Public Service Vehicles

Questions (593)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

593. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the NTA has carried out a review of the new service being piloted by a company (details supplied); if so, the outcome of the review; the number of taxi drivers participating and not participating in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27823/19]

View answer

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.

I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

Road Safety Authority Reports

Questions (594)

Noel Rock

Question:

594. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has received the Road Safety Authority report on electric scooters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27851/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

At my request, the Road Safety Authority commissioned research into the current situation in relation to escooters in other countries, particularly other EU Member States, and the safety implications in the use of electric personal mobility devices.

The report was submitted to me on June 22nd, and is currently under examination by my officials.

I will make a decision on whether to bring forward additional legislation in relation to escooters and other personal mobility devices when I have considered all of the implications of the report and its recommendations, bearing in mind developments and experience elsewhere in the EU.

Road Projects Status

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

Questions (595)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

595. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the proposed improvement works at the junction of the N72 and R579 at Ballymaquirke, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27856/19]

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, design, upgrading and improvement 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.

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

Road Projects Status

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

Questions (596)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

596. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Cork to Limerick motorway project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27857/19]

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, 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.

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

Departmental Reviews

Questions (597)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

597. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of live studies, reviews and research undertaken or commissioned by him; and the date by which each study, review and research is scheduled to be completed. [27895/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is listed below

Title or Description

Scheduled date of completion

Planning Land Use and Transport - Outlook 2040 (PLUTO 2040)

Q4 2019

Quality Assurance Report 2018

Q4 2019

Measuring accessibility in transport appraisal

Q3 2019

Spending Review 2019 - Regional Airports Programme

Q3 2019

Behaviour Detection Programme Evaluation

Q3 2019

Forecasting Exchequer Impact of Low Emitting Vehicles

Q4 2019

Review of the annual St. Patrick’s Festival

July 2019

Review of the ownership and operational structure of State Airports in 2019

End of 2019

Review of international policy and best practise in sustainable tourism

End of 2019

The Search and Rescue Framework Review

July 2019

Examination on the performance of Irish Aviation Authority in regard to technical and safety standards of aircraft and air navigation.

July 2019

Review of public transport policy to ensure services are sustainable into the future and meet the needs of a modern economy

2020

Economic Review of the Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and related enterprise sector in Ireland.

30 May 2019

The Munitions of War (MW) Internal Review.

Q4 2019

Alternative Fuel Bus Trial

July 2019

Mitigation of Air Pollution Impacts of Irish Heavy Duty Vehicles (MAP-HDV)

Q2 2020

Desktop study to assess potential mitigation measures that would reduce CO2 and/or air pollutant emissions from the existing Irish heavy duty vehicle fleet.

Q2 2020

DiSTRaCT: modal shift Reduce Carbon in Transport

Q2 2020

Examine the extent to which Eco Driving Techniques can limit greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles (HDVs)

Q2 2020

Alternative Fuel Bus Trial

July 2019

TN-ITS GO – Digital map for Intelligent Transport Systems.

31st December 2019.

Review of Public Transport Policy to ensure services are sustainable in the future and meeting the needs of a modern economy.

2020

Current Practice and Safety Indications of Electric Mobility Devices

7th June 2019

Departmental Reports

Questions (598)

Martin Heydon

Question:

598. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the documents published by his Department since 1 January 2016 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27920/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Policy documents and strategies published by my Department are available on my Department’s website at the following link: http://www.dttas.ie/%3Cfront%3E

Each of the sectors within the Department are listed across the top of the Department's Home page and within each sector, a publication tab is located on the left hand side of the relevant page.

The initial publication and updated dates of the publications are also available on the website. If further assistance is required locating any particular document, please contact my private office at Minister@dttas.gov.ie.

Airlines Regulations

Questions (599, 608, 610)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

599. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the issue of potentially unfair commercial advantage for an airline (details supplied) and market distortion issues were considered before a decision was made in relation to the recently issued permit for the airline to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27921/19]

View answer

Seán Haughey

Question:

608. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a permit has been issued to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid under the fifth freedom provisions; if his attention has been drawn to concerns of Irish-based pilots to the effect that this potentially confers an unfair commercial advantage on the airline in view of its low cost base; his views on whether this could result in serious competitive distortions; his further views on whether the route is already well served by three EU airlines; if Dublin Airport has the capacity to deal with these extra flights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28048/19]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

610. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason his Department has issued a permit for a company (details supplied) to operate under the fifth freedom between Dublin and Madrid; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that fifth freedom rights can often result in serious competitive distortions for EU aviation services that often cannot compete with non-EU airlines; if an analysis on same has been completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28128/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 599, 608 and 610 together.

