Transport Policy

Questions (58)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

58. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he will take to reduce emissions from the transport sector and to meet the official Government targets for 2020 set out in Smarter Travel in view of the EPA's projection that transport emissions will increase by 16% by 2020 to a share of 29% of total emissions and the fact that none of the targets set for 2020 by the Government's Smarter Travel - A Sustainable Transport Future Transport Policy for Ireland 2009-2020 are going to be met. [38832/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Smarter Travel policy document set out the building blocks for a low carbon transport sector through the achievement of certain key goals, namely to reduce overall travel demand, maximise the efficiency of the transport network, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, reduce transport emissions and improve accessibility to transport. As the Deputy may be aware, the targets set out in Smarter Travel were predicated on investment of €4.5 billion over the lifetime of the policy, which did not materialise due to the financial crisis which took hold in parallel with the publication of the policy in 2009.

Nevertheless, these goals remain the cornerstone of transport policy and are reflected in a number of policies being developed by my Department including the National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport, which is due to be published in the coming weeks, following our recent public consultation on the draft Framework.

Our current investment programme continues to support a more efficient bus fleet and the commissioning of Luas Cross-City and the Phoenix Park Tunnel will contribute to attracting people out of their cars and onto public transport. We are also seeing year on year growth in the numbers cycling, particularly in Dublin. The mid-term review of the Capital Investment Plan in 2017 will afford an opportunity to seek additional funding for sustainable and public transport measures.

In order for Ireland to effectively and equitably contribute to the EU emissions reduction commitments, an ambitious low-carbon development strategy, the National Mitigation Plan, is currently being developed. In the Plan, specific focus is being placed on the sectorial areas of electricity generation, the built environment, agriculture and transport. While responsibility for meeting Ireland's EU emissions reduction targets is a collective one, transport will be required to play a significant role in the national mitigation effort.

The measures under consideration for transport will be wide-ranging and will focus on modal shift, behavioural change and large scale movement to alternative fuels and technologies.

Tourist Accommodation

Questions (59)

Robert Troy

Question:

59. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there is a chronic shortage of tourist accommodation in Dublin; the action his Department is taking to help create additional hotel capacity; and if his Department has made any proposals to either the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government or any planning authority to help address the shortage. [38843/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Fáilte Ireland monitors the performance of tourist accommodation through regular occupancy surveys.  This analysis indicates that while the country as a whole has sufficient stock of tourist accommodation, there are capacity constraints in areas of high tourist traffic at times of peak demand and additional capacity is required in certain parts of the country, particularly in Dublin city.

In this context, Fáilte Ireland released an assessment of the supply and demand for hotel accommodation in Dublin earlier this year.  This in-depth study, which is currently being updated in order to take account of the most recent data, confirmed the current shortage.  Encouragingly, it also found that there is sufficient room stock, either being developed currently, or being planned, to meet projected demand in the future.  However, due primarily to the time lag involved in putting together major construction projects, the bulk of the new room stock will not come on stream until after 2018.  In order to investigate the matter further, I am currently engaged in a number of meetings with stakeholders in the accommodation area to assess what, if any, blockages there are to the provision of tourist accommodation.  I plan to engage with both Dublin City Council and Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government as part of this process.

Furthermore, in response to consumer preferences, and in order to boost the economic rationale for investment in hotel development, Fáilte Ireland's revised Registration and Renewal of Registration Regulations for Hotels 2016 came into operation on 1 August 2016.  Changes set out in the Regulations should make investment more attractive by allowing hotel operators provide more rooms per square metre and thereby operate at a lower cost base, thereby improving hotel capacity, competitiveness and profitability.  Consumers should also benefit in terms of increased room capacity, competition and range of accommodation.

Public Transport Provision

Questions (60)

Robert Troy

Question:

60. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is satisfied with the licensing of rural bus routes by the NTA; and his views on whether the NTA should be given more powers to refuse permission to a bus company, including Bus Éireann, to amend licensed routes or to revoke a licence to an operator for not fully or partially servicing a route. [38844/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Licensing of public bus passenger services is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009.  Part 2 of this Act deals with licensing of public bus passenger services, including those in rural areas, and requires the NTA to review the operation of Part 2, at least every five years, and to submit a report of the findings of the review.

