Inland Waterways By-laws

Questions (382)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

382. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a new by-law to replace the Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-Law No. 964 2018; if so, the timescale proposed for the reintroduction of this by-law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22851/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department has almost completed its consideration of the implications of legal advice received following the outcome of proceedings in the context of intended Bye-laws going forward. I cannot comment on the legal advice itself, however, I can advise that these implications are particularly complex and challenging as regards any Bye-law in relation to the issue raised by the Deputy.

While it is my intention to introduce a similar Bye-law, I would emphasise that, in the meantime, the Lakes in question have long been designated, as a matter of policy, for management primarily for the benefit of wild brown trout and that policy designation remains. I am advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that Stock Management Plans in respect of these lakes for 2019 are being implemented.

Road Traffic Offences

Questions (383)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

383. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if legislation is needed for the issuing of fixed charge notices on the roadside via the new roads policing mobile app; if so, when such legislation or statutory instrument will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22513/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The current situation, whereby a Garda who detects a driving offence causes a fixed charge notice to be issued by post to a motorist works extremely well, with more than 80% compliance on issue of the first fixed charge notice.

As the new mobile road policing app does not have the capacity to issue fixed charge notices, no changes to exiting legal provisions are required at this time.

Free Travel Scheme

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

Questions (384)

Clare Daly

Question:

384. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the road passenger service routes funded under the LocalLink programme by the National Transport Authority in which the operators are receiving direct payment under the free travel scheme. [22534/19]

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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 operates under the Local Link brand.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply to her. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if she does not receive a reply within ten working days.

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

Bus Éireann Services

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

Questions (385)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

385. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he expects the improvements in the route 233 bus service in Cork to be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22296/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for The National Transport Authority (NTA), in conjunction with Bus Éireann, and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within ten working days.

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

Parking Regulations

Questions (386)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

386. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a vehicle displaying a valid blue badge can park on areas other than a designated disabled parking space and other valid parking areas; if it is the case that when they are already taken the vehicle owner and-or driver can park on double yellow lines in circumstances in which no obstruction or danger is present; the position in other EU countries, including the UK, in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22351/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The conditions underpinning the use of disabled parking bays are clearly laid out in regulation 44 of the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997, as amended. Disabled parking bays are reserved for those who hold a valid disabled parking card, be they a driver or a passenger. The card does not exempt the holder from any other parking restrictions and does not allow for parking on a double yellow line in any circumstances.

Regulation of disabled parking schemes in the European Union is carried out on a country by country basis. I would remind the Deputy, however, that parking cards issued in Ireland are based on a standardised EU model and are recognised across the Union.

Public Transport Subsidies

Questions (387)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

387. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the campaign to extend the short-hop zone to Drogheda, County Louth, in the immediate future will be supported in order to reduce the costs for commuters in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22357/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for regulating fares charged by public transport operators. I have therefore forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a response within ten working days.

Sports Capital Programme

Questions (388)

Willie Penrose

Question:

388. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consideration will be given to providing local authorities the power to assess and determine the capital sports allocation in accordance with the usual criteria associated with same which would include the provision of the necessary resources to enable them to carry out the allocation in the ordinary way in view of the provision of more power and autonomy to local authorities and in order to encourage the devolution of such powers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22415/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) provides funding to voluntary, sporting and community organisations, and to local authorities for the provision of sports and recreational facilities. Over 12,000 projects have now benefited from sports capital funding since 1998, bringing the total allocations in that time to close to €1 billion. The programme has transformed the sporting landscape of Ireland with improvements in the quality and quantity of sporting facilities in virtually every village, town and city in the country.

The most recent fully completed round of the programme was the 2017 round. The exact amount allocated to each project was based on a formula which combined the assessment score obtained, the amount of funding sought and the total amount of funding available for that county based on a per-capita basis. The full scoring system and assessment manual was published on the Department’s website prior to any assessments commencing. Further details of the allocation process are available in the Review of the 2017 Sports Capital Programme which is published on the Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/sport/english/sports-capital-programme-2017-review/review-2017-sports-capital-programme.pdf .

Work is now under way on the assessment of applications under the 2018 round of the SCP and again the full scoring system and assessment manual was published on the Department's website before the detailed assessment work commenced. 186 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 €7 million in allocations to 170 projects were announced on 17 January. 619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8 million were announced to these organisations last week. A number of local authorities received funding and details of these allocations are available on the website. Work is now under way in assessing the remaining applications for capital works.

In relation to future funding of larger sports projects, the National Sports Policy was published on 25 July 2018 and provided for a Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) with at least €100 million available over the coming years. The fund was launched in November 2018 and 72 applications were submitted by the deadline of 17 April 2019. The fund is initially focused specifically on the requirements and development plans of National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities.

The SCP and the LSSIF are managed in a transparent and open manner as set out above and local authorities themselves are key beneficiaries of the schemes. While both programmes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, I have no plans to propose devolving responsibility for sports capital grants to local authorities.

Driver Licences

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

Questions (389)

John Brassil

Question:

389. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if provision will be made to amend the driver licence of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22432/19]

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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

Bus Éireann Services

Questions (390)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

390. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties with a specific bus route (details supplied) in County Cork; and if the difficulties will be investigated and alleviated for those dependent on this route to travel to work. [22482/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a response within ten working days.

Public Transport

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

Questions (391, 392)

Clare Daly

Question:

391. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason no public input or service user input was sought by Dublin City Council regarding the BusConnects proposal; and the steps that can be taken at this stage to make BusConnects more age friendly. [22511/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

392. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures he has in place for older persons to have their say in view of the general reliance on online communication in public consultation processes in relation to public transport consultations such as BusConnects. [22512/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 391 and 392 together.

