Motor Insurance

Questions (526)

Robert Troy

Question:

526. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a car insurance policy obtained online from a company based in another EU state is sufficient to provide cover for a resident here; and the legalities of obtaining car insurance from abroad. [16197/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

All companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland must be members of the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

A motor insurance provider from abroad may operate in Ireland if the provider is a member of the MIBI. If a company underwriting motor insurance in Ireland is not a member of the MIBI, then no valid insurance is in place and the policy holder would be deemed to be driving without insurance.

Taxi Licences

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

Questions (527)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

527. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 231 of 7 February 2019 (details supplied); if he will communicate with the NTA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16203/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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.

Under that Act, the NTA has the power to make regulations and has set that in the case of transfer of vehicle licence upon death of licence holder, the person nominated to receive the licence must provide evidence of insurance in order for their application to be approved.

In relation to the terms and conditions set by insurance companies, these are commercial issues. This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require insurance companies to obtain prior approval of the terms and conditions of insurance products.

I have forwarded your question to the NTA for consideration. Please advise my Private Office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

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

Regional Airports

Questions (528)

James Browne

Question:

528. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding funding runway extension works at Waterford Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16222/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, I am currently in the process of considering a funding proposal related to the expansion of the runway at Waterford Airport.  The estimated cost of the expansion project is €12m. Funding of €5m is being sought from Exchequer funds, with a further €7m to be provided by private investors and local authorities.

Studies on the proposal have been completed by Ernst & Young (EY) and PWC on behalf of my Department and Waterford Airport respectively.

In recent weeks, I sought more information from the airport on certain aspects of the expansion proposal and I also sought the views of my colleague Ministers with policy responsibility relating to regional and enterprise development.  All views and information have now been received by my Department. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, the proposal must be assessed against national aviation and transport policy objectives as well as broader Government policies such as Project Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework.

It is my intention, having fully considered the latest information from the Airport as well as the views of my Ministerial colleagues, to revert to Government in the coming weeks with a view to decision on the matter.

Greenways Development

Questions (529)

Alan Kelly

Question:

529. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Glenbeigh to Renard South Kerry greenway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16273/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Glenbeigh to Renard South Kerry Greenway was originally awarded funding in 2014.  Construction of the Greenway has yet to commence.  In August 2018, Kerry County Council made an application to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission and we await their decision. I understand that further information in respect of the application was to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by Kerry County Council by 8th April. As this is a live planning matter I do not think it appropriate to comment any further on the project.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (530)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

530. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of a sports capital grant application by a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16278/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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 applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

Work is now underway in assessing the new 2018 applications and I can confirm that an application has been submitted by the organisation referred to by the Deputy. 

For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round will be given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it may be the third quarter of this year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Road Network

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

Questions (531, 532, 533)

Declan Breathnach

Question:

531. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress made with Transport Infrastructure Ireland in respect of timescales for the delivery of the bypass at Ardee, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16290/19]

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Declan Breathnach

Question:

532. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress made to alleviate the concerns expressed by residents of the negative impact of creating a cul-de-sac at Mulleston and Townpark road once the N52 realignment is constructed in 2019, further to his meetings with local resident groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16291/19]

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Declan Breathnach

Question:

533. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if priority will be given to the necessary retrofit upon the completion of the realignment of the N52 in order to remedy the negative impact of creating a cul-de-sac at Mulleston and Town Park road; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16292/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 531 to 533, inclusive, together.

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 your question to TII for a direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

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

Brexit Preparations

Questions (534)

Alan Kelly

Question:

534. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the plans Fáilte Ireland has prepared to help the tourism industry post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16306/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

In Budget 2019, €7.9 million in additional funding was allocated to the Tourism agencies to assist the Tourism sector get Brexit ready. In broad terms, Fáilte Ireland's focus is on retaining business from Northern Ireland and Britain whilst also offering supports to enterprises to diversify into other markets and equip them for the post-Brexit marketplace.  I have asked Fáilte Ireland to provide more detail of their operational plans in this regard.  Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

Road Traffic Accidents Data

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

Questions (535)

Alan Kelly

Question:

535. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of traffic accidents or collisions on the M7 in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date 2019. [16307/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority.  I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

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

Greenways Funding

Questions (536)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

536. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the announcement for greenway funding for projects such as the Sligo and Mayo greenway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16311/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The funding call for Greenways held by my Department closed on 30th November 2018. Over the course of this funding call, 22 extensive applications were submitted by 15 Local Authorities and 1 State Agency. Sligo County Council and Mayo County Council were among those that submitted applications.

My Department officials are currently in the process of assessing each of these detailed application based on the criteria laid out in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways launched by my Department in July 2018.

I hope to be in a position to award funding to the successful applicants in Q2 of this year.

Ministerial Travel

Questions (537)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

537. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his travel itinerary and that of the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will be provided for travel to Copenhagen for the Denmark versus Ireland football play-off match; the costs incurred for the trip; the costs covered by a third party (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16337/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I attended this game on 11th November 2017 in a personal capacity. All flights and hotel expenses were funded by me.

