Roads Maintenance

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<h3>Questions (26)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/John-Paul-Phelan.S.2002-09-12/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/John-Paul-Phelan.S.2002-09-12/">John Paul Phelan</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">John Paul Phelan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_916" class="">26. <strong>Deputy John Paul Phelan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> if the funding provided to local authorities for roads maintenance will be kept at or increased from the 2020 allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7492/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-26">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_285">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
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<p id="para_917" class="">The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants. </p>
<p id="para_918" class=""> Following the publication of the Revised Estimates Volume (REV), the allocation for regional and local roads in 2021 has increased to €555 million approximately - €46m Current and €509m Capital.</p>
<p id="para_919" class=""> My objective will be to allocate funding to eligible local authorities on as equitable a basis as possible taking the length of the road network and traffic factors into account. The main focus of the grants will continue to be maintenance and renewal of the regional and local road network.</p>
<p id="para_920" class=""> Grant allocations for 2021 are being notified to local authorities this week.</p>
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Roads Maintenance

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<h3>Questions (27)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_27">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Duncan-Smith.D.2020-02-08/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Duncan-Smith.D.2020-02-08/">Duncan Smith</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Duncan Smith</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_921" class="">27. <strong>Deputy Duncan Smith</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of the signing of the regional and local roads maintenance grant for local authorities; if the signing and allocation of same will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7508/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-27">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_286">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
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<p id="para_922" class="">The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants. </p>
<p id="para_923" class=""> Following the publication of the Revised Estimates Volume (REV), the allocation for regional and local roads in 2021 is €555 million approximately - €46m Current and €509m Capital.</p>
<p id="para_924" class=""> My objective will be to allocate funding to eligible local authorities on as equitable a basis as possible taking the length of the road network and traffic factors into account. The main focus of the grants will continue to be maintenance and renewal of the regional and local road network.</p>
<p id="para_925" class=""> Grant allocations for 2021 are being notified to local authorities this week.</p>
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Driver Test

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<h3>Questions (28)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_28">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Niamh-Smyth.D.2016-10-03/">
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Niamh-Smyth.D.2016-10-03/">Niamh Smyth</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Niamh Smyth</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_926" class="">28. <strong>Deputy Niamh Smyth</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting so long for a driver theory test. [7566/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_287">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
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<p id="para_927" class="">The operation of the tests is handled by the RSA, under contract. My Department does not have access to individual applications nor have I any power to intervene in individual cases. </p>
<p id="para_928" class=""> The closure of the Driver Theory Test Service from March-June 2020, as well as the significantly reduced level of capacity necessary on reopening, followed by further closures during subsequent level 5 restrictions, is inevitably increasing service backlogs. </p>
<p id="para_929" class=""> Under current level 5 restrictions, the Driver Theory Test has not been deemed to be an essential service. As a consequence, the service is closed while level 5 restrictions remain in place. </p>
<p id="para_930" class=""> The Driver Theory Test service has seen its capacity reduced significantly to comply with occupational and public health requirements. The Road Safety Authority has advised my office that it is engaging with its service provider to maximise capacity to offer tests while adhering to occupational and public health requirements for when servicers are resumed. In this regard, they would, for example, be opening on additional days at some centres and extended hours also provided to allow additional capacity for appointments. </p>
<p id="para_931" class=""> The position in relation to backlogs will be reviewed again when Level 5 is lifted.</p>
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Driver Licences

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<h3>Questions (29)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_29">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Sorca Clarke"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">Sorca Clarke</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Sorca Clarke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_932" class="">29. <strong>Deputy Sorca Clarke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting over two months for their C licence application to be processed by the NDLS, having submitted all necessary paperwork on 8 December 2020. [7570/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech brief" id="spk_288">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
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<p id="para_933" class="">This is an operational matter which I am forwarding to the Road Safety Authority, which has direct responsibibility for the driver licensing service, to respond to directly. If the Deputy has not received a reply within 10 working days I would ask that she contact my office directly.</p>
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Penalty Points System

