Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Questions (62)

Thomas Byrne


62. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to enhance public transport in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39691/19]

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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 NTA has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public transport services by way of Public Services Obligation (PSO) contracts in respect of services that are socially necessary but commercially unviable. In relation to services in Co. Meath, the NTA has informed me of the following:

1. The contract for the Ashbourne to Swords service has been awarded to Go Ahead Ireland and the necessary arrangements for the introduction of that service are in progress. However, the schedule for the commencement of services has not been finalised at this time;

2. The NTA has approved a revised town service for Navan and services will be introduced following completion of associated infrastructure works by Meath County Council;

3. The NTA is planning an extension of the current Bus Éireann Dundalk to Ardee bus service. The extended service would operate to Mullingar via Carlanstown, Kells, Clonmellon and Delvin. The development of this extended service is at an early stage. The objective is to implement the extended service as driver resources become available later this year following the transfer of certain bus routes from Bus Éireann to Go-Ahead Ireland;

4. The NTA in conjunction with Bus Éireann is examining a number of options for services between Drogheda and Mullingar via Duleek, Navan, Athboy and Delvin. As this process is at an early stage, it is not possible to indicate when or if any specific service may be implemented;

5. The NTA is examining options to improve bus/rail integration between Ashbourne, Ratoath and Dunshaughlin and the commuter rail line from M3 Parkway via Dunboyne, with a view to implement improvements before the end of the year;

6. The NTA has approved the extension of current bus services between Tullamore and Edenderry to Enfield as part of the transfer of certain bus routes from Bus Éireann to Go-Ahead Ireland;

7. The NTA is continuing to work with Local Link Louth Meath Fingal on its application for funding to secure the provision of a bus service between Duleek, Ardcath, Clonalvy and Balbriggan. As this process is on-going, the NTA is not in a position to provide more detail at this stage.