Road Traffic Legislation

Questions (1302)

John Curran

Question:

1302. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the criteria and requirements to licence and register electric bikes, electric scooters and electric pedal assisted bicycles; the classes of electric bikes and scooters that do not need to be registered and licensed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19441/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a mechanically propelled vehicle as a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used. It also includes a vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical, or partly electrical and partly mechanical.

Escooters and powered skateboards fall into this category, and are therefore considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles. Any users of such vehicles in a public place (as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961) must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence, with penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements.

As it is currently not possible to tax or insure escooters or electric skateboards, they are not considered suitable for use in a public place.

Electric bicycles are in a different category to eScooters. Where a bicycle has an electric motor attached which may be used as an alternate means of propulsion, the vehicle is defined as a mechanically propelled vehicle under the Road Traffic Acts whether or not the motor is being used. However, under Article 1 (h) of EU Directive 2002/24/EC E-bikes are defined as “cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling”. As bikes of this type require continuous effort on the part of the cyclist, they are considered to be pedal cycles – in other words, the engine is not the means of propulsion, but an aid to the user.

Pedal assisted cycles with a maximum continuous rated power of more than 0.25 kW and E-bikes that can be exclusively propelled by the motor are classified in the Directive as low-performance mopeds, i.e. vehicles with pedals, with an auxiliary engine of power not exceeding 1 kW and a maximum design speed not exceeding 25 km/h. Such vehicles are subject to Road Traffic legislation as outlined above, with the user obliged to have tax, insurance and an appropriate driving licence where the vehicle is to be used in a public place.

I have requested the Road Safety Authority to research how escooters and other such vehicles are regulated in other countries, particularly other Member States. I am keen to understand the road safety implications of the use of such vehicles on public roads, especially when interacting with other vehicles.

I will make a decision on whether or not to amend existing legislation when I have received the outcome of the Authority’s research, and not before then. I will need to be satisfied that permitting such vehicles on our roads will not give rise to safety concerns, both for the users themselves and for all other road users including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Public Transport Fares

Questions (1303, 1304, 1306, 1307)

Robert Troy

Question:

1303. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the value of student fares or equivalent fare types sold in 2017 and 2018 by the main public transport providers. [19450/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1304. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the value of child fares or equivalent fare types sold in 2017 and 2018 by the main public transport providers. [19451/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1306. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of student fares or equivalent fare types sold in 2017 and 2018 by the main public transport providers. [19453/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1307. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of child fares or equivalent fare types sold in 2017 and 2018 by the main public transport providers. [19454/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1303, 1304, 1306 and 1307 together.

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

Bus Services

Questions Nos. 1306 and 1307 answered with Question No. 1303.

Questions (1305)

Robert Troy

Question:

1305. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of fitting a real time information display unit for bus services. [19452/19]

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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 the planning and development of public transport infrastructure including real time passenger information displays.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Questions Nos. 1306 and 1307 answered with Question No. 1303.

Parking Provision

Questions (1308)

James Browne

Question:

1308. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason an association (details supplied) does not accept that autism is a disability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19481/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Disabled Parking Permit (also known as the European Parking Card or Disabled Parking Badge) is available to people living in Ireland whose mobility is severely restricted, whether they are drivers or passengers, and also to those who are registered blind. In 2010 the Department conducted a review of the Disabled Parking Scheme, in consultation with various stakeholders and one of the issues examined was eligibility for the scheme. As a result of the review the scheme was revised so that permits are now given on the basis of mobility impairment rather than the diagnosis of a particular condition or illness. This is in line with the original intention of the scheme.

The possibility of extending the eligibility criteria for the scheme to include people with autism and other invisible disabilities has been raised on a number of occasions and the Department has consulted extensively with the joint issuing authorities of the scheme, the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWC), on this matter. In light of this consultation there are currently no plans to change the criteria.

I would particularly emphasise to the Deputy that issuing a large number of extra permits by extending the eligibility criteria would in fact put the existing scheme under significant additional pressure and compromise the availability of disabled parking spaces in general.

Sports Funding

Questions (1309, 1310, 1311)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

1309. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding is available to sports clubs seeking to install a defibrillator; the value of such funds; and the amount drawn down in each of the years 2016 to 2018 for same. [19490/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

1310. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if sports and recreation clubs seeking to install defibrillators within their facilities must pay VAT on these devices; and if there is funding available to offset this expense. [19491/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

1311. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding is available to assist sports and recreation clubs that have fitted or are fitting defibrillator devices within their premises with the provision of training of volunteers in the use of the devices. [19492/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1309 to 1311, inclusive, together.

