Driver Licences

Questions (2420)

Robert Troy

Question:

2420. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of putting in place an exchange agreement for various Canadian driver licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33290/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Irish driver licensing law operates within the framework of EU law and the standards for driver testing in this country are set at European level. In the case of non-EU jurisdictions such as Canada, Ireland may make bilateral agreements on licence exchange. Such agreements can be made only when the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction have studied and compared the two licensing regimes, so that each side can be satisfied that they are compatible. On the Irish side, this task is undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Canadian licences are issued by the government of the province or territory in which the driver is residing and specific regulations relating to driver's licences can vary from province to province. Ireland currently has exchange agreements in place with the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. We are currently finalising an agreement with Alberta and will continue to work towards reaching similar agreements with the remaining Canadian provinces in due course.

Public Transport Initiatives

Questions (2421, 2422, 2423, 2424, 2425)

Marc MacSharry

Question:

2421. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has considered introducing a promotional campaign to encourage persons to combine public transport usage with active modes of transport such as walking and cycling. [33299/19]

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Marc MacSharry

Question:

2422. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has considered offering special tickets to facilitate persons who wish to combine their public transport journeys with active modes of transport such as walking and cycling. [33300/19]

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Marc MacSharry

Question:

2423. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has considered offering incentives to encourage persons who wish to combine their public transport journeys with active modes of transport such as walking and cycling. [33301/19]

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Marc MacSharry

Question:

2424. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the introduction of new campaigns by the National Transport Authority, NTA, or public transport operators to encourage persons to combine their public transport journeys with walking and-or cycling. [33302/19]

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Marc MacSharry

Question:

2425. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the recent trial by the NTA of the walk and ride campaign designed to encourage persons to combine public transport with walking and cycling. [33303/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2421 to 2425, inclusive, together.

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department, and the National Transport Authority (NTA), are supporting Healthy Ireland as it looks to develop a promotional campaign relating to the health benefits associated with making active travel part of a person’s daily commute.

The exact detail of any proposed campaign remains under consideration.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (2426)

Marc MacSharry

Question:

2426. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has held meetings with the Minister for Health or other Ministers to discuss the possibility of incentivising persons to combine public transport with walking and cycling. [33304/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

While I have not met with the Minister for Health to discuss this proposal, meetings have been held with the respective officials in our departments, agencies and stakeholders. I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department, and the National Transport Authority (NTA), are supporting Healthy Ireland as it looks to develop a promotional campaign relating to the health benefits associated with making active travel part of a person’s daily commute. The exact detail of any proposed campaign remain under consideration.

Electric Vehicles

Questions (2427)

John Lahart

Question:

2427. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of electric vehicles sold here in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the estimated figure for the estimated quotes in electric vehicles by 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33365/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The table listed below provides the details requested by the Deputy in relation to the number of electric vehicles sold here in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form.

Also included in the answer are details on the targets for electric vehicles by 2025 and 2030.

No of Electric Vehicle's under current Motor Taxation at 31st December 2017, 2018 & 2019

Year

Number

2017

2,913

2018

4,825

* 2019

7,071

The national car fleet accounts for over half of all land transport emissions; as such, the transition to low emission vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), is a necessary step-change to effect a substantial reduction in transport emissions. Accordingly, EVs are a prominent mitigation technology in the recently published Climate Action Plan, with a target of 180,000 EVs on our roads by 2025 and 936,000 EVs by 2030. While these are very challenging targets, the rate of uptake of EVs has grown significantly in the past year with over 7,000 full electric vehicles [CF1] on Irish roads by the end of June 2019. It is further expected that battery and recharging technologies will continue to advance and more models will become available and cheaper in the coming years making the switch to EVs easier for consumers. In order to continue the current trajectory of EV sales I will continue to work closely with Ministers Bruton and Donohoe and their respective Departments to map out the new policy pathway that will be necessary to ensure that Ireland is well positioned to make the transition to electrification as efficiently as possible.

Electric Vehicles

Questions (2428)

John Lahart

Question:

2428. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he anticipates parking fees for electric car charging points in Dublin city and suburbs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33367/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The large scale transition to alternatively-fuelled vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), is a necessary change to effect a substantial reduction in transport emissions. In order to expedite the deployment of low carbon technologies, especially the uptake of EVs, my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment jointly convened an inter-Departmental Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce.

Phase 1 of the Taskforce focused exclusively on EVs; the feasibility of introducing parking incentives, such as free or reduced rates for EVs, was reviewed during this work programme. Views of local authorities and private car parking operators were heard, and comparative research on international benchmarks was also presented to the Taskforce. Under the Road Traffic Act 1994, local authorities have the power to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls in their areas; as such each individual local authority is responsible for designating whether to apply and enforce free or paid parking for EVs while recharging. Noting this legalisation the Taskforce concluded that dedicated spaces for charging EVs should be suitably identified and, where possible, made highly visible. It recommended that a capital support should be provided for the development of existing and new on-street chargers and that Local Authorities should ensure that parking at all on-street charging points is dedicated for EVs and that clear information is provided on conditions of use including where parking charges apply. A Progress Report summarising the Taskforce's deliberations has been published and is available on my Department’s website.

