Question No. 1117 answered with Question No. 1093.

Public Private Partnerships

Questions (1118)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

1118. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the post-project reviews for public private partnerships, PPPs, (details supplied); when the reviews were completed; and if they have not been completed, when completion and publication is expected of same. [13753/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Departmental Data

Questions (1119)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1119. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of complaints submitted to his Department in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of appeals made with respect to the outcome of such complaints; the number referred to the Office of the Ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13789/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is currently being collated by my officials and will be forwarded to the Deputy within 10 working days.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (1120)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1120. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures being prepared in order to meet the challenges raised by the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13793/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As an island nation, Ireland is entirely dependent on maritime and aviation networks for trade, tourism and the movement of people. Any additional barriers - be they physical, regulatory or technical - to the current access arrangements between the UK and Ireland will be severely detrimental to the overall economy and must be managed as efficiently as possible.

As such, Brexit is identified as the Department’s highest strategic risk and the response has been structured accordingly. Preparations for Brexit have taken place based on two potential scenarios, a ‘no-deal’ scenario where the UK exits the European Union without a deal, and a ‘Central Case Scenario’ which assumes a deal and transition period to end-2020. While planning continues under both scenarios and I am hopeful of achieving that an Agreement in line with the central case scenario can be achieved, the current focus necessarily revolves around the immediate dangers posed by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Preparations have centred on contingency measures at EU and national level, both in the transport and tourism sectors, but also across wider EU and Government structures, and with the private sector, on issues that may impact on transport and tourism.

Details on the impacts and contingency measures can be found on the Brexit page of the Department’s website: http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/publications/english/brexit

Brexit Issues

Questions (1121)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

1121. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if drivers here who hold Northern Ireland driver licences will still hold valid driver licences here in the event of a no-deal Brexit; if the holders of Northern Ireland driver licences will be required to obtain an Irish driver licence in order to drive here; if new Irish licences will be accepted in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13801/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Motorists resident in Ireland with a UK (including NI) driving licence are being advised to exchange that licence for an Irish driving licence before the 29 March 2019. The Department has always advised people to exchange their EU driving licence for an Irish driving licence once they become a resident of Ireland.

Legislation exists to allow for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes in the Road Traffic Acts. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK becomes a third country and the potential then exists for arrangements to be made under those Acts. Ireland will be pursuing this option. This may take a little time to complete as it involves a formal agreement and legislation here in Ireland.

An Irish driving licence is an EU driving licence and the UK has indicated it will continue to recognise EU driving licences.

National Lottery Funding Applications

Questions (1122)

John McGuinness

Question:

1122. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the score allocated to a recent application for national lottery funding will be re-examined in view of the fact the club (details supplied) in question is located in a disadvantaged area and this fact was not acknowledged in the process; and if the matter will be expedited. [13817/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country.

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 186 of these, including an application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy, were for projects deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and allocations to 170 projects including a grant offer to the club in question were announced in January.

This was the first time that previously invalid applicants were allowed to provide corrected documents without the need to submit a completely new application. Because these were corrected 2017 applications they were assessed using the same scoring system and assessment criteria as applied for the 2017 round. This scoring system was published on the Department's website in advance of any assessment of 2017 applications commencing.

With regard to the awarding of additional marks for the level of disadvantage, the relevant mark was determined based on the Pobal Deprivation Index for the location provided by the applicant. The scoring was designed to favour applications from more disadvantaged areas and only applications from areas with a Pobal score of -5 or lower attracted additional marks under this criteria for the 2017 SCP. The location of the organisation referred to by the Deputy has a deprivation index value of -2.

It should be noted that the level of disadvantage was only one of the matters considered when assessing projects with other factors such as the likelihood of increasing participation, whether facilities were being shared with other clubs and the amount of SCP funding received in the past also taken into consideration.

