Question No. 574 answered with Question No. 460.

Ports Development

Questions (575)

Finian McGrath

Question:

575. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on plans for a port (details supplied) in County Louth; if there are any other proposals to in-fill Dublin Bay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24514/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The publication of the Government's National Port Policy (NPP) in March 2013 has set the framework for the future development and ownership of ports in Ireland. The core objective of NPP is to facilitate a competitive and effective market for maritime transport services. NPP categorises the State commercial ports sector into:

- Ports of National Significance Tier 1 (Dublin, Cork and Shannon Foynes); 

- Ports of National Significance Tier 2 (Rosslare and Waterford); and

- Ports of Regional Significance (Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow). 

This tiered categorisation of the sector is in line with revised European transport policy, the new Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Regulation.  Under this Ireland's Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) fall into the European 'core' network while our Ports of National Significance (Tier 2) are in the European 'comprehensive' network.

NPP provides for the designated Ports of Regional Significance being transferred to more appropriate local authority led governance structures.  This is in line with wider government reforms to transfer functions to local authorities where appropriate. The five Ports of Regional Significance retain important roles as facilitators of their regional economies and as centres of marine related amenity and tourism activities. Government recently approved the draft Scheme of the Harbours (Amendment) Bill 2014 which will provide the primary legislative framework to enable these 5 ports to be transferred by Ministerial Order to local authority led governance structures.  The Ports of National Significance are our key international maritime gateways handling over 90% of all tonnage through our ports and of significance in terms of national competitiveness. All three Tier 1 ports have master plans in place covering the next 30 years. Ireland currently has enough port capacity to meet existing demand and, in keeping with NPP, Ports of National Significance will lead the response to future national port capacity. As such Dublin Port Company, with the required scale and experience, will lead any major future development at Bremore or any other location on the east coast should it ever be required. 

Dublin Port Company published a masterplan in 2012 to guide the development of Dublin Port in the period to 2040. Dublin Port is committed in its master plan to utilise the existing footprint of the port to the greatest extent possible. The company currently has an application with An Bord Pleanála for the redevelopment of Alexander Basin that includes a proposal to infill an existing basin within the Port at Berth 52 and 53. However the previous proposals to infill significant parts of Dublin Bay under the Dublin Gateway plan, that were previously rejected by An Bord Pleanála, do not form part of Dublin Port's plans.

Dublin Port's master plan is endorsed within NPP and is available on their website Dublinport.ie.

Departmental Agencies Board Remuneration

Questions (576)

Dara Calleary

Question:

576. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the circumstances in which a person (details supplied) retained an additional allowance in respect of the chairmanship of a State body, which is paid over and above their salary as CEO of another State body; if the retention of that additional allowance was in breach of Government pay policy; if such payment was required as a result of pre-existing contractual obligations to the person prior to the adoption of the so-called one person, one salary principle; if other public service or Civil Service personnel are in receipt of similar allowances and, if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24526/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Mr Kieran Mulvey was appointed as Chairman of the Irish Sports Council for a 5 year term commencing 16 September 2010 by the then Minister, Mary Hanafin.  Mr Mulvey's warrant provided for the payment of a fee of €8,978 per annum in respect of the position. This warrant was approved by the then Minister, Mary Hanafin.  

On 18 October 2011, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) issued a direction known as the One Person One Salary principle. This direction was that anyone in the Public Sector who was in receipt of a fee for sitting on State boards in an ex-officio capacity or on behalf of their parent Department or organisation, or being nominated to such board positions independently of their public service employment, should cease to be paid such remuneration from 1 November 2011. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed that where there is a contractual obligation to pay fees this can be honoured. However arrangements should be put in place by the relevant body to have the fee terminated at the earliest legally acceptable opportunity, normally on expiry of the appointment.  

Mr Mulvey is not in breach of Government pay policy as he was appointed Chairperson prior to the One Person One Salary principle and payment of his Chairperson's fee is the subject of a contractual obligation.  The payment of board fees is a matter for the individual state agency.  All state agencies under my Department's remit have been advised of the One Person One Salary principle.  Neither I nor my Department have been advised of any other civil or public service personnel being in a similar situation.

Commencement of Legislation

Questions (577)

Seán Fleming

Question:

577. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the legislative provisions in respect of his Department that have been passed by the Oireachtas since 2011 but which have not come into effect to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24157/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Since March 2011, the following legislative provisions in respect of my Department have been passed by the Oireachtas but have not yet come into effect. On 20 March last, I signed an Order commencing sections 9 and 14 to 26 of the Road Traffic Act 2014 with immediate effect.  Under the same order, sections 3 to 5, 7 and 8 are commenced from 1 August 2014. It is my intention to commence the remaining section 6 and sections 10 to 13 as soon as practicable.  My Department is engaging with the bodies which will have responsibility for implementation - An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety - with a view to ensuring that the necessary measures are in place to implement the remaining sections.  I will commence them once this is the case.  

The Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act, 2012, sections 36, 43, 44 (a)-(b) and 45, relating to enforcement, have not yet been commenced. My Department is engaging with the agencies responsible with a view to the implementation of these remaining sections in the near future.  