It may be of further interest to the Deputy that Action 81 of the recently published Climate Action Plan commits to examining a range of demand management measures, including parking policies, in all of our major cities as a means to reduce transport emissions. To this end, my Department, in collaboration with the local authorities, will commission a study later this year to:

- Consider key demand management drivers in an Irish context (e.g. congestion, air quality, climate considerations);

- Review international best practices on measures such as urban congestion charging, low emission zones and parking pricing policies; and

- Recommend the most appropriate responses for Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford taking into account overall transport strategies in each case.

Implementation of required and most appropriate measures in each case will have regard to existing powers of local authorities. I will work closely with Minister Murphy and his Department if additional legislation or local authority functions are identified as providing pathways for addressing these matters.

Regional Road Network

Questions (2429)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

2429. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the development of Ardfinnan Bridge, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33406/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council.

Regarding Ardfinnan Bridge, I understand that a contractor has been appointed by Tipperary County Council to undertake the bridge repair works and that it is expected that the repair works will be completed by the end of the year.

Regional Road Network

Questions (2430)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

2430. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the development on Clonbeg Bridge, Aherlow, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33407/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council.

As regards grant expenditure on the scheme, the allocations booklets, available in the Oireachtas library, provide details of grant payments for each county by grant type for 2019. The Clonbeg Bridge, Aherlow, County Tipperary has been allocated €235,000 as part of the 2019 Specific Improvement Grants programme. Tipperary County Council is responsible for implementation of the project.

Regional Road Network

Questions (2431)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

2431. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider providing funding for an inner relief or ring road around Tipperary town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33408/19]

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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. Within the budget available to it, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is responsible, under the Roads Act 1993-2015, for the planning, design and construction of individual national roads, 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.

Greenways Development

Questions (2432)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

2432. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the development of the Sligo to Enniskillen greenway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33427/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I recently announced €40m in funding for Greenways. An application was submitted by Leitrim County Council for the "SLNCR Greenway". The application was not amongst the successful projects this time around.

I would encourage Leitrim County Council to continue to work on this project, particularly with regard to access to the land for the proposed route, so that it can be in the best possible position to receive funding when the next call occurs.

Sports Capital Programme Administration

Questions (2433, 2434, 2435, 2436, 2437, 2438)

Robert Troy

Question:

2433. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if sports capital equipment funding will be awarded to group (details supplied). [33477/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

2434. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the parameters of the OSCAR online application system will be reviewed in view of the fact that it prohibits groups such as a group (details supplied) from receiving funding due to its particular governance structures. [33478/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

2435. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the criteria for sports capital applications regarding the sharing of facilities will be reviewed in view of the fact that groups such as a group (details supplied) require specific equipment that would not be practical to share. [33479/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

2436. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if changes can be made to the OSCAR system that would not penalise groups such as a group (details supplied) in terms of the level of socio-economic disadvantage. [33480/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

2437. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if changes will be made to the OSCAR system that would not penalise groups such as a group (details supplied) in terms of previous funding. [33481/19]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

2438. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will meet with representatives of a group (details supplied) in order to address the concerns of the group regarding the administration of sports capital funding. [33482/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2433 to 2438, inclusive, together.

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. 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 amount of funding sought under each round of the programme inevitably exceeds the total funding available so it is essential to have an objective, transparent and fair methodology to decide which applications are most deserving of funding.

The latest round of the SCP closed for applications on Friday 19th October 2018. The guide to making an application, which was published prior to the application process, contained a specific section on how the Department assesses applications and the key considerations used to determine the score awarded at assessment stage. Workshops were also held across the country to assist applicants in making the best possible application to obtain funding. The detailed scoring system was also published on my Department's website prior to assessment work commencing. In this regard, the key factors used to arrive at the relevant score for each application include the following:-

- The likelihood of increasing participation and/or improving performance.

- Whether the proposed facilities will be shared with other users.

- The level of socio-economic disadvantage in the area.

- The technical merits of the proposed project.

- The level of funding being provided towards the project by the applicant.

- The level of SCP funding received in the last ten years by the applicant.

By the deadline for the 2018 round, 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.

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced in May. The top 75% of applications by score received a grant offer. For the 2018 round of the SCP, the appeal system has been extended to allow applicants to appeal the score awarded at assessment stage. In respect of the recent “equipment only” applications, 64 appeals were submitted by the deadline and these appeals are currently being processed. Under the appeals system each application, the subject of an appeal, is assessed by an official not involved in the original assessment of that application. The review will examine if it was originally assessed reasonably and correctly in accordance with the published criteria and in line with the scoring system and assessment procedures that apply to all applicants. The application to which the Deputy refers is the subject of an appeal under this procedure. I expect to announce the results of the appeals process shortly.

