Coast Guard Services

Questions (282, 284, 285)

Gerry Adams

Question:

282. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if he will provide a breakdown of the number of call outs of each of the coastguard units in County Louth in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; the amount of fatalities that occurred during each of these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35597/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

284. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the average coastguard call out time for emergencies which occur in the sea in the vicinity of Clogherhead from the Greenore coastguard and from the Drogheda coastguard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35599/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

285. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the length of shoreline and nautical miles which are covered by each of the Coastguard units in County Louth. [35600/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282, 284 and 285 together.

There are three Coast Guard Units in Co. Louth at Greenore, Clogherhead and Drogheda. Details of the number of call-outs in 2011, 2012 and 2013 are as follow:

 

Incidents

Greenore

Clogherhead

Drogheda

2011

17

16

 39

2012

28

 23

 37

2013 to date

 8

8

 28

The Coast Guard does not hold details of the number of fatalities per Unit; rather an overall national figure is recorded. This information will take longer to compile and will be forwarded to the Deputy when completed.

All Units of the Irish Coast Guard are expected to able to muster and send out a first response team from their Station Houses with 15 minutes of activation of their pagers. Each Unit is expected to be able to organise a full Unit response within 1 hour. Clogherhead to Greenore by road takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and to Clogherhead from Drogheda is 20 minutes.

Depending on the extent of the incident and the search period involved the Units may be tasked to assist in each other's area, and they may also assist the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency in border areas when requested. There is also RNLI unit in Clogherhead equipped with an All Weather Lifeboat, which is a declared resource for the Coast Guard.

The shoreline length in Co. Louth is 85.22kms (52.95 mls). However, the operational area of the Units are not defined strictly by reference to length of shore line. From a shore search perspective the Drogheda Unit primarily covers the River Boyne and south towards Bettystown, the Clogherhead Unit mainly covers Dundalk Bay and the Greenore Unit mainly covers Carlingford Lough. Drogheda and Greenore Coast Guard inshore boats cover the patrol area meeting at around Dunany Point.

Coast Guard Services

Questions (283)

Gerry Adams

Question:

283. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 752 of 12 February 2013, if he will give consideration to the provision of a D Class RNLI-built boat for the volunteer coastguard unit based in Clogherhead, County Louth; the cost to the State for the provision of such a boat and the appropriate training required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35598/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Primary maritime search and rescue services in the Clogherhead area are provided by the Clogherhead RNLI All Weather Lifeboat.  This service is supplemented for inshore cover by two Coast Guard Boat Units based in Drogheda and at Greenore. In addition, there is a shoreline search unit Volunteer Coast Guard Unit based in Clogherhead . The area is also serviced by the Dublin Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116.

Having regard to resources already available, provision of a D Class boat for the Clogherhead unit is not considered a priority at this time. The Coast Guard continues to keep the situation under review and if it is considered that another inshore boat is required in the future then the necessary discussions would take place with the RNLI in the first instance.

Basic set up costs to establish a D Class RNLI boat, excluding on-going operating, maintenance, training and inspection costs, would be in the region of €65,000 for the boat, with a further €30,000 for personal safety and protection equipment and €35,000 for towing vehicle, i.e. some €130,000 in total. The lead time for crew training would be of the order of 12-18 months estimated at €1,500 per person.

Questions Nos. 284 and 285 answered with Question No. 282.

Coast Guard Services

Questions (286, 287)

Gerry Adams

Question:

286. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the number of radio officer positions which remain vacant across the coastguard services as a result of the recruitment embargo; if he will provide the location of these positions; the steps he has taken to address these issues; and if these vacancies have led to a diminution of service. [35601/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

287. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if he will provide a breakdown of the vacancies that currently exist within the coastguard services across the State as a result of the Government's recruitment embargo. [35602/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 286 and 287 together.

The Irish Coast Guard has continued to operate the 3 rescue co-ordination stations in Dublin, Malin Head and Valentia. While the public services recruitment embargo has presented challenges, new arrangements for the operation of the centres on an interoperable basis, together with investment in new technologies and new operational arrangements will enable the Coast Guard to maintain the required level of services utilising some 40 radio officer posts across the 3 stations.There are a total of 38 radio officer positions filled at this time and arrangements are now in hand to fill the outstanding 2 positions.

Road Safety Issues

Questions (288)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

288. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to improve safety at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35705/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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

Noting this, 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.

Road Safety Issues

Questions (289)

Clare Daly

Question:

289. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will investigate further the claims (details supplied) that a commercial vehicle test centre issued a pass statement for a vehicle subsequently found to have numerous and significant faults, faults which remain and still represent a danger to the public. [35636/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As outlined in my previous response of the 20th June last, under the Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act 2012, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has responsibility for ensuring the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles.

Having referred your previous question to the RSA for direct reply I understand that the RSA wrote to you on the 1st July last informing you of the details of the investigation they carried out into this case, as well as advising you that they were satisfied that there did not appear to be grounds for the Test Centre to refuse the issue of a pass statement for this vehicle.  Based on the RSA’s statutory responsibility in relation to commercial vehicle roadworthiness testing and the outcome of the investigation conducted I do not have any proposals to investigate this matter further.

Cycling Facilities

Questions (290)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

290. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding that will be made available by his Department to provide cycle tracks for towns that depend on tourism as a main source of income; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35679/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department supports of the development of cycle infrastructure for both utility and recreational cycling.  Funding for cycle infrastructure is provided to local authorities by my Department under the Smarter Travel Programme, a five year, €65million programme which was launched in 2012 to support increased cycling, walking and use of public transport. The main programmes under this funding stream are the Active Travel Towns, Smarter Travel Areas and National Cycle Networks. 

Funding under the Active Travel Towns and Smarter Travel Areas programmes is generally targeted at utility cycling, for example though the provision of cycle lanes and secure cycle parking to make cycling more attractive as an everyday mode of travel.  However the popularity of the schemes such as Dublin Bikes with tourists shows that all cycling facilities can appeal to tourists.

Funding is available under the National Cycle Network programme to local authorities for the development of cycle routes which appeal directly to the recreational cyclist, including tourists, such as the Great Western Greenway.

Just over €7 million was allocated in 2012 to fund 16 projects under the NCN.  A wide variety of route types have been allocated funding, including canal tow path routes, routes along disused rail lines and routes which make use of bypassed national roads. Most projects are substantially progressed.

A further NCN funding call will be launched later this year to select projects to be funded from 2014-2016.  All local authorities will be invited to apply for funding under the programme, which may be used to provide recreational cycling facilities for locals and tourists alike.