The first such review has been carried out by the NTA, who have recently submitted a report to my Department. This report of the findings of the review is under consideration in my Department and in due course I expect to determine what, if any, legislative changes are desirable having regard to the contents of the NTA report and any wider policy issues that I may consider relevant.

International Conventions

Questions (61)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

61. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of plans to implement the international ballast water management convention which is expected to come into force in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38847/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments 2004, known as the BWM Convention was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at a Diplomatic Conference held in London on 13th February 2004.

The Convention aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships' ballast water and sediments. It will enter into force on 8 September 2017.

Provision to give effect in Ireland to the Convention was made in the Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006. This provision was subject to the making of a ministerial commencement order.

However, since the Convention was adopted in 2004, a number of changes have been made by the IMO which will affect its implementation. As recently as last October, further changes have been proposed.

While a Statutory Instrument has been drafted by my Department to commence the Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, the changes which have been, and continue to be, made to the implementation of the Convention require further complex re-drafting of the S.I.

However, I am confident that this secondary legislation will be in place in sufficient time to commence the relevant parts of the Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, prior to the coming into force of the Convention next year.

Road Projects

Questions (62)

James Lawless

Question:

62. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding road projects in the greater Naas area in County Kildare, that is the widening of the M7 to three lanes and the new motorway interchange at Osberstown and the Sallins bypass; the status and timeline for these projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38836/16]

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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 national road projects is a matter for the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly known as the NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with local authorities. Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for TII in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.

As regards regional and local roads, responsibility for implementation of improvement projects rests with the relevant local authority which is Kildare County Council in this instance.

As you are aware the transport element of the Capital Plan provides that work will commence on several roads projects which are targeted at removing critical bottlenecks or upgrading inadequate sections of road, including the M7 widening and the Sallins Bypass. Kildare County Council is responsible for the construction of the Osberstown Interchange.

In view of the lead role of TII, in conjunction with Kildare County Council, in relation to these projects I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply.  If a reply is not received within 10 working days please contact my office.

The referred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Public Transport Provision

Questions (63)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

63. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will ensure that any privatisation of the public transport network, required under EU rules, should be contingent on maintaining disability access on these routes or providing disability access in which none already exists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38762/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Under the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 it is a statutory function of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to determine the appropriate mix of directly awarded and competitively tendered bus services.  In line with its statutory authority, and following a public consultation process, the NTA announced in December 2013 that some 10% of routes currently operated by Dublin Bus and by Bus Éireann under their Direct Award contracts with the NTA would be subject to competitive tendering.

It is incorrect to describe competitive tendering as privatisation as nothing is being sold, services are not being deregulated and control remains with the NTA.  The tendering process will allow the State capture potential benefits as regards value for money in terms of the use of taxpayers' money in securing the provision of public transport passenger services.

The tendering processes in respect of these competitions are on-going and the NTA expect to announce the successful operators in 2017.  The NTA will then enter into public transport services contracts with the successful operators and will apply the same level of control of tendered routes as it does to the routes which are at present operated by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann under their contracts with the NTA.

The NTA will continue to determine routes, schedules, vehicle types and standards, fares and the customer service requirements, including accessibility standards in respect of the bus services to be provided by the successful tenderers so that quality standards can be safeguarded.

Tourist Accommodation

Questions (64)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to regulate the proliferation of units listed by a company (details supplied); his views on the impact the company is having on the hotel industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38848/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Under the Tourist Traffic Acts 1939-2011, Fáilte Ireland has specific powers and functions regarding the registration and grading of tourist accommodation.  In accordance with the legislation, certain categories of accommodation, such as hotels and guesthouses, are obliged to register, whereas other accommodation segments, such as B&Bs or small self-catering schemes, are not.  Furthermore, this legislation gives Fáilte Ireland the power, with the consent of the Minister, to make regulations prescribing certain tourist related matters, including eligibility criteria for registration under various accommodation categories.

