Road Traffic Legislation

Questions (931)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

931. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is considering proposals to allow limousines used by private hire companies to use bus lanes in the same manner as regular taxis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44892/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am not currently considering proposals to allow limousines used by private hire companies to use bus lanes. Bus lanes were created - at some expense to the public - to provide on-street priority for bus-based public transport. Their goal is to make bus transport faster and more reliable, thereby encouraging more people to switch from private cars to public transport. This will achieve the twin goals of reducing congestion and reducing pollution.

In addition to buses, bus lanes may also be used by cyclists who, as vulnerable road users, are safer in bus lanes than in general traffic. The lanes may also, of course, be used by the emergency services.

After the lanes were originally introduced it was decided to allow taxis to use them. This was a concession based on the fact that taxis are a form of public transport available for on-street hire, like buses, unlike private hire limousines.

Since bus lanes were first introduced, there have been many requests to allow other classes of traffic to use the lanes. These have included requests on behalf of motorcyclists, multi-occupancy vehicles, electric vehicles, hired limousines, hackneys, and animal ambulances, among others. My predecessors and I have always rejected these requests. Any addition to the categories of vehicle permitted to use the lanes would inevitably reduce their efficiency in performing the original purpose of prioritising bus-based public transport. This would reduce the quality and level of service for the ordinary commuter travelling by bus. In addition, it would not enhance the safety of the cyclists using bus lanes.

Bus Services

Questions (932)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

932. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost to date in 2019 regarding all aspects of BusConnects since the project was first conceived; the consultancy firms engaged; the costs and headings under which costs were incurred; the amounts of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44918/19]

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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 in the Greater Dublin Area, including BusConnects.

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.

Driver Test Data

Questions (933)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

933. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of driver testers in whole-time equivalent terms allocated to each driver test centre; and the basis on which these allocations are made. [44919/19]

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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.

Public Transport

Questions (934)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

934. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the level of accessibility on public transport vehicles is sufficient; his plans to improve same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44927/19]

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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 statutory 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.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (935)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

935. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application by South Dublin County Council for sports capital funding for a sports pavilion programme, including the provision of a pavilion in an area (details supplied). [44929/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

2,337 applications were submitted under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme 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 to these organisations in May.

Work is now being finalised on the remaining applications for capital works, including an application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy and I expect the allocations to be announced shortly.

Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements

Questions (936)

Robert Troy

Question:

936. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of UK driver licence holders in the wake of Brexit; if UK licences will remain valid; if there will be an amnesty to exchange such licences for an Irish version; and if plans will include provisions for asylum seekers that hold a UK licence. [44968/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Motorists resident in Ireland with a UK, including NI, driving licence are advised to exchange that licence for an Irish driving licence before the UK withdrawal date from the EU. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will no longer be a Member State and so the UK (including NI) driving licence will not be recognised. People resident in Ireland will no longer be able to drive on a UK (including NI) driving licence.

If there is an agreed Brexit, the current Withdrawal Agreement provides for arrangements to recognise UK driving licences across the EU during the transition period which is until December 2020.

In the Road Traffic Acts, legislation exists to allow for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes. In a no deal Brexit, when the UK becomes a third country, arrangements can be made under those Acts. Ireland will pursue this option which will allow UK (including NI) licences to be exchanged for an Irish licence. However this may take a little time to complete as it involves a formal agreement and legislation here in Ireland.

As the Deputy is aware, historically Ireland has not issued driving licences to asylum-seekers.

Road Tolls

Questions (937)

Joan Burton

Question:

937. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of policy in relation to tolling on the M50 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45010/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As I previously stated, 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 operation and management of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

The Government has no plans to introduce alternative tolling arrangements on the M50 at the present time.

Following the publication of the M50 Demand Management Study in April 2014, TII implemented a range of measures designed to improve the operational efficiency of the route, particularly at peak times. These include modifications to the merge and diverge layouts at junctions, increased incident access points and increased provision of incident response units. Measures to improve incident management co-operation with the emergency services, including An Garda Síochána and Dublin Fire Brigade, have also been developed and are monitored to ensure that optimum procedures are in place to minimise delays caused by traffic incidents.

In addition, the introduction of the Variable Speed Limit system on the M50 will improve its operational efficiency by smoothing traffic flow, improving journey time reliability and reducing the number of traffic collisions. This will be achieved through the setting of mandatory reduced speed limits, appropriate to the prevailing traffic conditions, using electronic speed limit signs displayed overhead each lane. Also, Lane Control Signalling will be installed, allowing the temporary closure of lanes which will be signalled by a red 'X' over the closed lane on the overhead illuminated gantry signage, to protect road users and emergency services during an incident on the route.

I hope that this information is of assistance to you.

National Transport Authority Funding

Questions (938)

Joan Burton

Question:

938. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding allocated to the National Transport Authority to increase bus route capacity in Dublin in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by type of funding in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45011/19]

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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 and services in the Greater Dublin Area, including provision of bus fleet and services.

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.

