I propose to take Questions Nos. 677 and 681 together.
The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including vehicle standards, is a matter for the National Transport Authority under the Public Transport Regulation Act, 2009.
In accordance with Action 10 of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011, the vehicle age limit at licence issue or licence renewal for taxi, wheelchair accessible taxis and hackneys will be nine years for all new vehicles entering the fleet and for vehicles that have entered the fleet since 1st January 2009. For existing vehicles in the fleet prior to 1st January 2009, those vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 14 years of age, subject to passing a roadworthiness (NCT) test and an NTA Licence Renewal Assessment at six monthly intervals where the vehicle is nine years old and above. Over a period of time, vehicles over nine years will gradually transition out of the fleet.
While limousines are exempt from the age limits they are subject to the 6-monthly testing and renewal assessment requirements if the vehicle is older than 10 years. The 6-month licence issued upon passing the tests is at half the cost of a one year licence.
This regulatory measure is intended to promote vehicle standards that improve passenger and road safety.