Written Answers. - Taxi Regulations.

Paul McGrath

Question:

166 Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the necessary measures will be put in place to facilitate the legalisation of taxi services in Mullingar and Athlone and to enable taxi-ranks to be established. [22331/98]

The enactment of by-laws in relation to the creation of taxi ranks is a matter reserved to the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, and I have no direct function in the matter. The approval of the Attorney General is also required. However, I have made inquiries of the Garda Commissioner into the progress on the making of appointed stands (street service vehicles by-laws) in the areas referred to by the Deputy.

With regard to Athlone, I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the Commissioner, in accordance with agreed procedures, forwarded a copy of the draft by-laws to the Department of the Environment and Local Government in November, 1997 for their observations, prior to submitting them to the Attorney General for his approval.

I understand that following a number of amendments, recommended by the Department of the Environment and Local Government, the Garda authorities are amending the appointed stands in consultation with Westmeath County Council.

I also understand that the question of making Appointed Stands By-laws for Mullingar is being taken up with Westmeath County Council by the divisional officer at Mullingar.