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<h3>Questions (30)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_30">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">
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<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">Sorca Clarke</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Sorca Clarke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_934" class="">30. <strong>Deputy Sorca Clarke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting over two months for a vital statement from the NDLS on the non-existence of penalty points on their licence. [7571/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech brief" id="spk_289">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/image/thumb" alt="Hildegarde Naughton"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
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<p id="para_935" class="">This is an operational matter which I am forwarding to the Road Safety Authority, as the body responsible for National Driver Licence Service, to respond to directly. If the Deputy has not received a reply within 10 working days she should contact my office directly.</p>
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National Driver Licensing Service

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<h3>Questions (31)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_31">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Sorca Clarke"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Sorca-Clarke.D.2020-02-08/">Sorca Clarke</a>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Sorca Clarke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_936" class="">31. <strong>Deputy Sorca Clarke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the steps he will take to address the ongoing issues with members of the public contacting the NDLS regarding documentation necessary to their continued employment which is being severely affected by unanswered emails and call holding times of up to 50 minutes. [7572/21]</p>
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<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
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<p id="para_937" class="">As the Deputy will appreciate, the Covid-19 crisis has had a significant impact on all aspects of our public services, including the National Driver Licence Service.</p>
<p id="para_938" class=""> In 2019, the National Driver Licence Service was not deemed to be essential by Government, and was closed from March to June. This inevitably led to a backlog in the processing of licence applications. </p>
<p id="para_939" class=""> The NDLS resumed services in June, but with reduced capacity, due to the need to comply with Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and to ensure that both customers and staff are kept as safe as possible. All appointments must be booked in advance as it is not possible to facilitate any walk-ins due to the social distancing requirements and in the interest of protecting the staff and customers. </p>
<p id="para_940" class=""> The RSA has worked with their providers to create additional capacity through a combination of additional staff, extended and additional operating hours (i.e. Sundays where needed), and the provision of overtime. The RSA has also expanded the online application facility to accommodate all driving licence and learner permit applications for those with a verified MyGovID account (which requires a Public Services Card in order that identify can be validated). Drivers over 70 can now apply for their licences by post.</p>
<p id="para_941" class=""> In the most recent Covid-19 restrictions, the National Driver Licence Service has not been deemed to be an essential service. Therefore, front office appointments can only be made by essential workers. </p>
<p id="para_942" class=""> These unavoidable circumstances as outlined above, which are necessary to protect public health, have led to a huge increase in queries and questions from members of the public. The NDLS is endeavouring to keep up with these queries, but has advised that lengthy delays can be expected for anyone wishing to speak directly to an advisor.</p>
<p id="para_943" class=""> Instead, members of the public are advised that the NDLS website ndls.ie contains all that a licence applicant may need to know, and they are asked to seek information from there in the first instance. If their question remains unanswered, they can email info@ndls.ie where their query will be responded to.</p>
<p id="para_944" class=""> Due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe as well as Ireland, possible further extensions ofdriving licences are currently under consideration at EU level. A decision on this issue is expected shortly.</p>
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Road Projects

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<h3>Questions (32)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_32">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/John-Paul-Phelan.S.2002-09-12/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/John-Paul-Phelan.S.2002-09-12/">John Paul Phelan</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">John Paul Phelan</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_945" class="">32. <strong>Deputy John Paul Phelan</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of the project to construct a northern bridge and road infrastructure in Kilkenny city linking the N77 to the R693, given that this is a long-standing priority for the local authority and TII; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7581/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-32">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_291">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
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<p id="para_946" class="">The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council. </p>
<p id="para_947" class=""> Any projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Strategic Grant Programme are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis. All projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework. Given the limited funding available for regional and local road improvement works it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind. </p>
<p id="para_948" class=""> As required under the project appraisal guidelines, a preliminary Appraisal was submitted by Kilkenny County Council in December 2019. However, the revised Public Spending Code requires a Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) for all projects with an estimated expenditure of €10 million or more. The SAR is now a key deliverable at the first decision stage in the project appraisal process. Once completed, a SAR needs Departmental approval.</p>
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Bus Services