Traffic Management

Questions (939)

Joan Burton

Question:

939. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of funding for traffic management measures in the four Dublin local authority areas, including funding provided by his Department to State agencies that are allocated funding that in turn fund local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45012/19]

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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 in the Greater Dublin Area, including traffic management measures.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in this matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Bus Services

Questions (940)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

940. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps that can be taken to alleviate a transport problem for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45030/19]

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

Sports Events

Questions (941)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

941. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when financial support will be announced in relation to a sporting event (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45031/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I can inform the Deputy that officials of my Department and I met with the organisers of the bid for the sporting event in question to discuss their proposal. I have also provided a letter in support of the bid to host the event.

Any State support for the hosting of sporting events such as this is provided by the relevant tourism and sport agencies, Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland, based on their assessment of the business case for the bid. The organisers have been advised to submit their funding proposal to Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland for their consideration.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if reply is not received within 10 days.

Tourism Promotion

Questions (942)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

942. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the level of spending on tourism marketing in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45032/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the tourism agencies. Accordingly, 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.

Sports Capital Programme Expenditure

Questions (943)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

943. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding spent on sports capital programmes in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45033/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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.

Details of all payments made under the SCP are published on https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/efc6c4-sports-capital-programmes-payments/

Fishing Industry

Questions (944, 945, 946)

Brian Stanley

Question:

944. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the intentions behind and intended implications of the European Council Directive 2017/159/EU concerning the implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45045/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

945. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the range of proposed changes to be made to the existing legal and regulatory framework and requirements imposed on the fishing industry (details supplied) under the implementation of the European Council Directive 2017/159/EU by his Department. [45046/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

946. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the changes to be made in the area of protection for workers in relation to EU Council Directive 2017/159/EU (details supplied). [45047/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 944 to 946, inclusive, together.

The ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 was adopted at the 96th session of the International Labour Conference on 14 June 2007. The Convention aims to ensure decent conditions of work in fishing with regard to minimum requirements for work on board; conditions of service; accommodation and food; occupational safety and health protection; and medical care and social security.

In May 2012, the EU social partners in the sea fisheries sector reached an agreement concerning the ILO Work in Fishing Convention. The agreement aimed to, promote the ratification of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention; create a level playing field within the EU fishing sector; improve the living and working conditions fishers on board sea going fishing vessels. On 31st January 2017, Council Directive 2017/159 on the implementation of the social partners' agreement on the ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ No. L 25, 31.1.2017, p.12).

The Directive comprises seven articles and an Annex which sets out the Agreement concerning the implementation of the Convention. My Department supports the Directive which aims to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working on vessels registered in an EU member state. In particular, the Directive seeks to improve health and safety for fisher’s within the EU and establishes a consolidated legal framework suited to working conditions in the commercial fishing sector.

Work on the transposition of Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 is at an advanced stage. At present, my officials are working closely with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the drafting of a package of Regulations in order to ensure the transposition of the Directive. The Regulations will provide for decent working and living conditions for the fishing sector and will deal with a range of issues such as:

- Hours of work and rest

- Manning

- Medical Examinations

- Fishing vessel owner liability and repatriation

- Food and accommodation

- Minimum safety and health requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels.

Marine Notice 42 of 2019 was published on 9th October to provide key stakeholders with further information on some of the main changes that will come into effect from 15 November. However, the full range of changes to be made to the existing legal and regulatory framework is subject to the finalisation of the draft legislation.

Departmental Contracts Data

Questions (947)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

947. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by his Department or bodies under his aegis that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45072/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Department's Appropriation Account, which is publicly available on the C&AG website provides details of each voted service administered by it.

The 2017 Appropriation Account confirms the Department incurred no expenditure which was not procured in accordance with national and EU tender requirements.

The 2018 Appropriation Account confirms the Department complied with procurement guidelines with the exception of one contract to the value of €60,872. That contract related to the commissioning of a review into the Oversight Search and Rescue (SAR) Aviation Operations in Ireland following a safety recommendation from the Department's Air Accident Investigation Unit.

In view of the urgency of the recommendation, the Department elected to use a "negotiated procedure without prior publication", in accordance with Regulation 32 of S.I. 284 of 2016 - European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016. Details of this contract are included in the Department's annual return in respect of Circular 40/02.

The Department's 2019 Appropriation Account will be published in 2020.

Bus Services

Questions (948, 949, 950)

Bríd Smith

Question:

948. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason fines were imposed on a company (details supplied) for failure to operate or reach agreed targets for the provision of services in Dublin city; and the breakdown in relation to the categories of driver availability, on road bus breakdown, absence, late sickness and no reason given. [45150/19]

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Bríd Smith

Question:

949. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason in the categories provided for the imposition of fines imposed by the NTA on Dublin Bus and a company (details supplied) there are categories no reason given and other; and if the NTA can provide further information regarding same. [45151/19]

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Bríd Smith

Question:

950. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of scheduled departures from termini that failed to operate by each company in 2018 and to date in 2019, in relation to fines imposed by the NTA on Dublin Bus and a company (details supplied) for the failure to operate schedules, services or reach agreed targets. [45152/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 948 to 950, inclusive, together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland. The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with the relevant transport operators 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.