23 Oct 2018, 09.58

Road safety officials will discuss the recorded failure rates of school buses and the disputed plans for creating a traffic-free College Green plaza on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The meeting at 9:30 a.m. in Committee Room 4 can be viewed live here and on Android and Apple devices using the Houses of the Oireachtas app.

The scheduled witnesses for the discussion of school bus safety are

  • Road Safety Authority Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock, 
  • RSA Head of Enforcement Kathleen Callanan and 
  • RSA Vehicle Testing and Enforcement Manager Liam Duggan. 

Witnesses for the College Green discussions are

  • National Transport Authority Chief Executive Anne Graham, 
  • NTA Deputy Chief Executive Hugh Creegan, 
  • Dick Brady, assistant chief executive of Dublin City Council, and 
  • Brendan O’Brien, head of technical services for Dublin City Council. 

The discussion on school bus safety follows an RTÉ report in September that cited RSA statistics showing that more than half of all school buses subject to roadside safety checks had received failing grades over a 12-month period. The data released indicated that of 873 buses tested, 445 had failed – including 268 operating with “major” defects, 37 with “dangerous” defects.

“The Road Safety Authority data as reported is alarming, so the Committee welcomes the opportunity to explore the RSA’s own assessment in detail,” said Committee Chairman Fergus O’Dowd TD. “School buses operated by dozens of private operators provide a particularly important service in rural areas where road conditions often can be challenging. No bus should be operating on Ireland’s roads in a dangerous condition.”

Dublin City Council’s plans to transform College Green into a traffic-free plaza have been blocked by An Bord Pleanála, which ruled last week that the proposal would snarl bus services and increase traffic problems along the quays and other key arterials of central Dublin.

“The Committee will be keen to hear whether Dublin City Council believes its vision for a traffic-free plaza in front of Trinity College remains achievable, or whether the problems identified by An Bord Pleanála now appear insurmountable,” Deputy O’Dowd said.

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