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<h3>Questions (33)</h3>
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<div class="question" id="pq_33">
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<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/James-Lawless.D.2016-10-03/">
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/James-Lawless.D.2016-10-03/">James Lawless</a>
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">James Lawless</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_949" class="">33. <strong>Deputy James Lawless</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of the provision of an adequate bus stop pole (details supplied) at Fernslough, Killickaweeny, Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7593/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-33">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-33">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_292">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/33/speech/292/" data-share-text="Bus Services" title="Share speech #292 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_950" class="">As Minister for Transport, 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, including the provision of bus stops and shelters. </p>
<p id="para_951" class=""> 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.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Road Projects

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (34)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_34">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Darren O'Rourke"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">Darren O'Rourke</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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</a>
</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Darren O'Rourke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_952" class="">34. <strong>Deputy Darren O'Rourke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> if the review of the national development plan will not result in existing road infrastructure projects contained in the plan being scrapped or delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7609/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-34">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-34">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_293">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/34/speech/293/" data-share-text="Road Projects" title="Share speech #293 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_953" class="">As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and securing exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. </p>
<p id="para_954" class=""> Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.<strong>
</strong>TII delivers the National Roads Programme in line with Project Ireland 2040, the National Planning Framework and the NDP. As regards regional and local roads, the NDP makes provision for the implementation of a number of road improvement schemes, subject to necessary approvals. </p>
<p id="para_955" class=""> The Programme for Government (PfG) includes a commitment to bring forward the planned review of the NDP and use the review to set out an updated NDP for the period up to 2030. </p>
<p id="para_956" class=""> The review of the NDP will be aligned with the National Planning Framework, the National Strategic Outcomes and Project Ireland 2040, and is broad and wide ranging. The review seeks to strengthen the alignment with the National Planning Framework as well as to take into account key developments since the launch of the current NDP in 2018, including the PfG.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Driver Test

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (35)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_35">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/image/thumb" alt="Robert Troy"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Robert-Troy.D.2011-03-09/">Robert Troy</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Robert Troy</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_957" class="">35. <strong>Deputy Robert Troy</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the reason driver theory tests have not been added to the online options; and the reason cancelled tests have not been given dates over new bookings (details supplied). [7610/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-35">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-35">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_294">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/image/thumb" alt="Hildegarde Naughton"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/35/speech/294/" data-share-text="Driver Test" title="Share speech #294 by Minister of State at the Department of Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_958" class="">The closure of the Driver Theory Test Service from March-June 2020, as well as the significantly reduced level of capacity necessary on reopening, followed by further closures during subsequent level 5 restrictions, is inevitably increasing service backlogs. </p>
<p id="para_959" class=""> The Road Safety Authority has advised my office that it is engaging with its service provider to maximise capacity to offer tests while adhering to occupational and public health requirements for when servicers are resumed. In this regard, they would, for example, be opening on additional days at some centres and extended hours also provided to allow additional capacity for appointments. </p>
<p id="para_960" class=""> On the question of how rebookings will be handled, the Deputy should be aware that the operation of the tests is handled by the RSA and it is for them to devise the most effective way of handling these issues.</p>
<p id="para_961" class=""> My Department had previously requested that the Road Safety Authority, as the body legally responsible for the driver theory test, examine whether theory tests can be taken on line remotely and what is required to do so. </p>
<p id="para_962" class=""> I am pleased to inform you that the Driver Theory Test service has recently launched a pilot phase of a new initiative, which offers a Remote Testing service for specific categories of Theory Test (C, D, CD, BMT, TMT, ADI, CPCB, CPCT).</p>
<p id="para_963" class=""> During the pilot phase Remote Testing will be available on a limited basis and extra capacity will be added as it is rolled out to allow more customers to sit their bus, truck, CPC or ADI Theory Test online. </p>
<p id="para_964" class=""> Following a review of the pilot phase, I understand the RSA expect the initiative to be extended for car and motorcycles. </p>
<p id="para_965" class=""> The RSA are keen to progress and extend the service to all categories of Driver Theory Test, however scaling up operations to facilitate higher numbers will take time to achieve.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Road Network