Statutory Instrument No. 163 of 2014 completed the commencement of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 in April this year with the exception of section 49. Section 49 of the Act, relating to making of a fixed payment following service of a summons in order to pre-empt a court hearing, will be commenced in tandem with similar provisions for road traffic offences.

Road Safety

Questions (578)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

578. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of inspections carried out by the Road Safety Authority on articulated trucks and all other commercial vehicles in the greater Dublin area in 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014; and the number of repeat inspections that have been carried out in the past 24 months. [24186/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The subject matter of this question is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority and I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.

Rail Services

Questions (579)

Seán Kenny

Question:

579. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will contact the CEO of Iarnród Éireann requesting that additional security personnel be deployed on DART services during the summer months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24331/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The safety and security of passengers and staff including arrangements to deal with anti-social behaviour on DART services is a matter for Irish Rail in conjunction, as appropriate, with the Gardaí. I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Driver Licences

Questions (580, 581)

Brian Walsh

Question:

580. Deputy Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to make provision for the transposition into Irish law of Directive 2012/36/EU, which eliminates the requirement for lorries and buses to have manual gear boxes. [24374/14]

View answer

Brian Walsh

Question:

581. Deputy Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the differences in the application of regulations relating to driving tests in Ireland and Northern Ireland (details supplied); and if he is concerned that this may result in competition issues for driving instructors operating in Border counties. [24375/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.

Irish legislation on driver licensing operates within the framework of EU legislation.  The principal EU law on driver licensing is Directive 126 of 2006.  This has been amended a number of times, including by Directive 36 of 2012. Directive 36 of 2012 allows Member States the option that drivers who have passed a test for vehicles of categories C, CE, D, and DE with an automatic transmission to drive vehicles of those categories with a manual transmission, providing that they also have a licence to drive vehicles of categories B, BE, C, CE, C1, C1E, D, D1 or D1E, and that when tested they underwent tests in safe and energy-efficient driving.  Ireland has not adopted this measure.

Public Procurement Regulations

Questions (582)

Dara Calleary

Question:

582. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that CIE has introduced new procurement rules which will restrict small companies from tendering for work with CIE group companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24407/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Chairman of CIÉ in her report to me of 30th April 2014 under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies confirmed that the CIÉ Group Procurement Policy is in place to ensure compliance with the EU Public Procurement and Utilities Directives, as well as Board and Government policies. The Chairman also stated that substantially all procurements over the qualifying thresholds were put to open tender and inserted in the EU Journal where appropriate. While some exceptions were reported these have been substantially reduced in recent years.  

I have also forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Bus Éireann Services

Questions (583)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

583. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a further reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24410/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I understand that Bus Éireann has now responded to the Deputy by letter dated 6th June 2014.

Regional Road Network

Questions (584, 596)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

584. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding funding (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24480/14]

View answer

Martin Ferris

Question:

596. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider the provision of funding for improvement works to local tertiary and cul-de-sac roads in the south and west Kerry electoral area. [24794/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 584 and 596 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on such roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants.  

In January 2014, my Department allocated a total of €332 million for regional and local roads. €12.7million was allocated to Kerry County Council, including  €6.55 million for the Restoration Improvement Grant Programme (RI).  Furthermore, on 20 May, my Department announced a further €20m in stimulus funding for regional and local road improvements, of which Kerry received a further €507,531 for Restoration Improvement works and €440,037 for Community Involvement Schemes.  The selection and prioritisation of works to be undertaken under the additional RI allocation is a matter for the local authority and the authority also has flexibility in relation to re-prioritising its original RI programme as necessary.  

It is, therefore, open to Kerry County Council to undertake works under the additional RI allocation, to re-prioritise its RI programme if it wishes, to fund works from its Discretionary Grant or to progress projects through its own resources.

National Car Test

Questions (585)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

585. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the actions he will undertake to reduce the waiting time for the NCT test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24484/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The subject matter of this question is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority and I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.

Penalty Points System Offences

Questions (586)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

586. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 255 of 2 April 2014, if he will provide a further update on the implementation of recommendation 4.4 of the Garda Inspectorate report entitled The Fixed Charge Processing System: A 21st Century Strategy, regarding the need to commence section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 to put the third payment option in place; and if he will provide an up-to-date timeline for the implementation of this third payment option. [24505/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 deals with the payment of a fixed charge on service of a summons to court.  It is also known as the “3rd payment option” and has not yet been commenced because the administrative structure for dealing with the option is not yet in place.  A sub-group of the Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System) Working Group is in the process of working through the operation of the proposed third payment option and identifying what changes to existing systems and procedures are necessary.  

I understand that a number of administrative and technical matters will need to be addressed by the Gardaí and Courts Services and a suitable IT solution put in place so that this option can be implemented. There are also substantial capital and running costs involved. It is necessary to analyse the costs associated with this in detail and put together a business case to underpin the funding proposal. It is envisaged that this recommendation will be implemented in the next year.  I look forward to this "3rd payment option" coming into effect during 2015 as its non-implementation has meant that I cannot commence a number of other sections in the 2010 Act as the provisions contained are interrelated.

