Budget 2009 – Transport Spending

Figures released by the irish Government relating to transport spending in 2009.

TRANSPORT

Gross Expenditure for the Department of Transport in 2009 is €3,613 million, a decrease of €160 million (€6 million Current and €154 million Capital) relative to the 2008 forecast outturn. The key policy measures and adjustments associated with these resources in 2009 and later years are as follows:-

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

· capital expenditure of over €900 million is allocated to fund public transport infrastructure. This is about €70 million less than the amount made available in 2008, but it is sufficient for progress on a wide range of projects, including:

Luas extensions to Cherrywood, Docklands and Citywest

improved bus priority measures in Dublin and the regional cities

the completion of the Midleton rail line and phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor from Ennis to Athenry

the construction of the Kildare Route project and phase 1 of the Navan rail line

the continuation of Iarnród Éireann’s railway safety programme

the start of the Dublin city centre rail re-signalling programme

continued roll-out of new railcars on the intercity routes

planning and enabling works on Metro North, and

planning works for the DART Interconnector;

· in addition, €338 million of current expenditure is provided for the operation of public transport services throughout the country. This is €6 million more than the 2008 provision.

ROADS

· capital expenditure of over €1.4 billion is being made available to the National Roads Authority. This allocation is €157 million less than in 2008, and while progress on some projects will necessarily have to slow down, key national routes will be delivered as planned, specifically:

the major inter urban roads connecting Dublin with the regional cities of Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Cork by end-2010;

the M50 upgrade;

there will also be progress on other key national routes, including the Atlantic Road

Corridor;

· over €600 million is being made available to local authorities throughout the country for the upgrade and maintenance of regional and local roads;

· capital expenditure of €10 million is provided for additional carbon reduction measures to target climate change initiatives in the transport sector;

· as a start to the Government’s commitment to part-fund a dual carriageway road within Northern Ireland transforming access to the North West of the island, a capital provision of €13.5 million is being made available in 2009 towards the planning works for this project;

OTHER

· provision for Regional Airports is reduced by €13 million to €11 million in 2009. Annual provision for capital investment in the regional airports is decided according to estimates of likely drawdowns in the year for specific projects. This can vary from year to year;

· overall, the reduced capital allocation for transport will require some rescheduling of projects. Such decisions will be taken by the Department of Transport and its agencies on a project-by-project basis, taking account of their assessment of priorities within the revised expenditure envelope;

· the impact of the reduced current allocation is being spread across a number of areas and principally involves reduced expenditure on road maintenance.

World Debut for Wright’s Hybrid Streetcar

WORLDWIDE DEBUT FOR NORTHERN IRISH BUILT STREETCAR RTV

Wright Streetcar RTV (Wrightbus)

Wright Streetcar RTV (Wrightbus)

 

 

 

 

StreetCar RTV – new generation of Rapid Transit Vehicle from the Wright Group, makes its worldwide debut at the APTA Expo 2008 in San Diego California this week (5th – 8th October), in association with technology partner the ISE Corporation.

Exhibited in the stunning new livery of the “ACE Downtown Connector”, the 62ft (18.7m) long, 30 tonne GVW articulated Rapid Transit Vehicle (RTV) is the first of 50 such vehicles that have been commissioned by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada.

Wright Group’s StreetCar RTV is at the heart of a whole new initiative to attract existing commuters away from their cars, as well as provide fast and efficient transit for the high numbers of tourists who visit Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The ACE Downtown Connector rapid transit project is the first phase in an overall project to eventually provide a high speed transit connection from downtown Las Vegas, through the resort corridor.

A centrepiece worthy of any integrated Rapid Transit system, StreetCar RTV successfully transfers the key attributes and technologies of a light rail service onto the road. It has a distinctive light rail-like appearance, with a slanted front windscreen and large, seamless windows giving it a sleek, modern design. With three wide doorways facilitating easy access for all users, StreetCar RTV offers low floor boarding and level floors throughout for efficient passenger flow.

Powered by a state-of-the-art Hybrid Electric Drive System developed in conjunction with the ISE Corporation and Siemens, StreetCar RTV is the first Series Hybrid-configured articulated vehicle in the US, providing a highly fuel-efficient mode of transport with exceptionally low environmental impact.

StreetCar RTV is a development of the StreetCar concept successfully launched in the UK in 2005, with a specification customised to RTC of Southern Nevada’s exacting requirements. As such, it is unlike any other bus in operation. With a modular chassis, the Siemens (ISE) Electric Hybrid Drive System is based on a Cummins ISL engine and features water-cooled Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and also incorporates for the very first time in transit buses, highly efficient permanent magnetic technology which creates a highly efficient motor.

