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Road Safety

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 July 2012

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Questions (90)

Brendan Smith


94 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he intends to review the safety standards on our motorway network with particular reference to the provision of rest and refreshment areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32149/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding for the national roads programme. The provision of rest and service areas is a statutory matter for the National Roads Authority under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007.

The NRA currently provides two types of facilities — rest areas and service areas. The rest areas are the short sections of roadway provided off a motorway/dual carriageway where drivers can safely pull in to rest, change drivers, make a phone call or carry out other activities which would not be safe to do while driving. While Rest Areas do not provide any facilities other than the opportunity to park safely, they are numerous and dotted all along the motorway/dual carriageway network.

Service Areas provide facilities such as restaurants, toilets, showers, parking and refuelling facilities. There are currently three on line service areas operational at Lusk and Castlebellingham on the M1 and at Enfield on the M4. The NRA has initiated a PPP tender process in relation to a second tranche of on line service areas — these service areas are planned for M6 motorway east of Athlone, the M9 motorway south of Kilcullen, and the operation of a third service area on the proposed M11 motorway north of Gorey.

As the standards applicable to rest and service areas are a matter for the NRA, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.