National Transport Authority

Questions (1123, 1147)

James Lawless

Question:

1123. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the delay in publication of the National Transport Authority rail census survey conducted in November 2018; when the survey will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13838/19]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

1147. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the findings will be published of the most recent periodic survey of the capacity of the public transport system by the NTA, with particular regard to tram, train and bus operations serving Dublin city. [14132/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1123 and 1147 together.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the collection and publication of statistics relating to public transport and I have forwarded the Deputies questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Road Tolls

Questions (1124)

Robert Troy

Question:

1124. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to intervene or review the cost of using toll roads nationally; and his views on whether the cost of using the toll road on the M4 at Enfield is excessively high when compared to other toll roads nationally. [13846/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and operation of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Therefore, matters relating to the day to day operations regarding national roads, including toll roads and the establishment of a system of tolls, are fully under the remit of TII. More specifically, the statutory power to levy tolls, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into agreements with private investors are vested in TII under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended).

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Road Improvement Schemes

Questions (1125)

James Lawless

Question:

1125. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if works are currently or have recently been ongoing on the R149 road westwards past Confey, County Kildare, to survey traffic volumes, counts, speeds, patterns or related matters by the local authority, NTA or other relevant agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13851/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) together with traffic management measures are the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the relevant legislation. In this case the responsible local authority is Kildare County Council.

Noting that your query also refers to the role of the NTA in this matter and the NTA's responsibility for implementation of works in the Greater Dublin Area, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland Expenditure

Questions (1126)

Imelda Munster

Question:

1126. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the full cost to date for the maintenance of the unopened private service stations on the M11 at Ballyellin, Inch, Gorey, County Wexford; and if a breakdown of the various costs will be provided. [13902/19]

View answer

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. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, maintenance and operation of individual national roads (including service areas) is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Airport Development Projects

Questions (1127)

James Lawless

Question:

1127. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a project to lay a pipeline that would supply fuel to Dublin Airport will be considered (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13903/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I understand that there is a proposal from a private sector entity to construct a fuel pipeline to supply aviation fuel to companies at Dublin Airport. This is a commercial matter for that private entity which would require consents from the landowners, roads authorities and planning authorities. While the possibility of making legislative provision to advance the implementation of this proposal has been raised, I am not convinced of the case for such legislative change at the present time, prior to the above work being completed.

Arts Funding

Questions (1128)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1128. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a tender process will take place regarding an art project for a new road (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13904/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.

The commissioning of artistic features on national road projects under the Per Cent for Art scheme is a matter for the local authority concerned, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). The overall responsibility for the Per Cent for Art scheme rests with the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. Funding for artistic features is taken from the overall budget for the national road scheme – it is not the case that additional funding is provided for a feature.

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Sports Organisations

Questions (1129)

Noel Rock

Question:

1129. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has requested clarification from an organisation (details supplied) regarding the concerns relating to its accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13966/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I have asked Sport Ireland to seek clarification from the Board of the organisation mentioned by the Deputy concerning a loan provided to the organisation by its Chief Executive. I understand that Sport Ireland is in correspondence with the organisation and I await a report from Sport Ireland once that engagement is concluded.

Sports Organisations

Questions (1130)

Noel Rock

Question:

1130. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when Sport Ireland was first informed of a loan from a person (details supplied) to an association; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13967/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As this is a matter for Sport Ireland, I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Sports Organisations

Questions (1131)

Noel Rock

Question:

1131. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has received the financial statement for 2017 from an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13968/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

There is no requirement for the organisation mentioned by the Deputy to submit its financial statements to my Department.

In line with the terms and conditions of grant funding provided to it by Sport Ireland, the organisation is required to submit a copy of its financial statements to Sport Ireland. I understand from Sport Ireland that a copy of the financial statement for 2017 was submitted to it in 2018 as required.

Brexit Issues

Questions (1132)

Robert Troy

Question:

1132. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of times he has met with representatives from the cruise industry regarding the potential impacts of Brexit on that industry since June 2016; and the dates of the meetings. [14021/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I have not met with representatives of the cruise industry directly.

However, I did meet with Dublin Port officials on 20th March 2019 where the potential impacts of Brexit was one of the issues discussed.

