Dublin Transport Authority Bill, 1985: Committee Stage.

Question proposed: "That section 1 stand part of the Bill."

Before we start I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the question of the payment of 12 foreigners on board theIrish Spruce at Marseilles by the Minister for Finance.

I will communicate with Deputy Wilson.

Section 1 is the definition section?

It relates to the short title.

Deputy John Kelly rightly called attention to the awkward title Iompras Bhaile Átha Cliath, on Second Stage. I have been dealing with the potential Bill and submit that Údarás Iompair Baile Átha Cliath is far more euphonic and in keeping with the practice and the usage of the word. I checked the word "Iompras" in an English-Irish dictionary and I did not find it.

This is the short title section. Section 1 reads:

This Act may be cited as the Dublin Transport Authority Act, 1985.

Is it line one?

It is line 15. The Deputy is dealing with the title. When we have gone through the Bill, we will come to the title.

That is what I thought, you switched me.

Not intentionally. I was dealing with section 1.

Just the English title — the Dublin Transport Authority Bill. What I have to say about my research on An tIompras can wait until the end.

In case we do not reach it, it has been suggested by the translation service of the House.

I do not burn any incense in front of any authority.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 2 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.
NEW SECTION.

Amendment No. 1 in the names of Deputies Mac Giolla and De Rossa. Acceptance of this amendment involves the deletion of section 5 of the Bill.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 7, before section 5, to insert the following new section:

"5.—When an order under this Act is proposed to be made, a draft of the order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and the order shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House."

I put down this amendment because it is a matter I have raised previously on other Bills. It arises directly from the difficulties which I and other Members have had in having orders made by Ministers debated in the House. As the existing section 5 stands an order will stand unless annulled by a motion of the House. Under Standing Orders at present it is not possible for an individual Deputy to have a motion taken annulling an order. The only way it can be done is if the Government agree to debate such a motion which so far as I am aware to date has not occurred. I have gone through some of the debates and have not found any precedent where a Government have agreed to debate having an order annulled.

The only other way it can be done is if the parties who control Private Members' time are prepared to allow such a motion to be taken in that time. During the life of this present Dáil that has not happened. On a number of occasions I have tried to have motions moved seeking to have orders annulled. I failed. The amendment I have down is to make it necessary for orders made under this Bill to be positive orders which must be placed before the House. The draft order should be placed before both Houses of the Oireachtas and not made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each House. That amendment is standard wording from making positive orders.

In the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill the Minister accepted the inclusion of such a positive section in relation to orders that he will have to bring in under that Bill. I ask the Minister for Communications to agree also to this amendment. It will affect, so far as I am aware, section 9 which deals with orders which the Minister might make providing for additional functions and also for the extension of the area of the Authority. These are important areas and, while the orders the Minister may bring in under this section may not require a long debate, at least the opportunity would be presented to Members of this House to debate them if they so wished. As a general rule we should tend towards that type of presentation of orders in this House rather than the one which seems to be the practice of making orders which are capable only of being annulled by negative motion of the House. In practice this means Deputies cannot have those kind of negative motions moved.

The difficulty here is that there are four sections which would be affected by Deputy De Rossa's amendment. Section 3 allows me power to make orders to vary the commencement dates of different sections. This is purely for administrative convenience. It would be absurd if I had to come to this House to debate every order for the commencement of every section which the House was in the process of agreeing. Section 4 provides for the establishment day of the new Authority. It would also be absurd if the House were agreeing to the setting up of this Authority and then sought a separate debate on the order setting it up.

Sections 9 and 10 are more relevant to the points being made by Deputy De Rossa. Section 9 already provides for the positive orders that he seeks. This section enables me by order to extend the functions of the Dublin Transport Authority, which requires a positive order by both Houses. Section 10 allows me, for different purposes, to vary the functional areas of the Authority. When I say vary, it may well mean that we may wish to extend certain functions of the Authority to cover places like north Wicklow, Bray, Naas, Leixlip, Maynooth and Dunboyne which might become part of the greater Dublin area as far as transport is concerned in due course.