In addition to the statutory regulations, Fáilte Ireland also offers voluntary quality assurance approval and listing systems for the non-statutory tourist accommodation segment, including Irish home B&Bs, historic houses with accommodation and other atypical tourist accommodation businesses who could seek approval under the Welcome Standard.  With specific regard to the company the Deputy mentions, it is a sales and marketing platform for a variety of accommodation types, including B&Bs and self-catering.  Such accommodation providers, regardless of whether or not they use the sales and marketing platform mentioned, may apply for Fáilte Ireland approval.

In today's market, offering a wide variety of tourist accommodation helps ensure that various consumer preferences can be catered for and enhances supply in areas or at periods of high demand. In this regard, Fáilte Ireland engages with any accommodation providers and intermediary platforms whose offering aligns with the strategic objectives for the development of Irish tourism.

Rail Network Expansion

Questions (65)

Mick Wallace

Question:

65. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider upgrading the Rosslare to Connolly Station rail line in order to make journey times shorter and attract more passengers; if the future of the Rosslare to Gorey rail line will be guaranteed in view of current trends of increasing passenger numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38768/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I presume the Deputy's question is in the context of the Rail Review 2016.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is currently running a public consultation on rail in Ireland.  It was launched over two weeks ago with the publication of the Rail Review 2016 - which the NTA undertook in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann - together with an NTA consultation document "The Role of Rail in Ireland and Funding its Delivery".  Both documents are available on the NTA's website.

The public consultation process will give the public and all interested parties the opportunity to give their views and contribute to the debate on the future of heavy rail in Ireland.  The public consultation process will run until 18th January 2017 and the NTA will then prepare a report based on the findings; thereafter I intend to bring this report to Government. 

No decisions will be made about the heavy rail network, or individual rail lines, before the public consultation process has concluded and been evaluated.

Rail Network Expansion

Questions (66)

Robert Troy

Question:

66. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address concerns that he has not provided funding to progress the metro north project in 2017; the progress of the project; when he expects the current planning phase will be completed; and the amount of the value of the €170 million invested to date on the original metro north project that will be recoverable. [38842/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the implementation and development of public transport infrastructure projects in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), including new Metro North.

The decision to proceed with new Metro North followed consideration of the Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study and the NTA's recommendations on the study, which identified the light-rail link as the optimum long term public transport solution on the Swords/airport/city centre corridor. It is proposed that the service will offer capacity for 9,900 passengers per hour per direction with the potential to expand services in the future if demand requires.

Funding for the project is provided under the Government's current Capital Plan, allowing initially for the planning and design phases of the project, followed by the construction phase which is expected to commence in 2021 with a view to delivering the project by 2026/2027.   In 2017, €3 million is being allocated to progress the planning and design work.  The NTA, in collaboration with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), are currently undertaking an option analysis and selection study of possible metro alignments and station locations.  Arising from this work a final route and station configuration will be established.  It is my understanding that the NTA and TII anticipate that this process will be complete by the end of 2017, after which a public consultation process will be undertaken in early 2018.

Of the previous expenditure incurred on the original Metro North Scheme I would anticipate a large proportion of this investment will be of value; however the exact proportion can only be determined when the current option analysis and selection work has been progressed significantly. My Department will continue to monitor progress, including funding for the project, as the planning and design process evolves.

Road Traffic Legislation

Questions (67)

Robert Troy

Question:

67. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the proposals his Department is putting forward to regulate rickshaws that are used for ferrying passengers for pay; his views on whether there is a need for regulation and licensing; and when he expects new regulations to be in operation. [38845/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

In response to some concerns - primarily of a safety nature - both Dublin City Council (DCC) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) obtained legal advices in relation to their respective powers to regulate pedal-powered rickshaws. Discussions have recently taken place, between DCC and the NTA, who have agreed a proposed approach to regulating pedal-powered rickshaws, which would require the drafting and introduction of primary legislation.