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (36)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_36">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Alan-Kelly.S.2007-07-23/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Alan-Kelly.S.2007-07-23/image/thumb" alt="Alan Kelly"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Alan-Kelly.S.2007-07-23/">Alan Kelly</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Alan Kelly</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_966" class="">36. <strong>Deputy Alan Kelly</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the reason there is a delay in providing funding for local authority regional and local roads budgets. [7677/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-36">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-36">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_295">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/36/speech/295/" data-share-text="Road Network" title="Share speech #295 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_967" class="">The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants. </p>
<p id="para_968" class=""> Grant allocations for 2021 are being notified to local authorities this week. The allocation process did take somewhat longer this year due to the time required to assess local authority grant applications which were received under additional grant categories this year and to ensure that grant allocations take account of Programme for Government requirements.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

National Transport Authority

Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 21.

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (37)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_37">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/image/thumb" alt="Éamon Ó Cuív"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/">Éamon Ó Cuív</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="social-share">
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Éamon Ó Cuív</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_969" class="">37. <strong>Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> when the projects to be funded out of the fund of €50 million announced for cycling and walking projects on 4 December 2020 will be announced; the process by which this funding will be disbursed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7700/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-37">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-37">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_296">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/37/speech/296/" data-share-text="National Transport Authority" title="Share speech #296 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_970" class="">As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure, including cycling and walking infrastructure.</p>
<p id="para_971" class=""> Details of individual projects are matters for the NTA and the relevant local authorities, accordingly I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="ak-summary">
<em> Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 21.</em>
</div>

Airport Policy

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (39)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_39">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/image/thumb" alt="Brendan Smith"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Brendan-Smith.D.1992-12-14/">Brendan Smith</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Brendan Smith</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_972" class="">39. <strong>Deputy Brendan Smith</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the additional measures that will be introduced to reduce the number of passengers using Dublin Airport as a transit to other destinations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7726/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-39">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-39">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_297">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/39/speech/297/" data-share-text="Airport Policy" title="Share speech #297 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_973" class="">The Government has adopted a cautious approach to international travel and has worked to ensure that any necessary air travel is done safely.</p>
<p id="para_974" class=""> Ireland is a small open economy and many people depend on trade for their livelihoods. There are also essential supply chains from overseas relying on aviation routes and connectivity bringing food, medicines and other products to Ireland which are critical to our health and for economic activity. Travel is also necessary to allow people to perform essential work, to care for family members overseas and to return to the country. For these reasons international travel has contiuned. </p>
<p id="para_975" class=""> The overall level of international travel has however been reduced markedly due to the measures introduced to restrict the tranmsission of COVID 19. Where flight bans have been introduced passengers understandably have resorted to indirect routings - in the case of the UK such indirect routings are not solely those through Ireland. Alternative measures are necessary to address and risks for the transmission of COVID 19 arising from those those cases. We maintain an ongoing dialogue with the UK and Northern Ireland authorities and will provide support where possible and where required to mitigate against COVID 19 transmisson risks linked to transit passengers.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Departmental Expenditure

