monaghan By-Pass Phase 1 N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road N6 Loughrea By-Pass N7 Naas Road Widening N8 Fermoy By Pass (PPP) N15 Ballyshannon/Bundoran By Pass N18 Ennis By-Pass N21 Castleisland/Abbeyfeale N25 Waterford City By-Pass (PPP) N25 Kinsale Road Interchange N30 Enniscorthy/Clonroche N52 Mullingar By Pass N55 Cavan By Pass Total 18 1 5 5 3 39 70 44 14 18 11 7 7 15 5 4 11 10 17 2 11 10 17 2 5 4 15 18 11 21 7 18 1 5 5 3 153

16 Schemes

D. Projects Through Statutory Approval Process at 1 January 2004
N2 Castleblayney By-Pass M3 Clonee to South of Virginia Pass - PPP Scheme N11 Jn. Improvements (Kilpedder/Delgany) N11 Enniskerry Junction N22 Gortaclea/Farranfore N52 Mullingar-Belvedere N56 Letterkenny-Illistrim N77 Kilkenny Ring Road Extension Total 8 Schemes 61 2 61 1 1 4 4.2 5 4.2 32.4 15 15 61 1 1 4 4.2 5 4.2 95.4

26

National Road Projects Completed (2000-2003), In Construction, At Tender Stage, Through Statutory Approval Process (January 2004 Version)
Carriageway KM
No. of Schemes Motorway Single Dual Carriage Total Carriageway way

A. Completed Schemes
2000 2001 2002 2003 Total Completed Schemes B. In Construction 4 Schemes 14 Schemes 8 Schemes 11 Schemes 0 25.7 0 50 75.7 0 17.9 6.2 25 49.1 18.2 62.2 41.7 7.5 129.6 18.2 105.8 47.9 82.5 254.4

37 Schemes

17 Schemes

73

50

28

151

C. At Tender Stage D. Projects Through Statutory Approval Process Total

16 Schemes

39

70

44

153

8 Schemes

61

2

32.4

95.4

78 Schemes

248.7

171.1

234

653.8

27


								
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