We may also wish to say no, that the Authority's functions in that regard should be confined to Dublin city or to an area so many miles from the GPO. It would be unduly restrictive if we were to accept Deputy De Rossa's amendment in that regard. Each time we wanted to do something in this respect we would have to come back to the House for an order.

One of the problems is that we have so many Bills on the Order Paper. The Dublin Transport Authority Bill has been on the Order Paper for months and months. Because there are so many Bills, progress is very slow and it is very hard to get things done. To suggest that we should overload Parliament even more — there is a mechanism by which Parliament can, if it wants to, draw attention to these orders — would be wrong. I take the point Deputy De Rossa makes that, while a provision in respect of section 10 refers to an annulment order of the House within 21 sitting days, thatde facto precludes an individual Deputy from debating that order as time is not allowed for it. That is a subject that could be raised with the Committee on Procedures and Privileges or with the Leader of the House. As Deputy De Rossa knows, many reforms have been brought into the House during the lifetime of this Parliament. The new Leader of the House has other reforms in mind for discussion and that would be the appropriate forum in which to discuss them.

I accept the Minister's position and appreciate the section 9 and 10 provisions on the draft being laid before the House. In the light of the last sentence or two of the Minister's intervention, I should like the Chair to enlighten me with regard to section 5, which is the one being amended by Deputies Mac Giolla and De Rossa, how a resolution annulling an order could come before the House. Could this be achieved with two signatures or only by the Government or the main Opposition party?

I apologise to the Minister for misreading section 9 which provides for a positive order to be made. That is very welcome. The position still holds in relation to section 10. I accept the Minister's point in relation to sections 3 and 4 that it would be unduly restrictive. Unfortunately quite a large number of these negative-type orders are made during the year and, as the Minister said, it could take a considerable length of time to debate all of them. I do not believe that the Dáil would be anxious to debate them all, but a number of them may be of legitimate concern to Members of this House. The Minister is responsible for one of them, section 31 of the Broadcasting Act. An order has been made every year for the past ten years under that Act and there has never been a debate on it.

That is an example of how a situation can arise where on the face of it we have the right to debate these orders but in practice the rules of the House prevent it. The Government are unwilling to permit time to be given for discussion of those issues. That problem could be overcome. A procedure could be initiated whereby the Government could set aside time in any Dáil session for the debate of such orders, particularly the more important ones and ones which have a wide-ranging effect, such as section 31 of the Broadcasting Act.

I have adopted an attitude in relation to all Bills that where I see these negative orders being included in the Bill, I will propose that positive orders be made. Independent Deputies and Deputies who belong to the smaller parties do not have the same opportunity as Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party have their motions debated in this House. The Minister referred to the fact that Dáil reforms have been introduced in the life of this Dáil. That is true. We made representations to the former Leader of the House, Deputy John Bruton, in relation to this matter. Our information up to about a month ago was that he was not prepared to consider our suggestions basically because he felt that the time of the House would be unduly taken up with such discussions.

I do not intend to press the amendment because it would cover sections 3 and 4 which do not necessarily need to be dealt with in the way I am proposing. Section 10 shall be dealt with in this way. In my introduction I mentioned section 9 which already has a procedure for orders to be made only after agreement by the House. That should be the general approach by Ministers in introducing legislation in relation to functions they have which have fairly widespread effects on people's lives.

My question was elbowed out of the way by Deputy De Rossa.

I gave the Deputy time to research it.

I am not ill disposed to the intent of what Deputy De Rossa says. The sections in question are sections 9 and 10. While it will be inconvenient and the orders we will be making will not be of great import I would be prepared to extend the provision in section 9 to section 10. I will introduce an amendment on Report Stage to require that orders under section 10 will have to have the prior approval of the House.

Is Deputy De Rossa pressing the amendment?

Section 9 seems to cover the point raised by Deputy De Rossa but section 5 does not.

Section 5 explains how orders are dealt with. I am proposing that orders made under section 9 and section 10 will not become effective until they have the positive approval of the Houses. Orders made under sections 3 and 4 would stand unless they had the retrospective disapproval of the Houses.