While I am satisfied that the SCP application process is objective, transparent, fair and user-friendly, it is under continuous review to ensure this continues to be the case. Accordingly, as soon as the final allocations under this round of the SCP are made, my Department will carry out a full review of all aspects of it. This review will include consideration of the timing and scale of the next round but will also look at the scoring system. Any recommended changes arising from the review will be factored in to the terms and conditions of the next round.

I have asked my officials to meet the organisation referred to by the Deputy to discuss any concerns they have with the assessment process and a meeting in this regard has been arranged for early August.

National Car Test

Questions (2439)

Robert Troy

Question:

2439. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regulations in respect of errors recorded on odometer readings during national car tests (details supplied). [33488/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

While the operation of the National Car Test is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006), I have no plans to introduce an arrangement to have odometer readings photographed as part of the National Car Test.

It should be noted that periodic roadworthiness testing in the EU is governed by Directive 2014/45/EU which allows for the technical harmonisation of roadworthiness standards amongst Member States. The Directive does not provide for the actions proposed by the Deputy.

Public Transport Subsidies

Questions (2440, 2441)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

2440. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost to restore the CIÉ subvention to 2008 levels. [33554/19]

View answer

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

2441. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost to restore the CIÉ subvention to 2008 levels and add 33%. [33555/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2440 and 2441 together.

As the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland.

The PSO subsidy represents one of a multiple of operator revenue streams; other sources include State funding through the free travel scheme from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection as well as fare revenue and independent sources such as advertising revenue. In 2008 PSO services were provided exclusively by the CIÉ companies and total PSO funding of almost €309m was provided to the companies as follows: Iarnród Éireann €181m, Dublin Bus €86m and Bus Éireann €42m.

I secured €287m in Exchequer funding for Public Service Obligation (PSO) service delivery in 2019. Since 2010, the PSO subvention is no longer paid directly by my Department to transport operators. The award and subvention of PSO contracts now falls under the statutory remit of the National Transport Authority (NTA). The allocations to the transport companies, including the CIÉ companies, are decided by the NTA in exercise of its statutory mandate and in accordance with the various contract arrangements that it has in place with PSO service providers. I have therefore 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.

Public Transport Fares

Questions (2442)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

2442. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated full-year cost of halving all public transport fares and for providing free public transport to all in full-time education. [33556/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have overall responsibility for policy and funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for public transport fares and I have therefore 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.

Sports Capital Programme Data

Questions (2443)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

2443. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding committed to date in respect of centres of excellence (details supplied); the capital projects that involve the organisation in tabular form; if budgets, investments and-or funds for capital projects involving the organisation are suspended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33592/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Minister Ross and I previously stated that no further payments will be made by my Department to the FAI under sport capital schemes until we are satisfied with corporate governance structures at the Association. Applications for new projects under the Sports Capital Programme or the new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) will be assessed in the normal way but if an allocation is made, no payments will be made until all matters that gave rise to concern including corporate governance and financial management at the Association have been addressed satisfactorily. My Department wrote to the Association on the 17th April in this regard and this continues to be the position.

The table below sets out in tabular form the status of the existing live allocations that have been made to the Association and the up to date position in regard to same.

Organisation

Project Summary

Amount Allocated

Application Status

Balance Outstanding

SCP Year

AUL- FAI Ltd

AUL Complex Floodlighting and Electrical work

€35,000

Formally Approved Fully Outstanding

€35,000

2004

FAI

Phoenix Park Dressing Rooms Sports Equipment

€24,000

Grant Provisionally Allocated

€24,000

2012

AUL-FAI Ltd

Changing Rooms Improvements

€53,000

Formally Approved Partially Outstanding

€10,722

2014

FAI

Floodlighting at United Park Drogheda

€60,000

Formally Approved Partially Outstanding

€12,322

2015

FAI

Sports Equipment for grassroots programmes

€74,000

Grant Provisionally Allocated

€74,000

2017

FAI

Ferrycarrig Park Wexford,

€56,000

Grant Provisionally Allocated

€56,000

2017

Details of all finalised allocations to the Association are available on the Department's website.

In regard to the specific projects mentioned by the Deputy the position is that the Munster Centre of Excellence and the Aviva Stadium Lansdowne Road, are the subject of applications under the LSSIF. 72 applications were received in total under the LSSIF 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 are announced.

Under a partnership strategy for the development of field sport facilities at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, Abbotstown, capital funding of €500,000 was committed for the development of football training facilities. €475,000 of this funding was drawn down from Sport Ireland in 2014 and 2015.

I am not aware of any specific application for capital funding for a centre of excellence at Galway United.

Railway Stations Car Park Charges

Questions (2444)

Martin Kenny

Question:

2444. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Irish Rail plans to charge for parking at Dromad train station; his views on whether this would discourage commuters from using public transport in view of the fact this is increasing the cost of commuting by train; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33593/19]

View answer

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 10 working days.