My Department is now engaged with the NTA to clearly frame the policy to guide any detailed legislative drafting, with passenger safety the key focus. I will consider the legislative proposals which emerge when this work has been progressed, following which I should be in a position to outline an indicative timeframe.

EU Regulations

Questions (68)

Clare Daly

Question:

68. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 22 of 2 November 2016, if he will provide an update on the legislation which he reported was being prepared by his Department to give effect to EU Reg 598/2014. [38673/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Officials in my Department continue to have regular liaison and discussions with the Attorney General's Office in relation to the drafting of the Statutory Instrument to implement Regulation 598/14 in relation to airport noise management.  I envisage the drafting will be finalised by the end of the year or early in the new year. I have offered to present my plans for the Statutory Instrument to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport. 

Sports Capital Programme

Questions (69)

Martin Heydon

Question:

69. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of progress on the next round of sports capital grants; when he will be in a position to confirm the details; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38765/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the Government's primary vehicle to support the development of sports facilities and the purchase of sports equipment.  The most recent rounds of the programme were in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Following the conclusion of the 2017 Estimates discussions, a total of €52m has been provided for sports capital projects. This will meet all existing commitments under previous rounds of the Sports Capital Programme and Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.  It will also allow for a new round of the of the Sports Capital Programme to be announced.  In this regard, the new round will be open for applications by January at the latest.  Based on previous rounds of the programme, the assessment process will take a number of months to complete.  I expect that actual grant allocations will begin to be made during the Summer of next year, 2017.  We expect to be announcing more comprehensive details of the new round shortly, hopefully before the Christmas break but in any event, not later than January 2017.

Harbours and Piers

Questions (70)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

70. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has had any meetings or communications with either a company (details supplied) and or the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown county council in the context of the An Bord Pleanála decision with regards to the cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire Harbour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38849/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I can confirm that I have not had any meetings or communications with Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company or Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in relation to the An Bord Pleanála decision to grant planning permission for the development of a new cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire Harbour. This is a matter for the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group which lodged the formal planning application with An Bord Pleanála in respect of the proposed development.

The possible development of the cruise business was identified as one of the opportunities to be pursued in the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Masterplan. A Cruise Stakeholder Group was established comprising of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Dún Laoghaire Business Improvement District. The Harbour Company prepared a business case for the construction and operation of a cruise facility. The study estimated that the cost of a new cruise berth of this size would be of the order of €15m-€18m.

The expansion and development of the cruise business would offer some economic benefits to the Harbour and the surrounding areas. However, it is important to recognise that the cruise industry is not a lucrative source of revenue for harbour companies themselves and it can be difficult for investments in this area to repay their costs through charges or port levies.  Indeed, it is my understanding that any return to the Harbour in this instance would not balance out the level of investment required.

There is no Exchequer funding for port companies and any cruise infrastructure developments must be funded on a commercial basis and/or through collaboration with those beneficiaries of cruise tourism, be they regional interests or the cruise operators themselves.

Transport Policy

Questions (71)

Eamon Ryan

Question:

71. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will revise the greater Dublin area transport strategy adopted by his predecessor which plans for an increase in emissions in the greater Dublin area up to 2035 and the transport elements of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021 adopted by the last Government, which apportions nearly 60% of transport spending to the road network with barely 1% for active travel modes, to bring them into compliance with the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (details supplied). [38833/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy - which was prepared by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and approved by my predecessor earlier this year - commits to promoting transport options that will reduce carbon emissions.

Various policies related to climate change, carbon emissions and associated action plans were still under development at the time of preparation of the Strategy.  The Strategy explicitly recognises that the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 includes provisions for the preparation of a "national mitigation plan" and a "national adaptation framework" which will establish energy related targets and actions to be adopted across the transport sector.  The Strategy commits to incorporating relevant targets and actions arising from that Act and related policies in the area of transport energy within its statutory Integrated Implementation Plans.  Incorporation of such relevant targets and actions may increase the current forecasted impact of the Strategy in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

In line with the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, an ambitious low-carbon development strategy, the National Mitigation Plan, is currently being developed.