That is precisely the position the Minister is starting with.

No. We are starting with the need for positive approval under section 9 and the possibility of retrospective disapproval under section 10. I am now going for positive approval in both cases to meet the point made by Deputy De Rossa.

I thank the Minister for his gesture in agreeing to amend section 10 (4). I hope it extends to other legislation passed during the remainder of this Dáil.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question proposed: "That section 5 stand part of the Bill".

Will the Chair answer my original question?

When a motion is approved it is put before the House and dealt with in accordance with Standing Orders in the normal way.

Section 5 states: "... if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House...". How does that resolution get before the House? Who can do it?

Deputy De Rossa said that this could not be done except by large parties.

Any Deputy can table a motion annulling an order but it is impossible in practice under Standing Orders to get it moved. The Deputy's party could do it because they have control of Private Members' time.

The people have so decided.

The reality is that they have never done so.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 6 agreed to.
SECTION 7.
Question proposed: "That section 7 stand part of the Bill."

Iompras Bhaile Átha Cliath seems to be a rather lumpish title. The title Údarás Iompair Bhaile Átha Cliath had been used a good deal in preliminary discussions on this Bill. The Minister said the translations service suggested this. It is a word that is a little torecherché. I do not want to make a big point about it. Perhaps the Minister would think about changing it to “Údarás Iompair Bhaile Átha Cliath”. “Iompair” has gained a certain respectability through being used in the title “Córas Iompair Éireann” as the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will understand.

Deputy Wilson is a fluent Irish speaker and I must respect his expertise in this respect, which is greater than mine. I have no great objection to accepting what he said. I do not particularly like "Iompras Bhaile Átha Cliath" but "Údarás Iompair mBhaile Átha Cliath" is not very elegant or as "get up and go-ish" as we would like in the case of a Transport Bill. I will consider that for Report Stage.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 8.

On section 8 Deputy Wilson has amendments No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, all related. They can be discussed together by agreement of the House. Is that agreed?

Deputies

Agreed.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 7, lines 29 to 32, to delete subsection (2) and substitute the following:

(2) The Authority shall within one year of its establishment, or within such other period as the Minister may direct, make a transport plan and at least once every five years thereafter, review the plan and make in it any changes considered proper, such plan to indicate the measures which in the opinion of the Authority, should be taken to meet the transport needs of the Authority's area, over such period as the Authority considers appropriate through provision, operation and management of transport infrastructure and services and such plan to be consistent with national resource allocation priorities, as between the transport sector and other sectors of the economy as set out in Government planning documents.

I would like to start with No. 2 and to say in support of this amendment, what I said on Second Stage, that we on this side of the House consider the Bill as put before the House to be weak. It establishes an Authority with great potential for good but, because of its lack of teeth, or bite, it will fall short of the powers that will be necessary to deal with the transport problems in Dublin city. I regard the transport plan as being the essential thing as far as the Dublin Transport Authority are concerned.

I mention in the words of amendment No. 2 what the plan should cover. The period of time when that plan would be effective should be determined. I mention also the areas which it covers. The Authority would have an overall function in the promotion of integrated planning and transport operation. In the area covered by the Bill it was originally three local government body areas. Now with the new reorganisation it is the Dublin borough council area and the Dublin county area. It is essential that the statue demand that the Dublin Transport Authority should produce a plan and take some time to produce that plan, and for that plan to be in place for, I suggest, five years.

The term "infrastructure" is used a great deal in various Departments, especially in the Department of the Environment, probably within some tight definition and we are really talking about roads, railways, bus ways, car parks etc. The whole impetus for the DTA came originally from a realisation that too many cooks were preparing the broth, too many fingers were in the pie, take any metaphor you like, and you could have, for example, planning for rail services and the consequential necessity to close roads and planning for roadways and road transport going on and coming at cross purposes. You could have Dublin County Council doing one thing, Dublin Corporation doing another thing at the time and Dún Laoghaire Borough Council doing something else. Theraison d'être of the idea of a plan was that all the inputs would come together. No doubt there would be a little infighting — maybe “little” is the wrong word — but in the end the matter would be settled between the DTA, the various councils and the Government of the day and we would have a logical plan that could be adhered to. This would cut out a great deal of what the original commission who considered all this business pointed out, the confusion with regard to planning.

