Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Questions (656)

Marc MacSharry


656. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide social distancing guidelines for buses and coaches; and if the use of air conditioning on board buses and coaches will be restricted as part of same. [11755/20]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Government has been clear that continued operation of the public transport sector is important, and it has been designated among the essential services that are to carry on. I would like to thank operators and staff for their continued dedication to providing this vital service in such challenging times.

A number of measures have been introduced across the system, guided by public health advice, to ensure the continued operation of services during the pandemic, including enhanced cleaning regimes and social distancing measures across the network. My Department is engaging directly with the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to these measures and the NTA is coordinating the response of public transport operators.

My Department continues to work closely with the National Transport Authority (NTA) to ensure public transport services continue to operate and to plan for the provision of enhanced public transport services in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

The National Return to Work Safely Protocol is a useful guide for businesses in making their assessments and adapting their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the Covid-19 related public health protection measures. The Protocol was published by Minister Humphreys on 9 May 2020 and is a living document which will evolve with changing Public Health advice. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is the lead agency in overseeing compliance with the Protocol in the workplace.

I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply in relation to the specific issue he has raised. 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 51