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (40)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_40">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/image/thumb" alt="Éamon Ó Cuív"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Éamon-Ó-Cuív.S.1989-10-01/">Éamon Ó Cuív</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<i>Share</i>
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</div>
<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Éamon Ó Cuív</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_976" class="">40. <strong>Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the carry-over of unspent capital from 2020 to 2021 approved by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for his Department; the departmental subheads to which this applies and the amount in each case; the reason the capital was not spent in 2020; the steps being taken to ensure there will not be an underspend in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7731/21]</p>
<a class="view-answer" href="#pq-answers-40">View answer</a></div>
</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-40">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_298">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/40/speech/298/" data-share-text="Departmental Expenditure" title="Share speech #298 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_977" class="">The carryover of unspent capital from 2020 into 2021 approved by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for my Department is €151,480m as per the table below.</p>
<table>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_978" class="">Subhead </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_979" class="">Description of Carryover Area </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_980" class="">Amount Carried forward to 2021(€,000) </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_981" class="">Subhead </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_982" class="">Description of Carryover Area </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_983" class="">Amount Carried forward to 2021(€,000) </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_984" class="">A3 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_985" class="">Regional Airports </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_986" class="">€8,800 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_987" class="">B3.5 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_988" class="">Regional and Local Roads - Stimulus Works </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_989" class="">€15,850 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_990" class="">B.5 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_991" class="">Vehicle and Driver Licensing Expenses </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_992" class="">€2,580 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_993" class="">B6 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_994" class="">Carbon Reduction </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_995" class="">€4,650 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_996" class="">B7.2 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_997" class="">Rural Transport Programme(RTP) Technical Assistance </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_998" class="">€100 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_999" class="">B8.1 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1000" class="">Smarter Travel </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1001" class="">€2,000 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1002" class="">B8.2 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1003" class="">Heavy Rail Safety and Development </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1004" class="">€70,000 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1005" class="">B8.3 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1006" class="">Public Transport Infrastructure </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1007" class="">€9,500 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1008" class="">B8.5 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1009" class="">Cycling and Walking </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1010" class="">€15,000 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1011" class="">B8.6 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1012" class="">Greenways </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1013" class="">€20,000 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1014" class="">C3 </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1015" class="">Coast Guard </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1016" class="">€3,000 </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<p id="para_1017" class="">Total </p>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1018" class=""/>
</td>
<td>
<p id="para_1019" class="">€151,480 </p>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p id="para_1020" class=""><strong>
</strong> Below is a brief description of the reason for Capital Carryover into 2021.</p>
<p id="para_1021" class=""><strong>A3 –</strong> There were delays to several projects, particularly at Shannon and Knock, due to COVID-19 restrictions.</p>
<p id="para_1022" class=""><strong>B3.5 -</strong> Following an applications procedure the 2020 “July Stimulus” funds were allocated to local authorities on the 31st August 2020, which only allowed three months to design and construct the works before the end of November.</p>
<p id="para_1023" class=""><strong>B.5 -</strong> Some elements of the “technology refresh” programme were not completed in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Some planned National Vehicle Driver File business service enhancements were not undertaken as priorities were reframed to address pandemic related issues. This accordingly delayed the RTOL IT upgrade.</p>
<p id="para_1024" class=""><strong>B6 – </strong>Due to the impact of COVID-19, there were delays to the asps Grant Scheme and LEVTI Scheme; on vehicle sales and motorway traffic; delays in modelling work undertaken; delays in the Purchase and delivery of Hydrogen buses; and delays in the establishment of the Alternatively Fuelled HDV Purchase Grant Scheme.</p>
<p id="para_1025" class=""><strong>B7.2</strong> - Progress was delayed on one of the Rural Transport / Local Link projects, managed by the National Transport Authority due to the impacts of COVID-19.</p>
<p id="para_1026" class=""><strong>B8.1 – </strong>A delay in cross-border greenway projects.</p>
<p id="para_1027" class=""><strong>B8.2 -</strong> Delays to various rail projects, including the delivery of 41 rail cars.</p>
<p id="para_1028" class=""><strong>B8.3</strong> – There were delivery delays on 2020 Bus Fleet which will now arrive in 2021.</p>
<p id="para_1029" class=""><strong>B8.5 –</strong> The delay is due to the timing of “July Stimulus” funding. The reason for the underspend has been the volume of work to be completed in a very short time frame, and the need to undertake both tendering and construction in the limited period since funding was confirmed. Multiple local authorities were tendering for the same type of work concurrently, the availability of suitable contracting resources has also proved to be a constraint on certain projects.</p>
<p id="para_1030" class=""><strong>B8.6 -</strong> There have been significant delays in projects drawing down expenditure due to COVID-19 impacts.</p>
<p id="para_1031" class=""><strong>C3 –</strong> There were delays on the IRCG Building Programme and COVID-19 related delays on the procurement of Coast Guard boats.</p>
<p id="para_1032" class=""> As can be seen, the Covid-19 impact is the primary reason for delays experienced. Construction delays, manufacturing delays and supply chain delays have all been contributory factors. It is hoped that impacts in 2021 will be less significant that in 2020 as multiple structures are now in place nationally to offset the impacts of the pandemic and minimise disruption. However, the risk of disruption still exists. </p>
<p id="para_1033" class=""> An additional reason for delays relates to the timing of the 2020 “July Stimulus” package. My Department directed capital expenditure towards “shovel-ready” projects. However, even with “shovel ready” projects, there is still a period required to plan and design the projects that have been approved. The result is a small lag time between funding becoming available and being invested. As a result, it was necessary to carry some of the July Stimulus capital into 2021 to allow adequate time for project design and implementation.</p>
<p id="para_1034" class=""> Ongoing monitoring and early identification of emerging concerns will be instrumental in identifying any underspend and related root cause. In 2021, my Department will be reporting in detail on a quarterly basis to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the progress of investment of the 2021 budget. This additional reporting is partly intended to identify emerging underspends. This quarterly reporting will take place alongside standard monthly reports. Reasons for any emerging underspends will be identified and addressed on a case-by-case basis.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Driver Test