The plan would give an indication of what is necessary in the infrastructure by way of road, rail and so on, what kind of public transport services would be in the designated area of the DTA, city bus services, suburban trains etc. The task force have been very successful, unsung heroes, in this whole business because they have made great progress with no statutory authority. Indeed, if they had not almost reached the end of their tether when the statute was needed to support them they could have achieved a good deal of what we hope the Authority may achieve now that they are getting their muscle but without the plan they will not be as successful as they should be. It is "Hamlet" without the prince. I am sure there will be achievements, in particular along the area of traffic management, as a result of the Authority being established, but I am not satisfied that the proper coordination will exist without having this plan. As my amendment affects sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and as you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, said that they should be taken altogether——

And 9, sorry. I hope I have the right terminology here. I mention the county borough of Dublin and the administrative county of Dublin as the area where, so to speak, the writ of the Authority will run. My idea is that this plan should come before the two local authorities. They should be given an opportunity to discuss, debate and suggest improvements. Then the Dublin Transport Authority should take cognisance of these suggestions coming from people who are dealing with some of the problems at even closer range. One could envisage even a conflict of interests between local authorities. This, in the first instance, would perhaps find a solution or a resolution of conflict in discussions between the local authorities concerned. The Dublin Transport Authority, if that could not be achieved, would then have a role to play. As I mentioned already, if the Authority could not resolve difficulties the final word would be with the Government. I do not envisage the Government being brought in to deal with every little detail of the problems which would arise between the local authorities but, in a major conflict or a major clash of interests which the Authority could not resolve, the matter would then be referred by the Authority to the Government.

The next stage is outlined in amendment No. 4, which refers to the publication of the draft plan. There is the drawing up of the plan, submission to the local authorities and the third stage of the publication of the draft plan. Here interested people, ordinary members of the public, or representative groups such as An Taisce and the like, would be invited to make their comments on the draft plan. The word "draft" as mentioned by Deputy De Rossa is an important one here, in that it is the building up of something from a basic structure, through consultation with local authorities and finally through a submission to the public by way of public inquiry. All those stages would polish the diamond which would finally be in operation for a period of four to five years.

Amendment No. 5 which I am proposing advocates the submission of the draft plan and the report of the public inquiry to Government. I might mention that in amendment No. 2 I suggested a period of within one year of the establishment of the authority. Perhaps there is a weakness there, but I leave an opening for the Minister with "or within such other period as the Minister may direct ..." It might be a little impracticable to think that the submission to the local authorities, the public inquiry and the Government decision could all be achieved within one year. If the period of one year acted as a kind of guideline, then the Minister could alter it if pressure on time precluded completion within that time.

Amendment No. 5 states as follows:

The Minister shall submit the draft Plan, together with the Report of the Public Inquiry, to the Government.

The following part is important:

The Government may approve the draft Plan...

In other words, as it came through the Authority, through the local authorities, through the public inquiry or, if the Government did not want to approve it, they could alter it and then approve it. Then the plan would be published. That is where the real muscle comes into it. This plan has gone through all those stages and has got Government approval.

Amendment No. 6 states as follows:

This Government approval of the Authority's Plan shall have the effect of requiring the Dublin Local Authority to amend, where necessary, their development plans to accord with the Authority's Plan as approved by the Government.

The Authority and the Government would be behind it. Anyone who has been in administration will know how pressure can be exerted by various sectors of the administration. That is why the build-up to this stage where it gets Government approval and has that kind of muscle behind it is important. You have a better and more authoritative plan, one which can bring about improvements in transport in the Dublin area.

In amendment No. 7 the provision is interesting in that none of the Dublin local authorities shall give a planning permission either while an amendment to their development plan under section 8 (6) — that is my section 8 (6) — is pending or after that amendment has been made, which would be inconsistent with the Authority's plan as approved by the Government.

