Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (35)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

117 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport the plans he has to introduce public service contracts into the rail service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6731/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I set out my proposals for public transport reform in a statement to the Public Transport Partnership Forum in November 2002. As outlined in that statement it is my intention to establish an independent authority to procure public transport services and regulate the public transport market. I also proposed that all DART and suburban rail services in the greater Dublin area would be provided subject to a multi-annual public service contract negotiated by the independent authority with Iarnród Éireann.

In reply to recent questions, I have stated that it is now my intention that the independent authority will have a national remit and consequently all rail services in the State will be covered by multi-annual public service contracts between the independent authority and Iarnród Éireann. It is my intention to proceed with legislation to give effect to these and other public transport reforms during 2004.