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (41)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_41">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Niamh-Smyth.D.2016-10-03/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Niamh-Smyth.D.2016-10-03/image/thumb" alt="Niamh Smyth"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Niamh-Smyth.D.2016-10-03/">Niamh Smyth</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Niamh Smyth</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_1035" class="">41. <strong>Deputy Niamh Smyth</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of driver theory tests during level 5 lockdown; if extra appointments are planned due to the backlog; the number waiting by county; the length of time they have been waiting in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7762/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-41">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_299">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/image/thumb" alt="Hildegarde Naughton"/>
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<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Hildegarde-Naughton.S.2013-07-19/">Minister of State at the Department of Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
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<p id="para_1036" class="">Details on the waiting time for a Driver Theory Test are held by the Road Safety Authority. I have therefore referred this part of the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.</p>
<p id="para_1037" class=""> Under current level 5 restrictions, the Driver Theory Test has not been deemed to be an essential service. As a consequence, the service is closed while level 5 restrictions remain in place. </p>
<p id="para_1038" class=""> The Driver Theory Test service has seen its capacity reduced significantly to comply with occupational and public health requirements. The Road Safety Authority has advised my office that it is engaging with its service provider to maximise capacity to offer tests while adhering to occupational and public health requirements for when servicers are resumed. In this regard, they would, for example, be opening on additional days at some centres and extended hours also provided to allow additional capacity for appointments. </p>
<p id="para_1039" class=""> The position in relation to backlogs will be reviewed again when Level 5 is lifted.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Rail Network

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (42)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_42">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Darren O'Rourke"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">Darren O'Rourke</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Darren O'Rourke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_1040" class="">42. <strong>Deputy Darren O'Rourke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the freight rail projects he is currently examining with a view to reducing emissions from the heavy- and light-duty freight sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7766/21]</p>
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<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-42">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_300">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/42/speech/300/" data-share-text="Rail Network" title="Share speech #300 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1041" class="">As the Deputy will be aware, I have a strong interest in this area and I see potential for the development of rail freight in Ireland. Our Programme for Government commits us to a 7% average annual emissions reduction and the intra-modal shift of some freight traffic from road to rail can make a contribution to achieving this.</p>
<p id="para_1042" class=""> I met with the Chairman and Chief Executive of Irish Rail in December and we discussed a number of issues, including the company's plans for the development of rail freight. Irish Rail is preparing a Rail Freight Strategy with the support of outside consultants to guide actions to 2040. </p>
<p id="para_1043" class=""> The Deputy will also be aware that I have also requested my Department to prepare terms of reference for a Strategic Rail Review. This Review will consider all relevant issues in relation to inter-urban rail, inter/intra-regional rail, and rail connectivity to our international gateways, with the latter considering the role of rail freight. I understand this may be the first such Review to be conducted on an all-island basis and this will, I believe, allow for a fuller consideration of the potential role of rail and the network required to support that potential than perhaps has been allowed before.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Light Rail Projects

