Transport and Infrastructure sector in Ireland


Not withstanding constrained resources, land, sea and air transport and infrastructure, although much improved over recent years, continue to remain a priority capital area for maintenance, improvement and further development by the Irish Government.

Market overview

Transport provision in Ireland is, as a rule, state owned and operated, with each of the rail, port, bus and airport sectors all state controlled.

The national and capital city bus companies, (Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus) together with the national rail company (Iarnród Éireann), are operated under an umbrella state transport company, CIÉ.

Transport Infrastructure is, as a result, largely state owned, in particular, the rail, bus, airport, ports and road sector. However, certain limited bus routes, (light) rail, as well as small parts of the road network, have private involvement in their construction and operation, mostly via public private partnership arrangements.

Key opportunities

As reiterated in its recent Capital Expenditure Review 2012 to 2016, the Irish Government has committed that over one quarter of total current and future capital spending be invested in public, road and other transport projects.

This underscores the country’s drive for a modern, efficient, environmentally sound, energy secure and economically attractive transport sector, as a fundamental element to ensuring Ireland remains, and continues to improve, as a place in which to live and invest.

Selected opportunities include:

  • Road – Aside from some national road projects, most spending on road infrastructure (around 85%) will be directed toward maintenance and upgrade work. In total, €2.9 billion will be invested from 2012 to 2016.

  • Rail – A new ‘Luas’ connector line, as the Dublin tram system is known, will connect and extend the existing city centre Luas lines. It is expected to cost €180 million. This is currently under construction. National and regional network speed and capacity improvements, as well as electrification of certain lines, are also planned. Such investment is estimated to total €330 million.

  • Overall Network – Further investment in the Railway Safety Programme, replacement of public sector obligation buses, together with the upgrade of existing quality bus corridors is planned. Other projects include a number of important cycling and pedestrian projects, as well as the removal of certain bottle necks and pinch points across all transport modes. In total, €1.4 billion will be invested across the network in this way from 2012 to 2016.

Latest export opportunities in the Mass Transport sector

Latest export opportunities in Ireland

Getting into the market

There are few barriers to entry with the same language used, similar legal and regulatory structures, as well as numerous cultural and business links.

That said, British companies wishing to enter and / or develop their business in the Irish market are advised to undertake as much market research and planning as possible. UKTI’s team in Ireland, with its wide local knowledge and sector experience, can assist in this.

Assistance includes, but is not limited to:

  • Provision of market information

  • Validated lists of agents / distributors / other contacts as required;

  • Key market players or potential customers in the Irish market;

  • Establishment of interest of such contacts in working with you;

  • Arranging appointments;

  • Organising seminars or other events for you to meet contacts and promote your company in the Irish market;

  • And other tasks as required.

More about doing business in Ireland


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in Mass Transport sector

Major Events

16th Congress of the European Parking Association

11th to the 13th September 2013

The main annual event for all aspects of the European parking industry, it features a number of high –profile speakers and an accompanying exhibition area of the key Irish and international stakeholders.

The International Air Travel Association (‘IATA’) World Passenger Symposium

29th to the 31st October 2013

More than 700 representatives from IATA member airlines, industry partners, manufacturers, suppliers, international and regional associations, and members of the government are expected to attend the multi-day event.

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Countries: Ireland
Export Action Plan