In other words, that just underlines what I have said already, that when it has got Government approval then the local authorities would have to take cognisance of it and carry it out, or:

Vary their development plan to alter or omit a proposal inserted in their plan by an amendment under Head 16; except that a local authority may do either (a) or (b) with the agreement of the Authority given with the consent of the Minister."

Again, amendment No. 8 is highly relevant to the process:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(8) The Authority shall have an involvement in relation to funds for compensation or land purchase arising out of any transport proposal which, by virtue of the Authority's Plan, was (or had been for a period) contained in a development plan of a local authority."

That amendment speaks for itself with regard to how far the Authority's writ would run in that case.

In amendment No. 9 I hope that the lines mentioned are correct because much of this work was done in a hurry and I must pay tribute to the Bills Office for their help. The amendment is as follows:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(9) Before making any variation of a development plan the purpose of which is to provide for transport infrastructure or services, the Dublin local authorities shall have regard to the views of the Authority, at two stages in the variation process:

(a) in relation to the terms of transport proposals which are to go on public display; where the Authority and a local authority cannot agree on the terms of proposals for display, the Minister for the Environment shall settle the terms of such proposals,

(b) before the local authority makes a decision on whether or not to include the proposals in their development plan."

The authority's plan as envisaged by my amendments would be concerned with all transport proposals for the Dublin area over the period for which the plan was made — I mentioned a five year period. The actual plan would draw attention to any significant proposals not contained in the development plans for the period being enforced of the Dublin local authority. These proposals could be for new roads, new rail lines or perhaps multistorey car parks. I am talking particularly of the requirement of Dublin local authorities having to amend the plan to fall in with what Údarás Iompair Bhaile Átha Cliath will decide. The amendment of a development plan means just that, a change or alteration to a plan. It is not exactly the same as the variation of a development plan as mentioned in the planning legislation. The Authority's planning function is central to all my amendments.

I mentioned the task force already and the great work they did even without statutory support. They dealt with the implementation of plans also. I want to quote from the report of the Transport Consultative Commission with regard to the implementation of plans. They said:

If agreed plans, be they short-term or long-term, are not implemented, their development is a waste of time and resources.

As far as the plan I am pushing is concerned, the whole process and the importance given to the plan would imply measures to have it implemented.

As I mentioned already, one of the dangers is that the local authorities would not in the normal course of events act in accordance with the plan made out by the Dublin Transport Authority. The fact that the local authority had an input into it, in the sense that they would be given permission to review the plan, would be helpful but local authorities could, if not precluded by statute, persist with their own plans which might be in conflict with the overall plan. In other words, the Dublin Transport Authority plan would be the paramount consideration as far as planning and development were concerned in the area which will be defined in the legislation.

With regard to my suggested section 8 (8) and compensation, the report from the task force indicated that it would be the Department of the Environment which would consider the compensation question in detail, that is giving the Authority an involvement in it.

I have made the general points in favour of my amendments but I would like to sum up by saying that we regard the plan as an essential for the effective working of the new Authority. We regard it as important that the people chosen for the Authority should have special expertise in this field. We regard it as important that the local authorities concerned — now two — should have their opportunity to express themselves and to argue their case either between each other or between themselves and the Minister or with all three involved. We regard it as important that the public, by way of public inquiry, should have an opportunity of making their input. It would have to be controlled, of course. We regard it as important that provision should be made for an input from interest groups, such as An Taisce. Finally, the plan should reach the Government where it would be adopted. Muscle would be given to the plan as such and any outstanding major conflicts or difficulties would have to be decided upon so that there would be a positive plan and the authority would know where they are going.

I wish to give the reasons why I strongly oppose these amendments. When I became Minister for Transport Deputy Wilson was my immediate predecessor. The draft heads of the Bill had been almost completed and they included the provisions now tabled. I would like the House to reflect on what is intended here and what the effects of Deputy Wilson's amendments would be.