Minister of State Griffin attended this game in an official capacity and also took part in promotional work for Tourism Ireland while in Denmark. He travelled to and from Denmark on the same day. Minister Griffin met  with Tourism Ireland Officials on arrival in Copenhagen on Saturday morning and was briefed on the Nordic Market. Minister Griffin also recorded a TV interview with a popular Danish television programme in which he promoted Ireland as a holiday destination for Danish viewers. The Minister also met with the Irish Ambassador to Denmark and then attended the match. The cost of the Ministers flight to Copenhagen was 134 euro. Due to Minster Griffin’s extremely busy schedule during November 2017, he travelled back directly after the match that night in unused space on the FAI's flight, at no additional cost.

Road Safety

Questions (538)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

538. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the actions he is taking to promote and assist advanced safe driving technologies in imported vehicles; if he will consider new regulations to facilitate advanced safe driving technologies in terms of road signage, safe road design and road maintenance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16423/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

All imported new vehicles are subject to Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council which established an approval system for vehicles within the EU.  This system ensures that a vehicle must be manufactured in compliance with a wide range of safety standards before it can be registered in the State and placed on the market.  This ‘type-approval’ system is periodically updated to account for improvements in safety standards and to allow advanced safety features be introduced as mandatory requirements.  Amendments to Directive 2007/46/EC are scrutinised, evaluated and voted upon by a number of different EU-level technical committees and working groups that are attended by representatives from the State.

Last week, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a provisional political agreement on a number of proposed amendments to the General Safety Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 661/2009).  The proposed amendments will introduce a number of advanced safety systems that aim to reduce the number of fatalities and accidents on our roads and my Department welcomes and supports these measures.  The majority of these improvements will come into effect from 2022 and will be a mandatory element of the type-approval regime (i.e. introduced via the manufacturing of new vehicles).

Future technological advancements in vehicles may allow for the interaction of the vehicle with road infrastructure.  Insofar as the technology has been established for this, initial legislative measures have been developed at the appropriate international levels.  At present there are a number of challenges facing my Department (and indeed the wider European Union) in assessing the likely future path of technological development in relation to vehicles, systems and communications, before considering whether and how further significant new or amended legislation might be brought forward.

Road Safety

Questions (539)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

539. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he is taking to support a vision zero approach to road safety; his views on whether the European Commission proposals for advanced safe vehicle technologies in all new vehicles by 2022-2024 should be extended to the vehicle fleet here over the next three to five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16424/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The goal of the Government’s current Road Safety Strategy, which runs from 2013 to 2020, is to reduce deaths on our roads to an annual level of 124.  No one thinks this is easy, but at the same time we will never cease aspiring to achieve a complete end to the tragedy of unnecessary deaths on our roads.  Work to achieve our present target is continuing under the current Strategy, and in due course a successor strategy will be developed which I intend to see incorporate even more ambitious targets.

As the Deputy is aware, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union has reached a provisional agreement on a number of proposed amendments to the General Safety Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 661/2009).  These amendments will introduce a range of new vehicle safety systems that will be a mandatory requirement for the manufacturing of new vehicles through the European Union’s Type-Approval regime.  The majority of these improvements will come into effect from 2022 and the regulations will apply in all European Union states including Ireland.

Bus Éireann Fleet

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

Questions (540)

John Brassil

Question:

540. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the investment made by Bus Éireann towards replacing the fleet in County Kerry; and the future investment programme for same. [16445/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.   The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for  ensuring the development and delivery of public transport infrastructure including the provision of fleet for the PSO bus network.

Noting their responsibility in relation to this matter, I have forwarded your query to the NTA for their consideration and direct reply.  Please notify my office if you have not received a reply within 10 days. 

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

Air Traffic Control Services

Questions (541, 542, 543, 550)

Robert Troy

Question:

541. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost to airports of providing air traffic control services to a company (details supplied) in the past four years. [16559/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

542. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there is payment from a company (details supplied) to the airports in exchange for the provision of air traffic control services; and if so, the value of the payment. [16560/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

543. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether adequate funding is provided to airports for the provision of air traffic control services to the Irish Coast Guard. [16561/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

550. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the State funding provided to Sligo Airport; if additional funding can be provided for the functioning of the air traffic control tower which is in operation 24 hours per day to support search and rescue activities which are based from the airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16641/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 to 543, inclusive, and 550 together.

With regard to State funding for Sligo Airport,  this airport is not part of the Regional Airports Programme.  In relation to Coast Guard operations, the Deputy will be aware that the State's search and rescue service is provided by the Coast Guard by way of a contract with CHCI DAC.  These services are provided by CHCI DAC from four bases around the Country, including Sligo Airport.  The arrangements for the use of these bases is a commercial matter between CHCI DAC and the airports involved. 

More generally, under the Irish Aviation Authority (EuroControl) (Consolidated Route Charges) Regulations 2005, S.I. No. 776 of 2005, neither the Irish Coast Guard nor CHC are liable for any air traffic control  costs when performing search and rescue flights.