Specific focus is being placed on the sectorial areas of electricity generation, the built environment, agriculture and transport.  The responsibility for emissions reduction is, of course, a collective one and Ireland's EU emission reduction targets are national and not sectorial in nature.  When all sectorial inputs have been co-ordinated, the draft mitigation plan will be available for extensive public consultation before being submitted for approval to Government.  Transport will of course have to play a significant role on the national mitigation effort.  The measures under consideration for transport will be wide-ranging and will focus on modal shift, movement to alternative fuels and targeted behavioural change.

Finally it is not accurate to say that only 1% of my Department's capital budget is devoted to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and facilities.  While €100m of my Department's €10bn capital allocation over the seven year period of the Capital Plan is earmarked for Smarter Travel, this does not reflect the totality of funding for cycling and walking measures.

Significant funds are awarded to the NTA on an annual basis for the delivery of cycling and walking infrastructure in the GDA in cooperation with the relevant local authorities.  Under the Sustainable Transport Measures Grants (STMG) Programme, my Department provides funding to the NTA for the seven local authorities in the GDA for the implementation of sustainable transport measures which include cycling and walking infrastructure as well as QBCs, safety, integration and traffic management projects throughout the region.  Funding of €23.2m has been allocated to this Programme in 2016 alone.

The NTA also manages a similar sustainable transport grants programme - the Regional Cities Programme - in the four regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Overall funding for these two programmes in 2016 is €36.7m.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Questions (72)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

72. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he is taking to ensure Ireland complies with European Transport 2050 targets to reduce emissions, including in particular, the target to move 30% of freight transport to the rail networks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38763/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the 2011 EU Commission White Paper 'Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area', which included a target that 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or water-borne transport by 2030.  This would be an overall target for the Union, rather than individual Member States, and of limited relevance in Ireland as few trips here are over 300 km.  In any case, European Commission White Papers are documents containing proposals for action. While not binding, their purpose is to launch a debate on the most viable options.

The Paris COP21 Agreement of December 2015 underpins global initiatives towards emissions reductions. In October 2014, the European Council agreed to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 emission levels.  In order for Ireland to effectively and equitably contribute to the EU emissions reduction commitments, an ambitious low-carbon development strategy, the National Mitigation Plan, is currently being developed.

The Plan will reflect the overall aims of the National Policy Position on climate action and low carbon development published in April 2014, which envisages that its development will be guided by a long-term vision of transition to a low carbon economy.  The responsibility for emissions reduction is, of course, a collective one and Ireland's EU emission reduction targets are national and not sectorial in nature.

Transport will of course have to play a significant role in the national mitigation effort. The measures under consideration for transport are wide-ranging. They focus on encouraging modal shift from private to public transport, movement to alternative fuels and targeted measures aimed at promoting improved technologies such as the rebalancing of Vehicle Registration Tax and Motor Taxation in favour of cleaner-fuelled vehicles.

These measures can apply to freight (including rail freight) as much as to passenger movement. While the proportion of freight in Ireland moved by rail is low at present at a little over 1% of the total domestic freight tonnage, there has been some growth in recent years, with a 6% increase of rail freight tonne/kms between 2012 and 2014.  The Government's Capital Plan included a commitment to carry out a feasibility study into the potential to grow rail freight.

Dublin Bus

Questions (73)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

73. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Dublin Bus is still fulfilling its public service obligation in view of recent changes to bus routes in the Dún Laoghaire area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38853/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a  matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Dublin Airport Authority

Questions (74)

Clare Daly

Question:

74. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 10 of 2 November 2016, if he will provide an update on the inquiries he had committed to undertake. [38672/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I refer to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No 10 of 2 November, in which the Deputy contended that Dublin is the least regulated airport from a group of 17 similarly sized European airports in relation to noise abatement measures.