First, Dublin Transport Authority would need a large staff of planners, draftsmen and so on, replicating the staff of local authorities and to some extent the staff in the Department of the Environment. Second, the local authorities have gone through the five year development plan and the public inquiry procedure, which is painstaking and extraordinarily slow. Having done all that, we now superimpose a transport plan with more public inquiries, as if transport was not an intrinsic part of the overall development plan, and then require the local authorities to change their development plan. Then what happens? We have Government Ministers from all over the country acting as a super planning committee for Dublin. That does not make sense. To say that it is top heavy is understating the case. This is totally unnecessary.

This Bill provides the right for consultation. The Dublin Transport Authority will have the right to be consulted by the local authorities in drawing up their development plans. They will have a right of appeal to the Minister for the Environment if they are dissatisfied with the manner in which their advice was treated. They will have a right of consultation on all planning applications to the local authorities and, on all planning appeals, to An Bord Pleanála. With great respect, I contend that makes an awful lot more sense and is much leaner, fitter, much more effective and less costly. I urge the House to support this section and the provisions in my Bill.

I should say that there are a number of differences between the proposals now before us and those contained in Deputy Wilson's original Bill which he seeks to reinsert here. We are dropping the disbursement through the Authority of all Exchequer moneys to local authorities for roads and to CIE for public transport. That would give the Authority an unnecessary function. There exists already an elaborate arrangement between the Department of the Environment, the local authorities, my Department and CIE. It would be unnecessary and, taken overall, unhelpful to bring the Dublin Transport Authority in between us. As I have said, we have dropped the Dublin transport plan. But we have included the right of consultation and of appeal to the Minister for the Environment. In addition, we have provided that four members of Dublin local authorities should be members of the board of the Dublin Transport Authority.

Another important addition in this Bill about which I should like to say a few words, in the light of modern conditions in this city, is that we are now giving power to the Dublin Transport Authority to restrict wholly or partly the use of public roads by vehicles through the erection of bollards and to restrict vehicle speed on public roads by the use of road ramps. Many of the older estates in this city were very open. As the volume of traffic increased over the years, problems have arisen through traffic caught up on main roads taking what are described as rat runs through estates, speeding through them, causing great danger to the children living there and so on. In more recent times we have experienced the dreaded problem of the stolen car speeding through.

To date there was no legal authority to change that position, perhaps to convert long roads, open-ended, into two culsde-sac by erecting bollards in the middle. Neither has there been any legal authority for the erection of ramps on public roads. We are providing that authority in this Bill. The power we are seeking to give the authority in this respect will not be confined to estates of the kind I have mentioned. It will be possible to use that power in respect of some main roads where, in their opinion, it is considered desirable to slow down traffic in the interests of safety. That is an important new power. I believe it will be used extensively by local authorities to effectively transform and reduce the flow of traffic within such residential estates.

There is definitely a need for the Dublin Transport Authority to have a long term plan in regard to the development of infrastructure and transportation in general in the area under their control.

I agree with much of what the Minister has said in relation to the kinds of procedures Deputy Wilson proposes, which strike me as a very complicated way of having a plan produced. At present Dublin local authorities are engaged in reviewing the draft development plan in their areas. Indeed, just a week or so ago they discussed a document on transportation prepared by An Foras Forbartha for their area. Therefore, there is an urgency for the input by this Authority into the review of the draft plan. The procedures Deputy Wilson proposes would prevent that kind of input taking place as a matter of urgency. They would unnecessarily restrict the capacity of local authorities to prepare and proceed with their development plan.

There are a couple of points which strike me in relation to the amendments. For example, amendment No. 6 reads:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following: "(6) The Government approval of the Authority's Plan shall have the effect of requiring the Dublin Local Authorities to amend, where necessary, their development plans to accord with the Authority's Plan as approved by Government."

That is putting the cart before the horse. The preparation of the draft development plan is a function of the elected representatives and of the planners for the area. It would seem to me to be much more logical for an agency like the Dublin Transport Authority to have an input into the draft plan rather than the reverse which is proposed in the amendment.