Penalty Points System Offences

Questions (587)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

587. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the work of the criminal justice working group established to implement the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate report entitled The Fixed Charge Processing System: A 21st Century Strategy. [24506/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Criminal Justice Working Group was established in March 2014 on foot of a recommendation in the Garda Inspectorate Report on the Fixed Charge Processing System.  The Group is jointly chaired by my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality and comprises representatives of all relevant Departments and agencies. To date, the Group has held six meetings and I understand that very good progress has been made on implementation of the short-term actions set out in the report.   

Part of the terms of reference for the Group is that progress reports will be made to Government on a six monthly basis.  The first progress report is due in July 2014.

 

Driver Licences

Questions (588)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

588. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the agreement on the mutual recognition of driver licences between Ireland and Ontario that he recently announced was nearing completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24558/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Agreements on mutual recognition of driving licences involve very detailed negotiations.  On the Irish side, these negotiations are undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  In Canada, each individual province is responsible for its own driver licensing rules.  The RSA has therefore been in negotiations with the various provinces in Canada, with a priority given to reaching an agreement with Ontario due to the large numbers of Irish residents there. I understand from the RSA that most issues have been agreed with Ontario. However the issue of licences based on exchange for a third country licence has delayed matters.  My Department is aware of this, and has been in communication with the embassy in Ottawa in order to explore ways of overcoming this.  

Reaching such an agreement is not only a matter of facilitating the exchange of licences by Irish residents in Canada or by Canadian residents in Ireland.  Rather it also involves both sides ensuring that the people licensed to drive in the other jurisdiction are properly qualified.  As a result, when Ireland makes agreements of this kind with other jurisdictions, we require, as a standard component of the agreement, that we will not accept for exchange licences issued by the other jurisdiction if those licences were in turn derived from an exchange with a third country with which we do not have an exchange relationship.  

I am keen to see exchange agreements reached with the Canadian provinces as soon as possible.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (589)

Dara Calleary

Question:

589. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding a sports capital grant in respect of a club (details supplied) in County Mayo. [24588/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I can confirm that an application has been submitted by this club under the 2014 Sports Capital Programme and the Deputy's support is noted. I hope to announce allocations later this year.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Questions (590)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

590. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will list in tabular form all legislation and specific sections therein which refer to powers delegated to the Minister of State with special responsibility for tourism and sport; if he will detail the titles of civil servants who report directly to said Minister of State and what they are responsible for; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24610/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

There has been no statutory delegation of functions to Minister of State Ring and therefore there are no legislative powers for which he has direct responsibility. However, after my appointment in 2011, I allocated Ministerial responsibilities internally within my Department to both Minister of State Ring and Minister of State Kelly. These allocations were not done on a statutory basis.

In the case of Minister of State Ring, I assigned him general responsibility for domestic tourism and sport with a particular focus on:

- Domestic tourism marketing and Home Holiday campaign

- Sports tourism events

- Cultural tourism, festivals and other tourism-generating events

- Sports Capital Programme and Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme

- Developing Sports Policy

- Engagement with Irish Sports Council and Local Sports Partnerships on promoting participation in sport, recreation and physical activity European agenda on sport, including attendance at Council of Sports Ministers.

The Assistant Secretary with responsibility for Tourism and Corporate Affairs and the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for Sport, Human Resources and Economic and Financial Evaluation along with the Principal Officers with responsibility for these sports and tourism functions within the Department report directly to the Minister of State in relation to those functions, as do the staff of his private office.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Questions (591)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

591. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will list in tabular form all legislation and specific sections therein which refer to powers delegated to the Minister of State with special responsibility for public and commuter transport; if he will detail the titles of the civil servants who report directly to said Minister of State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24619/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

There has been no statutory delegation of functions to Minister of State Kelly and therefore there are no legislative powers for which he has direct responsibility. However, after my appointment in 2011, I allocated Ministerial responsibilities internally within my Department to both Minister of State Kelly and Minister of State Ring. These allocations were not done on a statutory basis.

In the case of Minister of State Kelly, I agreed to consult with him on all decisions on CIE, its subsidiaries and the NTA.  I also allocated Minister of State Kelly lead responsibility for:

- Real Time Passenger Information and Integrated Ticketing;

- Rural Transport policy including the pursuit of integration with other local transport services (school, HSE, LITs, voluntary groups and Cross Border Community Transport) in line with Programme for Government commitments;

- Implementation of the recommendations of review of taxi regulation and organisation of the Taxi Forum in line with Programme for Government commitments;

- Prioritisation of the NTA Advisory Council's activities and attendance where necessary; 

- the National Sustainable Transport Office;

- Smarter Travel Initiatives;

- Integration of land use planning strategies with transport strategies;

- Promotion of cycling and walking and workplace travel planning, including the rollout of the city bike schemes as per the Programme for Government;

- Accessibility issues in public transport; and the Railway Safety Commission.

The Assistant Secretaries and heads of function with responsibility for these sustainability, public and commuter transport functions within the Department report directly to the Minister of State in relation to the above responsibilities as do the staff of his private office.