Written Answers. - Taxi Licences.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

103 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will make a statement on the implications of the recent High Court case regarding his proposals for additional taxi licences; and the plans he has to ensure an adequate supply of taxis, especially in the Greater Dublin area. [24740/00]

Ivor Callely

Question:

149 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government when, further to Parliamentary Question No. 24 of 6 April 2000, the delegation of full taxi regulatory powers will be restored to the Dublin local authorities; his views on whether the Dublin local authorities, with input from the Taoiseach and the Dublin Taxi Forum have been successful in progressing the issue of additional taxi licences which was interrupted with Minister of State Molloy's announcement and proposed action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24233/00]

Ivan Yates

Question:

272 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the pro posals he has to provide extra taxis by Christmas 2000 in metropolitan areas, particularly in the greater Dublin area. [24914/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 103, 149 and 272 together.

The Government remains strongly committed to improving Dublin and other taxi services for the benefit of all concerned. Every effort will be made to provide for an increase in Dublin taxi licence numbers as quickly as possible with due regard to the recent High Court determination.

Greater increases in Dublin taxi licence numbers have already taken place within the term of this Government than under any other Government for over 20 years. While this increase of some 750 in the Dublin taxi fleet is welcome, the Government acknowledges, as evidenced by our initiative for a doubling of Dublin taxi numbers, that a much greater supply of taxis is needed to meet public demand.

While the way forward has been complicated by the present judicial review, the direction and resolve of the Government's proposed reforms is not altered. Detailed examination and analysis of the court decision is now taking place as a matter of urgency in my Department with a view to providing a workable basis for the resumption of new taxi licensing.