Thursday, 19 July 2012

Questions (810)

Dessie Ellis


819 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount the State paid to toll operators in subsidies due to low traffic levels in 2012; and the amount the State will pay in subsidies in the year 2013. [36116/12]

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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 in relation to the national roads programme. The implementation of individual national road schemes, including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2007.

In addition, the statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads is vested in the NRA under Part V of the Roads Act (as amended). The contracts for the privately-operated toll schemes are, therefore, commercial agreements between the NRA and the PPP concessionaires concerned. I understand that no Exchequer funds have been expended in respect of such payments for 2012 so far this year. It is not possible to give definitive figures for 2013 at this remove.

Two PPP contracts, the M3 Clonee-Kells PPP and the Limerick Tunnel PPP, incorporate a traffic guarantee mechanism. With regard to the remaining PPP schemes, all traffic risk remains with the operator while the State stands to benefit from the revenue share arrangement where the average daily traffic ("ADT") exceeds scheme specific pre-defined threshold traffic.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for further reply. He should advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within ten working days.