Ports Facilities

Questions (1133)

Robert Troy

Question:

1133. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the process through which Rosslare Europort could be brought into the control and ownership of the State; if payments to the British Government or another party would be necessitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14022/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Rosslare Europort is unique among the State-owned ports, as it is not a commercial company operating under the Harbours Acts but is instead operated on a commercial basis as a division of Iarnród Éireann. Technically, the port forms part of the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company, which is a 19th-century joint-venture company, consisting today of Iarnród Éireann on the Irish side and Stena line on the Welsh (Fishguard) side.

The status of the port, and whether its current status potentially inhibits its development, was considered in a strategic review, commissioned by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants. Their report concluded that the creation of an independent port authority would be extremely difficult, given the port's complex legal structure. Instead, it was recommended that the port remain in public ownership and that the possibilities for increased private sector involvement be investigated.

In order to assist Iarnród Éireann's overall consideration of how best to move forward, the company then engaged consultants to assess market interest. The assessment was largely positive in terms of the potential for increased private sector investment in the port; however, it did identify possible implementation issues due to the complicated legislative basis of the port.

Following that assessment, the Department sought and received detailed advice from the Office of the Attorney General on the matter. That advice identified a number of legal issues with any such proposal and those issues remain under consideration by the Department.

I am, however, satisfied that Rosslare Europort as a division of Iarnród Éireann is effectively managing operations at the port and looking at the potential of the port to develop further and take advantage of any new opportunities. The port is targeting growth and new business opportunities and recently received the approval of the Iarnród Éireann Board for a strategic plan to grow the port’s business.

Iarnród Éireann and Rosslare Europort briefed my Department late last year on the company's plans for strategic development of the port over the coming years. The strategic plan includes investment plans for up to €25 million in customer facilities and port infrastructure, port assets and new technology. The port is also engaging with a number of potential new shipping customers to supplement existing operators and offer greater choice to freight and passenger business.

Sports Capital Programme

Questions (1134)

Clare Daly

Question:

1134. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address a series of matters regarding a grant-in-aid to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14043/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

In relation to the college referred to by the Deputy, my Department was previously made aware of local concerns relating to the continued sporting use of facilities which had received funding under the Sports Capital Programme. The facilities also received RAPID funding from the then Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. On foot of the concerns raised, my Department engaged in a series of correspondence with the college to seek clarification in this regard and assurances that the grant aided facilities would remain in sporting use. My Department also inspected the site in June 2017 to ensure that the terms and conditions of the original grant were being adhered to. It should be noted that the concerns raised related to one particular room within the overall sports complex which was previously being used as a gymnasium.

Following this inspection, the college was asked to provide a report on the usage of the overall facility and to provide evidence of how it was proposed to continue the sporting usage of the room which was the subject of the original complaint. The college provided this material in October 2017 including details of the external users of the facility, the charges being imposed and also included evidence of efforts to secure additional users for the facilities in the future.

Accordingly, my Department was satisfied that the college was then compliant with the terms and conditions of the Sports Capital Programme and the deed of covenant and charge which guarantees that the facilities will stay in sporting use for a period of 15 years from the date of the payment of the last instalment of the grant. The terms and conditions of the Sports Capital Programme do not allow the Department to dictate particular usage arrangements for a facility so long as the overall requirement to maintain the facility for sporting purposes is maintained.

My Department recently contacted the College seeking a further update on the current use of the grant aided facilities. The College's response will be fully considered in the context of the terms and conditions of the original grant.

Public Service Vehicles

Questions Nos. 1136 and 1137 answered with Question No. 1059.

Questions (1135)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

1135. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has responded to queries from an association (details supplied) regarding fraudulent small public service vehicle, SPSV, licence applications; if fraudulently obtained licences also received wheelchair accessible vehicle grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14048/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

In regards to recent correspondence received from a named association, I can confirm that responses were issued by my Department.

As you are aware, the regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. The NTA also has the role of administering the wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) grant scheme for the SPSV sector.

In relation to your query relating to WAV grants, I have forwarded your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Questions Nos. 1136 and 1137 answered with Question No. 1059.