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 BusConnects.

I would note that there has been extensive public consultations held by the NTA in relation to both the redesign of the bus network and the proposed delivery of new bus priority measures, such as improved bus lanes. These consultations have included extensive personal engagement with communities through public information sessions, the establishment of local community fora and one-to-one offers of engagement with property owners who might be impacted by infrastructure proposals. This is in addition to the information published online as referred to by the Deputy.

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

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

Public Transport

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

Questions (393)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

393. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the LocalLink tendering criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22556/19]

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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 Question to the NTA for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a response within ten working days.

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

Taxi Regulations

Questions (394)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

394. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to an increase in reports from SPSV NTA issued licence holders of being prevented from transporting passengers travelling cross-Border, both to and from destinations in Northern Ireland, by authorities there; if such an escalation in enforcement by the authorities in Northern Ireland contravenes reciprocal arrangements in place across both jurisdictions by which taxi operators based either side of the Border may operate on such a cross-Border basis without impediment; if such a reciprocal regime does not exist, the efforts being made between the respective authorities to establish same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22559/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The question of reports from holders of small public service vehicle (SPSV) licences issued by the NTA of being prevented from transporting passengers travelling cross-border into Northern Ireland has been brought to the attention of my Department in the past.

The relevant Irish legislation governing taxi services is the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, which requires the holding of an SPSV licence and an SPSV driver licence to carry persons for hire or reward in the State. The 2013 Act and its requirements only apply to services provided in the State - it does not provide for services across a border. I understand that the legislative position in Northern Ireland is similar. Thus, under current legislation, a taxi operator wishing to operate cross-border services, would have to apply for and obtain licences on each side of the border. Unlike other areas of transport - such as bus and road haulage operations - taxi services are not subject to EU harmonisation, so arrangements for regulating taxi services remain a matter for the relevant authorities in each State in respect of services that operate in their jurisdiction.

With a view to ensuring that cross-border taxi services could be better legally facilitated and appropriately regulated, I previously agreed with my counterpart in Northern Ireland that primary legislation would be prepared, on a reciprocal basis, in both jurisdictions to allow for exempting licensed taxi operators in respect of certain cross-border services, subject to specified conditions.

I remain committed to developing the necessary legislative changes to the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, subject to Government approval, and provided that legislative arrangements can be progressed on a reciprocal basis either side of the border. My Department continues to engage with counterparts in Northern Ireland. However, in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, it is not possible for Northern Ireland to progress with making changes to its legislation at present.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland Projects

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

Questions (395, 396)

Clare Daly

Question:

395. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the residents of Griffith Avenue and the surrounding district were denied their statutory entitlement to a six week consultation on the proposed intervention shaft that will have a permanent above ground footprint in the south-west corner of Albert College, the details of which were only provided less than seven days before the closing date for submissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22573/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

396. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason Transport Infrastructure Ireland did not release information in relation to the planned ventilation shaft for the south-west corner of Albert College in the MetroLink project until two working days before close of consultation with a quality of drawing so poor as to question its value thereby denying residents their right to a six week consultation; if there will be an extension of the timeframe accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22574/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 395 and 396 together.

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 MetroLink.

The Deputy will be aware that the NTA's recently concluded consultation process in relation to MetroLink, and its previous consultation process held last year, are not statutory consultation processes. Those recent consultations are completely separate from any later statutory consultations that will be required by the planning authorities once an application for a Railway Order has been made. I am informed that such an application is expected to be made around Quarter 2 of 2020; therefore, the formal, statutory consultation process will take place following that.

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

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

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (397)

Micheál Martin

Question:

397. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a grant application has been received from a club (details supplied); if not, if a request for financial assistance to expand facilities at the club has been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22607/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Two separate applications have been received for sports capital assistance from the club referred to by the Deputy.

The first application was made under the 2018 Sports Capital Programme for a grant towards the development of the clubs playing facilities. The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday, 19 October last. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162 million 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 €7 million in allocations to 170 projects were announced on 17 January.

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8 million were announced to these organisations last week. Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works including the application from the club referred to.

For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being 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.

An application for financial assistance for the development of the club's facilities has also been submitted under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund by Cork County Council. The Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund opened for applications on 19 November 2018 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 17 April 2019. 72 applications were received in total and my officials are currently undertaking an initial assessment of them.

In view of the detailed information contained in each application, I am advised that it will take a number of months to have all of them assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be towards the end of this year before allocations under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund are announced.

Full details of all applications received under both schemes are available on the Department's website.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (398)

Willie Penrose

Question:

398. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to update the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22705/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The 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. The NTA has completed a formal review of Part 2 of the 2009 Act which is under consideration by my Department.

Following that review I have published a proposal as part of the General Scheme of the Railway Safety Amendment Bill which brings certain commercial school bus services back within the scope of the regulatory framework applied by the NTA for private operators. No decisions have yet been taken regarding any further changes to the NTA's route licensing powers.

Public Transport

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

Questions (399, 400)

Robert Troy

Question:

399. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if one hackney service per LocalLink office area will be subsidised under his recently announced pilot project; and if so, if each LocalLink office will be able to provide funding to a number of local hackneys. [22715/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

400. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if one community transport service per LocalLink office area will be subsidised under his recently announced pilot project and if so, if each LocalLink office will be able to provide funding to a number of projects. [22716/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 399 and 400 together.

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. The NTA is also responsible for the running of the recently announced pilot schemes relating to the Local Area Hackney Scheme and the Community Transport Service.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply to him. I would ask the Deputy to advise my private office if he does not receive a response within ten working days.

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