Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (137)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

137. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason funding applications by Dublin City Council under the sports capital programme were rejected for Brickfield Park; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8608/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The application referred to by the Deputy was made under the 2012 Sports Capital Programme. When the 2012 Programme was advertised my Department issued a detailed guide to filling out the application form which set out the Department’s minimum requirements.  This application did not meet these requirements and was deemed invalid and could not be considered for funding.

The application was invalid for 3 reasons.  Firstly, the applicant did not provide the Department with evidence of title to the property where the project was proposed.  Secondly, an acceptable quotation was not provided. Finally, the application form did not include an original signature as required.

A letter setting out the reasons why the application was deemed invalid has been sent to the applicant.   If the applicant requires further information or clarification they should contact the Sports Capital Programme Unit of my Department in Killarney.

The 2012 Sports Capital Programme is now closed and all the monies under this round have been allocated.

Sports Capital Programme Expenditure

Questions (138)

Pat Breen

Question:

138. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport following on from the Sports Capital programme for 2012, if he intends to introduce a new scheme for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8602/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

At the present time there is no funding available for a new round of the Sports Capital Programme.

Smarter Transport

Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 108

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 116

Question No. 142 answered with Question No. 120

Question No. 143 answered with Question No. 115

Questions (139, 165)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

139. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide information on the status of the Smarter Transport Bill 2011 and any forthcoming legislation from his Department that might include elements of it. [8386/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

165. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to further encourage the use of more sustainable transport solutions by allowing local authorities to create bye-laws to regulate the use of electric vehicles, car clubs and so on. [8497/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 165 together.

I strongly support measures to promote sustainable travel.  In this context I am keen to facilitate both growth in the use of electric cars and the development of car clubs. As the law currently stands, there is no provision for on-street charging points for electric cars, and no provision for car clubs.  Last December the Government approved my proposals for a new Road Traffic Bill, which is now being drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel.  Among other measures, I have included in this Bill a provision to allow for the making of regulations in relation to electric parking bays and car clubs.  This will be in the form of an amendment to the existing powers under which I, as Minister, am enabled to make regulations in relation to parking in public places.

The effect of this amendment will be that regulations can be made regarding the allocation of on-street parking spaces as recharging spaces for electric vehicles and as spaces for car clubs.  Local authorities will then be able to make resolutions providing for such spaces in conformity with the regulations.  It is proposed that the making of resolutions by local authorities pursuant to these regulations will be a reserved function.

Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 108.
Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 116.
Question No. 142 answered with Question No. 120.
Question No. 143 answered with Question No. 115.

Public Service Obligation Services

Question No. 145 answered with Question No. 114

Question No. 146 answered with Question No. 120

Question No. 147 answered with Question No. 110

Questions (144, 167)

Seán Kyne

Question:

144. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport while being mindful of the social good that public transport services represents as well as their importance particularly in more rural areas, if his attention has been drawn to the Competition Authority’s submission on public transport which highlights the significant savings internationally from tendering out public service obligation services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8379/13]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

167. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to deregulate the provision of public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8557/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 167 together.

These questions relate to the structure of the public service (PSO) bus market. In respect of the future provision of bus services the Programme for Government contains a commitment “to establish a Cabinet Sub-Committee on Infrastructure to explore the benefits to the public transport passenger of a more diverse bus service provision”.  In line with this commitment the National Transport Authority (NTA) conducted a non-statutory public consultation in summer 2012.  I am aware of the Competition Authority's submission to the public consultation process and the report on the process is available on the NTA's website. This report highlighted that the international experience of tendering for PSO type services has been favourable with benefits accruing in terms of (i) improved service quality, (ii) a more integrated transport system, and (iii) greater value for taxpayer’s money. The NTA has also briefed the Cabinet Sub-Committee on the process in October 2012.

The public consultation submissions will be considered and taken into account by the NTA in coming forward with proposals.  Where the NTA proposes to enter into a further direct award contract or contracts for bus services it is obliged to carry out a statutory consultation under section 52 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act, 2008.  Furthermore, the NTA may only enter into a direct award contract “ where it is satisfied that the continued adequacy of the public bus passenger services to which the contracts relate can only be guaranteed in the general economic interest by entering into such direct award contracts."  Accordingly the matter will require further examination by the NTA before any decisions are taken.

