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2022 Budget to help transform how we travel

  • €3.4 billion total budget allocation
  • €1.8 billion for greener, cleaner transport


Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. have welcomed the overall allocation of €3.4 billion next year for the Department of Transport. This year’s budget supports our goal of achieving cleaner, greener transport by 2030.


Investment in 2022 will support a wide range of sustainable mobility projects, including:


  • The introduction of a new Young Adult Travel Card, offering a 50% discount on fares across the transport network for those age 19 to 23;
  • 165 new fully electric buses for our cities and towns, 24 hybrid-electric buses for urban PSO bus fleets and 81 more buses for regional and local services;
  • BusConnects, DART+ and MetroLink: all three projects will enter the planning system;
  • A fully-electric town bus service operating in Athlone by the end of the year
  • Increased funding for the transition to electric vehicles including over €100m for EV grants and charging infrastructure; and
  • Maintaining our Government’s commitment to invest €360 million per year to support walking and cycling projects nationwide including €60m for greenways.


2022 spending will also include €36 million in supports for the aviation sector as part of the Regional Airports Programme and compensation for COVID-19 related damages, as well as a supplementary package in the 2021 budget of €90 million.


Speaking at today’s press conference, Minister Ryan said:

“Transport has a critical role to play in our daily lives, and how we travel has a direct bearing on our carbon emissions. By reorienting our investment towards walking and cycling, sustainable public transport in both urban and rural areas, and electric vehicles, we can make it easier for people to make changes that benefit us all.  I’m particularly pleased that we’ll see major progress on greenways all over Ireland, that fully electric buses will hit the road in numbers, and that our big public transport schemes will go forward to planning.  This is the start of an ambitious project to transform how we travel.”


With particular reference to the Young Adult Card, Minister Ryan said “This exciting new initiative follows engagement with my colleague the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, and with representatives from Comhairle na nOg, who first proposed the introduction of a youth card earlier this year.  By giving all young people up to age 23 discounted public transport we’re hoping to build the habit of a lifetime”.



Minister Naughton commented:

“The total aviation funding package of €126 million being announced today demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting our aviation sector as it emerges as one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic.   Throughout 2022, we remain determined that aviation can build back stronger from the impacts of COVID-19 - 


  • €36 million is being allocated under our Regional Airports Programme in 2022 to support the airports of Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West (Knock), and for the first time, Shannon Airport and Cork Airport. This new funding will target safety, security, and sustainability related projects for the airports in our regions.
  • €90 million is being made available to the sector which will enable our State airports to target funding, by way of route incentives and rebates, precisely where it will have the best impact throughout the remainder of the year and 2022.


“The money we have secured as part of Budget 2022 will allow us to sustainably connect more people with more places, strengthen communities across the country, and will contribute significantly to our nation's strategic connectivity.  Capital funding of €561 million will allow the Department to provide significant grant support for the protection and renewal of regional and local roads as well as supporting a number of significant construction starts, which will be to the benefit of all road users from a safety perspective.”


Continuing, Minister Naughton said “2022 will see Government continue to invest almost €1 million per day in walking and cycling projects nationally, with a particular emphasis on safe infrastructure outside and on the lead up to schools allowing students to safely walk, cycle or scoot to school as part of their daily commute.”




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Notes to Editors


Sustainable Mobility

€1.8 billion for sustainable mobility, including active travel and greenways, public transport and carbon reduction programmes


Young Adult Travel Card

Budget 2022 will provide for a new ‘Youth Travel Card’, offering a 50% discount on fares across the transport network next year. The ‘Youth Travel Card’ will allow any person who is aged between 19 and 23 years old to avail of an entitlement for discounted travel costs and will increase the level of discount over and above the current student discount to an average discount of 50% across all services, including city, intercity and rural services.


Walking and Cycling, including Greenways

€360 million investment in nationwide walking and cycling infrastructure, including funding for greenways (€60 million) and the roll out of the Safe Routes to School Programme.


Key Cycling, Walking and Greenway infrastructure projects in 2022:

  • Martin Roundabout - Conversion from Roundabout to Signalised Active Travel Junction;
  • New Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway City Centre;
  • Mc Curtain Street;
  • M40 New Cycle/Pedestrian Overbridge (Tramore Valley Park);
  • Royal Canal Greenway;
  • Royal Canal Phase 3 and Phase 4 (last two phases);
  • Construction continuing on 8 Greenways around the country, including Midleton to Youghal, Waterford to New Ross, Tralee to Fenit and Listowel to Limerick Boundary, sections of the Grand Canal in Offaly and Kildare, the Clew Bay Greenway in Mayo and the Connemara Greenway from Clifden to Recess;
  • Construction of the Greenway Bridge in Athlone, a key part of the Coast to Coast Galway to Dublin Greenway;
  • Continued pre-construction design and planning work on 26 further Greenways around the country and additional works on the Limerick Greenway;


Key public transport projects in 2022 include:

  • Upgrade of the Dublin-Cork rail line to improve journey speed and service reliability
  • Improvements to the Limerick Junction-Waterford rail line
  • 81 buses for rural/regional PSO bus fleets
  • 165 fully-electric buses for the urban PSO bus fleets
  • 24 hybrid-electric buses for urban PSO bus fleets
  • Contract signed for electric & battery electric rail fleet
  • 41 additional rail carriages scheduled for delivery
  • Planning applications lodged for BusConnects Dublin, DART+  West and MetroLink
  • Appraisal, planning and design continues for BusConnects Cork, Luas Finglas and Light Rail Cork
  • Construction continues on the National Train Control Centre
  • Contractors appointed for Cork Commuter Rail Programme Phase 1
  • a Retro-fit Programme which ensures older public transport infrastructure is more accessible for people with disabilities


An allocation of €539m will be made to Public Service Obligation (PSO) and Local Link services provided by State operators and under contract by the National Transport Authority.  This includes €206m of Covid Emergency funding in 2022 to counter the continuing impacts of the pandemic on fare revenue across transport operators.


This includes investments in;

  • a further 3 phases of the Network Redesign part of BusConnects Dublin
  • the first phase of the delivery of enhanced rural transport services under the Connecting Ireland programme
  • new town services commencing with Carlow


Carbon Reduction Programmes

Over €100m is being provided towards making the switch to electric vehicles.  Specifically grant support is being provided for the:

  • continuation of the purchase grant scheme for electric passenger cars
  • continuation and expansion of the home charging infrastructure scheme to include multi-unit dwellings
  • continuation of a grant scheme for taxi and hackney drivers
  • continuation of an alternatively fuelled heavy goods vehicles purchase grant scheme
  • continuation of the Low Emission Vehicle Toll Incentive Scheme
  • introduction of a revised scheme for public point charging
  • introduction of a new scheme for electric vans
  • Introduction of a new scheme for destination charging
  • Funding research to support the further decarbonisation of transport in Ireland



Approximately €1.37 billion is being provided for national, regional and local roads.


National Roads Programme

Approximately €734 million of Exchequer capital funds will be allocated to national roads in 2022, including for the protection and renewal of existing roads, PPPs and the development of new projects.


The following new national road projects will be under construction next year, thereby progressing key objectives under revised new NDP:

  • N5 Westport to Turlough: 20.3km of expressway expected to be complete in Q4 2022.
  • M50 Traffic Control and Management, including Variable Speed Limits, expected to be complete by early 2023.
  • N56 Dungloe to Glenties: a 27km road realignment and single carriageway construction over 5 phases (3 are already complete), with a dedicated cycle track alongside, expected to be complete in 2023.
  • N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom bypass project: a 22km expressway expected to be complete in early 2024.
  • M8/N40 Dunkettle Interchange upgrade to a free flow junction at the N8/N25/N40 expected to be complete in 2024.
  • N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge road project: a 33km single carriageway expected to be complete in 2024.
  • N59 Moycullen Bypass: 4.3km expected to be complete by 2024
  • N69 Listowel Bypass: 5.9km expected to be complete by 2024.


Regional and Local Roads Programme

€561 million is being provided in capital investment for regional and local roads.  Funding provided in Budget 2022 will allow the Department to continue to provide significant grant support for the regional and local road network protection and renewal programme.


Targeted improvement schemes will also be funded, including the Athy Southern Distributor Road scheme, the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Distributor road, the Shannon Crossing/Killaloe Bypass/R494 Upgrade scheme, the Tralee Northern Relief Road along with other projects at earlier planning / design stages.



A new €126m package is being provided in direct support to Aviation for the remainder of this year and 2022.


Funding of €36 million will be provided in 2022 to support regional airports through the Regional Airports Programme (RAP). It will deliver current and capital funding to support regional airports of Shannon, Cork, Ireland West, Donegal, and Kerry.


The RAP provides targeted funding through a number of capital and operational grant schemes for safety and security related projects and activities, sustainable projects, as well as providing the necessary funds to support Public Service Obligation air services between Donegal and Dublin. 


Shannon and Cork airports are being admitted into the Regional Airports Programme, where they will receive support for safety and security related current expenditure.  Support will also be provided for capital expenditure targeted at projects which support sustainability objectives, enabling these airports to identify and implement climate related efficiencies and build resilience against the likely impacts of climate change.


Separately, Government approved additional funding of €90m in 2021 for our State airports, subject to State Aid approval. The purpose of this additional funding is to stimulate the restoration of air routes and competitiveness. Such a fund will provide flexibility to the airport authorities to provide route incentives and rebates on specific types of airport charges.  


Maritime Transport and Safety

€108 million will be allocated in 2022 to maritime transport and safety as well as ongoing support to the Irish Coast Guard.  In respect of the latter, funding will provide enhanced building and IT programmes as well as investment in the SAR service including training and equipment.  In terms of maritime safety, it will provide support for Irish Lights, navigation aids and safety equipment.