Deputy Daly subsequently provided a comparative table to my Department.  Given the differing geographical and environmental circumstances of each airport, comparisons based on size may be misleading as there are a number of factors to be taken into account in considering a noise problem or setting noise abatement procedures.  Some airport vicinities benefit from good land-use planning in terms of noise mitigation, others do not. Some have departure/approach routes over hugely populated areas and city areas – the air routes to and from Dublin Airport go some way to avoiding dense residential areas.

In any event my primary objective now is to take the opportunity, provided under Regulation 598 of 2014, to ensure that Ireland has a robust regulatory regime in place to deal with any harmful effects of aircraft noise relevant to the circumstances at Dublin Airport.  Following completion of the transposition of Regulation 598/14, for the first time there will be a designated Competent Authority with appropriate expertise to take responsibility for airport noise.  I believe this will be the best outcome to achieving aircraft noise management.

Job Creation Data

Questions (75)

John Deasy

Question:

75. Deputy John Deasy asked the Taoiseach the number of net jobs that have been created in Waterford city and county over the past ten years; and the number of these that were created during the past three years. [38936/16]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The exact information requested by the Deputy is not available. The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) is the official source of estimates of employment in the State. The most recent figures available are for Q3 2016.

Estimates of employment are produced by NUTS 3 Regions.

The NUTS 3 South-East region includes Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford City, Waterford County and Wexford. Due to methodology and sample size it is not possible to produce reliable Waterford City and County estimates from the QNHS.

Table 1a shows the number of persons aged 15 years and over in employment classified by NUTS 3 South-East region in Q3 of each year from 2006 to 2016.

Table 1b shows the annual change in the numbers of persons aged 15 years and over in employment classified by NUTS 3 South-East region in Q3 of each year from 2007 to 2016.

As Table 1a shows the overall stock of persons employed at given points in time, the annual changes which are calculated using these stock figures depend both on the number of jobs lost and jobs created over the period in question. The QNHS does not record whether a job is newly created.

Table 1a Persons aged 15 years and over in employment (ILO) classified by South-East region, Q3 2006 - Q3 2016

'000

Q3 06

Q3 07

Q3 08

Q3 09

Q3 10

Q3 11

Q3 12

Q3 13

Q3 14

Q3 15

Q3 16

In employment

218.8

225.9

226.9

202.7

191.8

183.8

183.8

193.8

202.6

207.4

215.1

Table 1b Persons aged 15 years and over in employment (ILO) classified by South-East region, Q3 2007 - Q3 2016 - Annual change

'000

Q3 07

Q3 08

Q3 09

Q3 10

Q3 11

Q3 12

Q3 13

Q3 14

Q3 15

Q3 16

In employment

7.0

1.0

-24.2

-10.9

-8.0

0.1

9.9

8.8

4.9

7.7

Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Source: Quarterly National Household Survey, Central Statistics Office.

Reference period: Q3=July-September.

Ministerial Advisers

Questions (76)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

76. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he has made his Government advisors and programme managers available to Opposition Members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann. [38664/16]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I have three Special Advisers, one of whom is my Chief of Staff, who assist me, as appropriate, by providing advice; monitoring, facilitating and securing the achievement of Government objectives; and performing such other functions as may be directed by me. The Public Service Management Act 1997 provides for the appointment of Special Advisors to Government Ministers. I understand that resources for the employment of support staff for opposition parties is provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

While not Special Advisers, I have also appointed a Chief Strategist for the Independent Alliance, who acts as a liaison between the Independent Alliance and their partners in Government and a Political Coordinator for Independent Ministers Naughten and Zappone who act as a liaison between those Independent Ministers and their partners in Government and ensures effective communications between those Independent Ministers and all members of the Oireachtas on policy and political issues.

State Investments

Questions (77)

Jack Chambers

Question:

77. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach if investments, either directly or indirectly through pension or other investment funds, are held in tobacco companies by his Department, any agency within the remit of his Department or any agency or entity in receipt of Departmental funding; if his Department has any guideline on such investment; and if his Department intends to introduce any policies or guidelines. [39038/16]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

My Department or the agency under my remit, the National Economic and Social Development Office, does not have any investments either directly or indirectly, through pension or other investment funds, in tobacco companies.