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. Grants are available to sports clubs, voluntary and community groups involved in sports, national governing bodies of sport, and local authorities. Third level colleges, Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and schools may only apply for funding jointly with sports clubs or organisations.

The Programme provides funding towards the purchase of equipment, including defibrillators and has assisted many clubs in the purchase of these items in the past. The programme does not however, fund projects where the equipment has already been purchased. If VAT is included on an invoice from a grantee and provided the grantee is not claiming this VAT back from the Revenue Commissioners, the SCP grant can be used towards paying the VAT.

While details of all allocations and payments under the SCP are available on the Department's website, the total amounts drawn down by clubs specifically for defibrillators is not readily available.

Rail Passengers Data

Questions (1312)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1312. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of passengers travelling to and from Castlebar using Castlebar train station in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19520/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and 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.

Road Projects

Question No. 1315 answered with Question No. 1288.

Questions (1313, 1314)

Pat Buckley

Question:

1313. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress in delivering the Dunkettle roads upgrade project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19538/19]

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Pat Buckley

Question:

1314. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding is ring-fenced for the completion of the Dunkettle roads upgrade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19539/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1313 and 1314 together.

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, and in the context of delivering the Government's commitments arising out Project Ireland 2040, the planning, design, and construction for individual national roads is a matter for TII in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

I would like to advise that my Department has recently received the Business Case for the project and it is currently being reviewed and analysed by my Department's Strategic Research and Analysis Division (SRAD). The Business Case will be reviewed in the context of compliance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's Public Spending Code and within my own Department's Common Appraisal Framework.

Noting the above position, and TII's role in progressing this project, 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.

Question No. 1315 answered with Question No. 1288.

State Bodies Expenditure

Questions (1316)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1316. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount expended by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland respectively in engaging influencers and their associates in the past three years to date; the amount paid to each influencer by both organisations; the name and nature of each project they were engaged on (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19613/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the tourism agencies. I have referred the Deputy's Question to Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Dublin Bus Fleet

Questions (1317)

Robert Troy

Question:

1317. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if new buses ordered by Dublin Bus will be fitted with technology to allow account based and contactless debit card payment. [19637/19]

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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 the planning and development of public transport infrastructure including integrated ticketing.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Public Transport

Questions (1318)

Robert Troy

Question:

1318. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of efforts to create a new accessibility application for public transport users with disability. [19638/19]

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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.

Under the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has functional responsibility for promoting the development of an integrated, accessible public transport network.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have forwarded your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Taxi Regulations

Questions (1319)

Robert Troy

Question:

1319. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the new small public service vehicle, SPSV, strategy; and the timeline for its publication. [19639/19]

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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.

Given its role in conducting the strategic review of the SPSV industry to which you refer, I have referred your question to the Authority for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

Bus Services

Questions (1320)

Robert Troy

Question:

1320. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the piloting of evening and night-time services of LocalLink buses; the extent of these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19640/19]

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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 securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. It also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme which now operates under the Local Link brand.

Noting this I have forward the Deputy's Questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Bus Éireann

Questions (1321, 1322, 1323, 1324)

Robert Troy

Question:

1321. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of occurrences in which private bus operators have been contracted in order to provide Bus Éireann bus services owing to vehicle breakdown in each of the past four years in tabular form. [19641/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1322. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of occurrences in which private bus operators have been contracted in order to provide Bus Éireann bus services owing to driver absences in each of the past four years in tabular form. [19642/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1323. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on contracting private bus operators to provide Bus Éireann bus services owing to driver absences in each of the past four years in tabular form. [19643/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1324. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on contracting private bus operators to provide Bus Éireann bus services owing to vehicular breakdown in each of the past four years in tabular form. [19644/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1321 to 1324, inclusive, together.

The issues raised are a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days. 

Bus Services

Questions (1325, 1326, 1327, 1328, 1331)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1325. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of a service (details supplied); and the plans of the NTA to continue the service. [19944/19]

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Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1326. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a public bus service will be provided from Rathangan to Maynooth, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19945/19]

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Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1327. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a public bus service will be provided from Newbridge to Maynooth, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19946/19]

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Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1328. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a public bus service will be provided from Kildare town to Maynooth, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19947/19]

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Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1331. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the new company that won the tender for bus routes 123, 126 and 130 in County Kildare will be taking over the routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20013/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1325 to 1328, inclusive, and 1331 together.

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