The Ireland - Ethiopia Bilateral Air Services Agreement, signed in 2014, allows for the granting of fifth freedom air traffic rights for airlines of both countries, on a reciprocal basis and subject to the approval of the relevant aeronautical authorities.

Ethiopian Airlines applied to both the Spanish and Irish aeronautical authorities in 2018 for approval of their Addis Ababa - Madrid - Dublin (return) route. Following confirmation of approval by the Spanish Aeronautical Authorities and having consulted with Irish air carriers, the Department authorised the route as it conformed with the rights provided under the Air Services Agreement.

Ireland traditionally has a liberal aviation policy and remains positively disposed towards the development of competitive air services. In that context, my Department will continue to consider applications for fifth freedom air traffic rights under bilateral air services agreements, on a case-by-case basis.

Rail Services Data

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

Questions (600, 601)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

600. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of times the lifts at Skerries train station have broken down since 1 January 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27960/19]

View answer

Brendan Ryan

Question:

601. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent to repair the lifts at Skerries train station since 1 January 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27961/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 and 601 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. The operation of the rail network and stations on the network, including lifts at train stations, is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance.

In view of Iarnród Éireann's responsibility in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's questions to the company for 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

Rail Services

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

Questions (602, 604)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

602. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is satisfied Skerries train station is a suitable train station for persons with disabilities or mobility issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27962/19]

View answer

Brendan Ryan

Question:

604. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the contingency plans in place at Skerries train station for persons with disabilities when the lifts break down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27964/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 602 and 604 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The issues raised by the Deputy are operational matters for Irish Rail and I have forwarded your questions to the company for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

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

Rail Services

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

Question No. 604 answered with Question No. 602.

Questions (603)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

603. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if work will take place to make safe and reopen the pedestrian tunnel at Skerries train station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27963/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. Issues such as those referred to by the Deputy are primarily a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance, albeit that specific issues may fall outside the company's direct responsibility.

I have therefore referred the Deputy's question to Iarnród Éireann for direct reply. Please contact 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
Question No. 604 answered with Question No. 602.

Bus Éireann Staff

Questions (605)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

605. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of drivers employed by Bus Éireann who retired from the company in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county, in tabular form; the number of drivers hired as their direct replacements; his views on concerns that the failure to replace retired Bus Éireann drivers responsible for driving school routes has resulted in a reduced capacity that has had to be filled by private bus operators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27995/19]

View answer

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. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Driver Licence Applications

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

Questions (606)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

606. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a letter of entitlement from the Government of New Zealand in relation to the driving qualifications of a person (details supplied) was not accepted as proof that he or she is properly qualified to drive a manual car; the reason he or she was not granted an Irish driver licence for a manual car; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28001/19]

View answer

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

Road Projects Status

Question No. 608 answered with Question No. 599.

Questions (607)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

607. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 258 of 27 March 2019, the status of the road project; the engagement with the local authority on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28046/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Specific and Strategic Grant Programmes are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis with reference to the Public Spending Code and the Capital Appraisal Framework and taking account of available budgets. All appraisals are assessed taking competing projects and the overall regional and local road capital budget into account.

As regards the Letterkenny Southern Relief Road, following consultation between the Department and the Local Authority, a revised draft Appraisal has now been received from Donegal County Council and is currently under review.

Question No. 608 answered with Question No. 599.

Bus Services

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

Question No. 610 answered with Question No. 599.

Questions (609)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

609. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the timetable will be released for a bus service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28088/19]

View answer

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. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public 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.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A
Question No. 610 answered with Question No. 599.

Tourism Project Funding

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

Questions (611)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

611. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the promotion of Grianán of Aileach will be considered for funding under the platforms for growth initiative of Fáilte Ireland as an immersive heritage cultural attraction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28131/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy. While my Department provides funding to Fáilte Ireland for investment in tourism promotion and development, it is not directly involved in individual tourism projects or programmes and has no role in the administration of the agency's grant programmes.

I understand that Fáilte Ireland already promotes the Grianán of Áileach as a “must-see” destination in the region and that it has further plans to maximise the potential of this ancient site through its strategic partnership with the OPW and also in the context of overall plans for the Inishowen Peninsula.