Incorporating a Carrier Avantac all-electric, modular air conditioning system, Streetcar RTV has an innovative vehicle packaging and layout, featuring three wide doors which allow unimpeded boarding and alighting, a sealed driver’s compartment, integrated telematics and Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI), WiFi as well as ambient lighting. Further innovations include two wheelchair positions, one of which is rearward facing in full compliance of legislation and three interior bike racks – improving the both the exterior aesthetics and aerodynamics of the vehicle.

 

Room for three bikes (Wightbus)

Room for three bikes (Wightbus)

 

The safety and security of the StreetCar RTV’s 104 passengers at maximum capacity (44 seated) is enhanced by a Panic button, with live video feed from CCTV cameras capable of being relayed both back to its operational base as well as the Local Police Department.

Speaking at the launch of the StreetCar RTV at San Diego, the Wright Group Managing Director Mark Nodder said, “Each element of the StreetCar RTV has been designed and engineered to set new standards in public transit. Taking a radically different and totally innovative approach to every aspect of the mode, it has challenged every aspect of the traditional concept of the bus.”

He added, “From its hybrid propulsion system, dramatic exterior styling, total rethinking of the driver’s workspace and the redefinition of the passenger experience, StreetCar has redefined the category from BRT – Bus Rapid Transit to RTV – Rapid Transit Vehicle”.

The first of a $55m contract for 50 vehicles for RTC of Southern Nevada’s ACE Downtown Connector system, StreetCar RTV is built at the Wright Group’s Ballymena production facility in Northern Ireland. As with all Wright Group products, StreetCar RTV has undergone an extensive programme of testing and proving to ensure that it can withstand the rigorous daily demands in even the most extreme operating environment or conditions. It is fully supported by the Wright Group’s Customcare organisation, which provides parts and technical support wherever a vehicle may be in operation.

Chief Executive of the ISE Corporation Rick Sander commented, “We are proud to play an integral part in this ground breaking project, which has seen many US corporations such as ourselves develop and apply innovative technologies to provide a whole new concept in passenger travel. As leaders in our field, we firmly believe that hybrid fuel system technology has huge potential in many market sectors in this country and beyond, now that it is a proven economic proposition.”

Ireland falls behind on LEZs

Despite a part-Green government, Ireland is falling behind Europe on the introduction of low emission zones.

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Above: One of Bus Atha Cliath’s new EV type buses, compliant with Euro-4 emission standards

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The recent introduction of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in London has prompted an article by my colleagues in Coach & Bus Week (CBW) looking at the growing number of LEZs throughout Europe.

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What is very notable, apart from the high number of LEZs in some countries, is the complete absence of The Republic of Ireland from the list.

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Given the presence of The Green Party in government, and the acknolwedged need for ireland to cut its soaring transport emissions, the introduction of LEZs in major city centres would be a smart move.

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Both Dublin Bus (Bus Atha Cliath) and Bus Eireann have the majority of their fleets already to at least Euro II emission standards, and the high level of investment in new stock by private operators means that they are for the most part similarly compliant. The LEZs could act as a form of congestion measure, removing the older and more damaging trucks and small commercial vehicles (and maybe cars?) from our cities.

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In addition to the new LEZ in London, CBW lists the following cities with LEZs:

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Denmark:

Aalborg

Århus

København (Copenhagen)

Frederiksberg

Odense

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Germany:

Augsburg

Berlin

Freiburg

Hannover

Heidelberg

Ilsfeld

Karlsruhe

Köln (Cologne)

Leonberg

Ludwigsburg

Mannheim

Muhlacker

Munchen (Munich)

Neu-Ulm

Pforzheim

Pleidelsheim

Regensburg

Reutlingen

Schwäbisch-Gmund

Stuttgart

Tubingen

Ulm

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Italy:

Piemonte

Emilia-Romagna

Veneto

Lombardia

Bolozano/S.Tyrol/Bozen

A22 Motorway

Ne therlands:

Amsterdam

Breda

Delft

Den Bosch (s’-Hertogenbosch)

Den Haag

Eindhoven

Helmond

Leiden

Leidschendam-Voorburg

Maastricht

Nijmegen

Rotterdam

s’-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch)

Schiedam

Sittard-Geleen

Tilburg

Utrecht

Zaanstad

Norway:

Bergen

Oslo

Trondheim

Sweden:

Göteborg (Gothenberg)

Lund

Malmö

Stockholm

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What kind of vehicle can drive into them?

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All schemes except those in Italy (will) operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All schemes cover diesel heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and most cover buses and coaches. The London scheme will cover vans over 1.205 tonnes (unladen) and minibuses with over 8 seats from 2010. The German schemes cover all vehicles except motorcycles, the Italian schemes include all vehicles – including motorcycles.

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For more details, see the CBW website.