European & National Funding

How the TII receives funding for its work

Cohesion Policy 2007-2013

Programmes under the Cohesion policy framework 2007-2013 as they relate to Ireland include Territorial Co-operation Programme, Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme.

Cohesion Fund

The Maasthricht Treaty provides that Cohesion Funding should be granted to Member States with a per capita GNP of less than 90% of the Community average to assist the national programme aimed at achieving economic convergence. The countries meeting this criterion when the Fund was created were Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal.

The Cohesion Fund finances projects in the area of transport infrastructure, including national roads which are part of the Trans-European Network identified by the European Union.

TEN-T Funding

The TEN-T is a financial instrument established to facilitate the development of the Trans-European Network for Transport, which includes a number of key national primary roads in Ireland. The fund is intended to complement the development of the network already assisted from other EU funding instruments such as the Cohesion Fund.

Interreg 111A/IVA Funding

The Interreg programme is designed to support cross border cooperation between the regions of the European Union. The Ireland/Northern Ireland Interreg 111A and Interreg IVA programmes covers all of Northern Ireland and the six border counties in Ireland i.e. Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo. The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has responsibility for the management of Interreg IIIA/IVA programmes.

BMW Regional Operational Programme 2007- 2013

Under the 2007-2013 round of EU Structural Funds, the Border, Midland and Western region is no longer eligible as an Objective 1 Region and qualifies for assistance as a Regional Competitiveness and Employment Region (Objective 2).

The Irish Government, as set out in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) has decided that Cohesion policy will be delivered through separate Regional Operational Programmes for the BMW and the Southern and Eastern regions. The BMW Regional Assembly has been designated by the Irish Government as the Managing Authority for the new programme and responsible for its preparation and delivery. The new Operational Programme was prepared taking account of EU priorities, regulations and guidelines, national policies and strategies and regional needs.

The Authority has included two major projects for co-financing under the Programme, the N52 Tullamore Bypass and the M6 Athlone Ballinasloe scheme. www.nwra.ie

NDP 2007-2013

The €184 billion National Development Plan 2007-2013 builds on the significant social and economic achievements of the NDP/CSF (2000-2006). Launched in January 2007, and entitled Transforming Ireland - A Better Quality of Life for All, this new seven year plan is another major milestone in building a prosperous Ireland for all its people, characterised by sustainable economic growth, greater social inclusion and balanced regional development.

The Plan is the largest and most ambitious investment programme ever proposed for Ireland. It builds on, and consolidates, the achievements of the previous Plan, and provides €54.6 billion for investment in economic infrastructure.

Under NDP Transport Programme some €13.3 billion will be invested in the national road network over the period of the Plan. The principal objectives will be removing the remaining infrastructure bottlenecks that constrain economic development and inhibit balanced regional development with the:

  • Completion by 2010 of the major inter urban routes linking Dublin with Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford
  • Upgrade of the M50 by 2010 which will convert to barrier free tolling in 2008
  • Improvement of national road links between the main National Spatial Strategy Gateways
  • Ongoing development of the Atlantic Road Corridor from Letterkenny through Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford
  • Continued upgrading of national road links with Northern Ireland
  • Undertaking of feasibility and planning work on the Dublin Outer Orbital and Eastern Bypass schemes
  • Targeted improvements on a number of key national secondary routes as outlined in the Transport 21 Plan

Investment in national roads will be utilised to implement the objectives of the National Spatial Strategy. Particular focus will therefore be on investment in national road routes which link the Gateways, including a major upgrading of the Atlantic Road Corridor, which links many of the Gateways outside of Dublin. Among the national secondary routes to be prioritized will be routes between the Gateways outside Dublin including upgrading roads linking the Midlands Gateway centres of Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar.

Strategic Context

A major investment in transport infrastructure has taken place under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006 and this progress must now be built on and accelerated. The key strategic objective of the Transport Programme under the NDP, 2007-2013, consistent with policy goals set out in Transport 21 is the creation of a road network that will promote regional, national and international competitiveness as it is critical that enterprises are able to efficiently move goods both internally and to and from external markets.


93% of internal merchandise trade is carried on the road network and this underlines the need for a world class roads system, especially between the major urban centres. It is not, however, sustainable to promote road and car transport as the major long term mode of passenger transport, especially in urban areas. The growth in population and employment, in tandem with the environmental imperative to reduce carbon emissions, requires a major modal switch in passenger transport from car to public transport. This underlines the importance of the investment in transport for environmental sustainability. Whilst the environmental benefits from a major switch to public transport are clear, the major investment in the national road network will also improve traffic flows, reduce congestion and thus result in lower rates of traffic related emissions.

Current economic and demographic trends highlight the imperative for significant investment in the area of transport. A brief review of the principal statistical indicators clearly shows the transport investment challenge which needs to be addressed over the period of the Plan:

  • Over the past decade the economy has grown by approximately 6% per annum and is forecast to continue at about 4-4½ % per annum over the period of the Plan. In the absence of any measures to manage demand, traffic tends to increase broadly in line with economic growth
  • The population has increased by 17% between 1996 and 2006 to 4.2 million and may be over 5 million by 2021
  • Most of the population growth is taking place in urban hinterlands, although other areas have also experienced population increases. The preliminary report of Census 2006 indicated that the fastest growing counties since Census 2002 were Fingal, Meath and Kildare. Indeed, that report states that those same local authority areas account for 29% of the 609,000 growth in population at State level between 1996 and 2006. This places additional pressure on the transport system and on the environment because it results in longer distance commuting. According to the 2002 Census, the average distance traveled to work doubled over the previous decade
  • Employment grew from 1.1 million in 1991 to just under 2 million on 2006
  • Car ownership per thousand population grew by 55% between 1991 and 2004. This trend is expected to continue as our ownership rate is still well below the EU average
  • According to the 2002 Census, 62% of people used the private car to get to work compared with 47% in 1991
  • Freight throughput at our ports increased by 31% between 1998 and 2005. In 2005 Dublin Port alone accounted for 37% of all port tonnage in the country
  • Passenger traffic at the three State Airports increased by 37% in the five years up to end 2005. Projected growth rates to 2010 for Dublin, Cork and Shannon are 34%, 15% and 20% respectively. Dublin Airport accounts for about 80% of this traffic