I have asked Fáilte Ireland to respond directly to the Deputy with further information on its Platforms for Growth initiative and recent call for proposals under the “Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions” platform; current and planned promotion of the Grianán of Áileach site; and wider plans to maximise the potential of this site. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

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

Road Projects Status

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

Questions (612)

Marc MacSharry

Question:

612. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Virginia bypass road project. [28203/19]

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, 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.

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

Maternity Services

Questions (613)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

613. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the result of a trialled baby box for new parents; and her plans to roll out the scheme nationally. [27536/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The First 5 Strategy was published in November of last year, followed in May of this year by the Implementation Plan for the first phase of implementation in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

First 5 outlines Government’s intention to pilot the development and implementation of Baby Boxes and Book Bags initiatives to support parenting with a focus on parent-baby bonding, information on baby development and early learning and promotion of baby safety.

Baby Boxes are packages of items and information to assist with the transition to parenthood including safety items, baby clothes, small toys, baby toothbrushes, and books to support early development. The intention behind Baby Boxes is to welcome a new arrival to a family, acknowledging this very significant moment for parents.

As indicated in the Implementation Plan, an oversight group will be established later this year to lead the development of the pilot and scope the project to prepare for implementation and evaluation.

While resourcing has been secured through the Dormant Accounts Fund to progress the pilot, the pilot has not yet begun so no results are yet available. As indicated in the Implementation Plan, it is intended that the pilot design will be agreed in 2020 and underway, along with the evaluation, in 2021.

The pilot will consult to determine items for inclusion in the pack. Baby Boxes offer the opportunity to communicate important child development and safety messages and is an early opportunity to link with parents in need of support services.

The results of the evaluation will inform any plans about wider roll-out.

Family Resource Centres

Questions (614)

Seán Haughey

Question:

614. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if an application has been received from an organisation (details supplied) to become a family resource centre; if the application will be approved in view of the invaluable services provided by the organisation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27579/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) Programme is administered by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Applications to join the FRC Programme are a matter for Tusla. I have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy in this regard.

In 2019, I secured an additional €1.5 million in funding for Tusla to develop and invest in existing Family Resource Centres. Currently, there are no plans to establish additional Family Resource Centres this year.

Tusla has identified, and continues to monitor the need for family support services in certain areas of the country. In accordance with its Commissioning Strategy, Tusla continuously seeks to assign resources to areas of greatest need.

Tusla will continue to work with Family Resource Centres and other family support organisations throughout the country and will discuss service needs and funding resources with centres, where appropriate. Tusla is committed to using all available resources for children and families in the most efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable way.

Departmental Funding

Questions (615)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

615. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will review the decision to withdraw funding from a charity (details supplied); if Tusla funding will be reinstated to the service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27787/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

In 2018, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provided funding of €3,200 to the service referred to by the Deputy for the provision of child counselling services. This level of funding will be maintained this year. Tusla does not commission this particular service for the provision of support services to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and has never done so.

Tusla currently provides funding to two domestic violence services in the Donegal area, (1) Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service and (2) Donegal Women’s Centre. Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service is the primary organisation delivering domestic violence support services across Co. Donegal, including Inishowen.

In 2018, Tusla provided over €650,000 for the provision of domestic violence services in Donegal. Tusla has advised my Department that it is not seeking to commission additional domestic violence services in Co. Donegal at this time. Tusla believes that funding additional organisations in Donegal would lead to duplication of service provision and a risk of fragmentation of services, particularly where organisations provide similar services in the same geographical area.

I appreciate the concerns of service users of Lifeline Inishowen. I have been assured by Tusla that services for children and families in Inishowen that are affected by domestic violence will continue to be provided by other funded service providers in County Donegal, including counselling.

Tusla acknowledges that accessibility is an issue for many service users in rural areas, and supports organisations to develop and enhance outreach services in order to improve service access.

Many organisations have moved from a clinic-based response to more flexible responses where arrangements are made to meet service users at times and locations that are safe and convenient for them. Tusla has advised that both Tusla-funded domestic violence support services in Donegal are flexible in their approach in order to ensure services are accessible to service users throughout the county.

Sexual violence services in Donegal are provided by Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre. In 2018, Tusla provided €230,000 to Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre. With the additional 10% funding allocation to Rape Crisis Centres nationally, 2019 funding to the organisation is expected to be €251,500.

At all times, the key priority of Tusla is to ensure the needs of victims and survivors are met in the best way possible, with due attention to the quality, accessibility, and outcome of services.