I have been advised by the NTA that it is commencing a series of analytical tasks in relation to the PSO bus market. This analytical work will be completed in advance of August this year when the NTA anticipates statutory consultation on any new direct award contract would need to commence.

Question No. 145 answered with Question No. 114.
Question No. 146 answered with Question No. 120.
Question No. 147 answered with Question No. 110.

Human Rights Issues

Questions (148)

Martin Ferris

Question:

148. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has seen the recent report from Open Society Justice Initiative which found that 54 countries had helped to facilitate the CIA's secret detention, rendition and interrogation programme in the years after 11 September 2001, including Ireland; if he will be investigating these findings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8581/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

This question refers to a recent report by the Open Society Justice Initiative on alleged extraordinary rendition. I am aware of the report which relates primarily to alleged human rights infringements. Policy responsibility for human rights is a matter for my colleague the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Gilmore. Matter relating to the investigation of alleged breaches of the law are a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Roads Maintenance Funding

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 127

Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 136

Questions (149)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

149. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the 16.5 km road upgrade on the N11 between Rathnew and Arklow, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8495/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 127.
Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 136.

Public Transport Provision

Question No. 153 answered with Question No. 128

Questions (152)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

152. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to increase and improve facilities for taxis particularly in built-up areas like Dublin city centre in view of the current shortage of ranks which is not simply a result of oversupply. [8584/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Under section 84 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 inserted by section 15 of the Road Traffic Act, 2002, the function of allocating road kerb space to taxi ranks is a reserved function of the elected members of the relevant local authorities in consultation with the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

Dublin City Council is responsible for the making of bye-laws in respect of the area comprising of the city of Dublin, including bye-laws regarding the location and number of taxi ranks. With the number of taxis in operation, it is recognised that there is a shortage of taxi rank spaces in many cities and towns. There are frequently competing demands for limited kerb space – deliveries, general parking, bus lay-bys and taxi ranks.  The Taxi Regulation Review Report published last year undertook to investigate, in conjunction with the relevant local authorities, the potential for the introduction of additional “part-time” rank space during night-time hours at key urban locations.

Reflecting the acuteness of the issue in Dublin City, the NTA has commenced work with Dublin City Council to identify potential locations for additional night time rank space within Dublin City. The NTA has prepared proposals for additional night time taxi ranks at various locations in Dublin City.  The proposals comprise the use of certain loading bays as night-time ranks, the use of various bus lanes after the evening peak period has concluded and the use of some pay and display parking areas during evening and night-time hours.

These proposals have been provided by the NTA to Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána for their review and consideration.  Both the City Council and An Garda Síochána have completed their initial reviews and identified that while the majority of the proposals could be supported, a number of proposed locations presented certain difficulties.  Further discussions are on-going to finalise a set of proposals that the City Council would then bring forward for public consultation as part of draft bye-laws.

Question No. 153 answered with Question No. 128.

Waste Management

Question No. 155 answered with Question No. 110

Question No. 156 answered with Question No. 113

Questions (154)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

154. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to reopen Dunsink Lane linking Finglas to Castleknock, Dublin, in view of the resolution of many of the issues which resulted in its closure. [8576/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Responsibility for the regional and local roads in its area is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993 in this case Fingal County Council.  On this basis I have no function in the matter of concern to the Deputy.

Question No. 155 answered with Question No. 110.
Question No. 156 answered with Question No. 113.

Coillte Teoranta Lands

Question No. 158 answered with Question No. 106

Question No. 159 answered with Question No. 111

Questions (157, 161)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

157. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the research his Department has conducted on the impact that the sale of the Coillte forest crop will have on tourism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8606/13]

View answer

Pearse Doherty

Question:

161. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that any plans to sell off the State’s forest assets pose a serious threat to the use of these forests by the people of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8605/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 and 161 together.

I am informed by my colleague the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine that further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA have been actively engaging with Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to examine the financial and other implications of developing the potential of Coillte’s forest assets.

The process is at an advanced stage and, aside from the valuation of the forestry assets, a number of issues have been identified in relation to the possible harvesting rights concession. Public access to recreational land is one of the issues so identified which requires detailed consideration.  The outcome of the overall analysis will be considered by the Government upon its conclusion and no decision has been taken as of yet. I have made my views known on the need to retain and protect mountain bike, cycling and walking trails on Coillte land irrespective of the sale of the harvesting rights.

Question No. 158 answered with Question No. 106.
Question No. 159 answered with Question No. 111.