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (43)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_43">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Darren O'Rourke"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">Darren O'Rourke</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Darren O'Rourke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_1044" class="">43. <strong>Deputy Darren O'Rourke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of the MetroLink project; the latest cost estimate for the project; the construction timeline; if he is considering extending the line beyond Charlemont; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7768/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-43">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_301">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/43/speech/301/" data-share-text="Light Rail Projects" title="Share speech #301 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1045" class="">As Minister for Transport, 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 MetroLink.</p>
<p id="para_1046" class=""> 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.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Light Rail Projects

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (44)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_44">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Darren O'Rourke"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">Darren O'Rourke</a>
</h4>
</div>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Darren O'Rourke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_1047" class="">44. <strong>Deputy Darren O'Rourke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the status of the DART+ project; the latest cost estimate for the project; the timeline for completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7769/21]</p>
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</div>
</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-44">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_302">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/44/speech/302/" data-share-text="Light Rail Projects" title="Share speech #302 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1048" class="">As Minister for Transport, 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 (GDA), including the DART+ programme</p>
<p id="para_1049" class=""> In light of their statutory responsibilties I have therefore referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Transport Policy

<div class="sub-header">
<h3>Questions (45)</h3>
</div>

<div class="question" id="pq_45">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/image/thumb" alt="Darren O'Rourke"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Darren-O'Rourke.D.2020-02-08/">Darren O'Rourke</a>
</h4>
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<div class="content"><h4 class="from">Darren O'Rourke</h4><span class="question-start">Question:</span>
<p id="para_1050" class="">45. <strong>Deputy Darren O'Rourke</strong> asked the <strong>Minister for Transport</strong> the way in which his Department plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, which made up 20.3% of total emissions in 2019; his target emissions in this area in each year up to 2025; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7770/21]</p>
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</div>
<div class="sub-header" id="pq-answers-45">
<h3>Written answers (Question to Transport)</h3>
</div><div class="speech" id="spk_303">
<div class="c-avatar -debate">
<a class="c-avatar__img-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">
<img class="c-avatar__img" src="https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/member/id/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/image/thumb" alt="Eamon Ryan"/>
</a>
<h4 class="c-avatar__name">
<a class="c-avatar__name-link" href="/en/members/member/Eamon-Ryan.D.2002-06-06/">Minister for Transport</a>
</h4>
</div>
<div class="text">
<div class="content"><div class="social-share"><a href="#" class="share-trigger" data-share-url="https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-02-11/45/speech/303/" data-share-text="Transport Policy" title="Share speech #303 by Minister for Transport"><i>Share</i></a></div>

<p id="para_1051" class="">Delivering a sustainable mobility system in Ireland is a key priority of my Department. The Programme for Government commits to 7% average annual emissions reductions to 2030, and our national climate ambition is being put on a statutory footing through the <em>Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill</em>. The Bill aims to establish a target of carbon-neutrality by 2050, as well instigating as an economy-wide system of successive five-year carbon budgets to reach this ultimate target. Following this process, the transport sector will be set a target emissions range. </p>
<p id="para_1052" class=""> In the interim and despite the costs and challenges involved, a comprehensive programme of work is already underway in my Department to decarbonise the transport sector. We have a clear vision to move to more sustainable mobility through:</p>
<p id="para_1053" class=""> - Significant investment—to increase capacity and enhance services in our public transport system, as well as enabling more walking and cycling trips;</p>
<p id="para_1054" class=""> - Promoting a strong transition away from fossil fuels to lower-emitting alternatives, both in public (bus, coach, taxi and rail vehicles) and private fleets (passenger and commercial); and</p>
<p id="para_1055" class=""> - Sustainably increasing the blend of biofuels in the conventional fuel mix.</p>
<p id="para_1056" class=""> Added to national efforts, the EU is stepping-up ambition with a range of initiatives signposted in the <em>European Green Deal</em>. Over the coming months, my Department will actively engage with a range of EU climate legislation including the review of <em>CO</em><em>2</em><em> emission standards for cars and vans</em>, the recasting of the <em>Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive</em>, the development of the <em>Euro 7 emissions standards</em>, and consideration of extending <em>Emissions Trading to the Aviation and Maritime sectors</em>. Together, these national and European measures will steadily decarbonise the transport sector, and help Ireland achieve its emission reduction targets.</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>