The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has announced extra spending for what he described as vital transport projects.

Minister Paschal Donohoe said that he is allocating expenditure of €319m on regional and local roads nationwide.

Funding will also be provided for the opening of the LUAS Cross City by the end of next year.

Monies will also be spent on the continuing roll-out of improvements and construction of national road projects, including three major Public Private Partnership projects - Gort to Tuam, Gorey to Enniscorthy and the New Ross by-pass.

Metro North and the DART expansion programme also remain "priorities over the next number of years", he added.

He also announced increased funding for the Rural Development Programme by €107m from €494m in 2016 to €601m in 2017. 

The Government is also committed to progress the procurement of the National Broadband plan, which will provide high speed broadband to areas of rural Ireland where commercial investment is not forthcoming.