While amendment No. 3 affords opportunities to local authorities within the area of the Dublin Transport Authority to comment on the draft plan, that would not be sufficient to provide the co-ordination needed. It has to be said also that other agencies which would have an interest in a transport plan do not appear to be mentioned in the amendments. In this instance there is no reference whatever to how CIE would fit into this planning process. It should be remembered that they are the major transport company operating in the greater Dublin area.

That is mentioned later.

There is also the question of the Dublin Port and Docks Board, or whatever may replace them when they have been done away with or whatever. They too should have some say in the kind of transportation plan proposed. They have a major part to play in the development of the port and the resultant traffic which will be generated on our roads and rail network. I agree fully that there is need for a plan to be co-ordinated with the draft plans for Dublin city and county. I honestly do not see that the procedures proposed by Deputy Wilson would achieve that objective in the kind of expeditious way required, particularly bearing in mind that the local authorities at this very moment are involved in reviewing their draft plan for the area.

I might quote from a report of a study undertaken by An Foras Forbartha for Dublin Corporation in which they point out that, by 1990, it is expected that the figure for private cars in the Dublin area will be 297,000 and by the year 2000, 396,000.

Whatever way the transport Authority will proceed in terms of their day-to-day operations, how they prepare plans or have an input into transport plans, there is one thing they must do, not to take trends and project them into the future and plan accordingly. There is a need to try to alter the trends that are projected particularly in relation to the number of private cars. The Authority should discourage the use of private cars for travelling to and from the centre of the city. The Authority have a major role to play in indicating how the public transport services, rail and bus, can be developed. Obviously, it is not possible to restrict the entry of private cars unduly but we will pay a heavy price in terms of the environment and the physical shape of our city if we allow projected trends to materialise and permit cars to park for long periods in the city. We will have bigger and bigger roads, bigger and bigger car parks but fewer people living in the city as a result.

I sympathise with the Minister's view that Deputy Wilson's amendments are taking a sledge to crack a nut but it is a very important nut. We have not had any effective transport policy in the city. Like Deputy De Rossa, I am concerned that the Bill as now constituted in giving the Dublin Transport Authority the right to make suggestions to local authorities or CIE about their investment programmes or to the Minister about year to year spending is in the realm of suggestion. I do not think that suggestion alone is sufficient in this case. We need to give the Dublin Transport Authority an effective sanction of some sort over decision making that is going on independently in the local authorities, CIE and so on. Without some sanction effect where the DTA can pull up in their tracks proposals by different authorities at the very least we will have wasteful investment but, even more serious, I do not think we will get a co-ordinated strategy together for transport.

Suppose the DTA went for an attempt to do what Deputy De Rossa has suggested, to get people not to use their cars to drive to work at peak time and to use the buses, we would be imposing heavy loss-making on CIE because peak hour transport by CIE is loss-making. It will always be loss-making because the fleet has to be beefed up to deal with peak hour demand. Unless the DTA have some way to compensate CIE for this social demand and some strategy that makes those things hang together, in other words, a subsidy to CIE for their services and their strategy, we will be in difficulty. We will find at the end of the day that CIE are proceeding with their own investment programmes subject to ministerial subvention and the DTA, who should be making the decisions about the type of transport policy we want to see emerging in the city and therefore dispersing funds to those bodies who will have to execute it, will find themselves falling between two stools.

I am concerned that the existing development plans prepared by local authorities are essentially still marking out zones on maps. They have not linked services into the various colourings on the maps. That is particularly acute in the transport area where our existing local development plans have not become effective transport plans. Unless the Authority can be given some more direct say and something more powerful than just the ability to offer advice this will be stillborn. I favour the type of approach originally envisaged by the Transport Consultative Commission which was that the DTA would have their control via the purse strings, that money going to the Dublin city buses, for road investment by the local authorities and so on would go through the DTA as a fund. While I do not think there is any sense in having them re-invent the wheel and doing appraisals for those different bodies I think the DTA should be in a position to vet the appraisal work done by the other bodies and, while falling short of having the right to sanction or refuse, would have a very central role in ensuring consistency between different investment plans and so on. Deputy Wilson's proposals are too unwieldly to be viable and a more sensible approach could be evolved if we put more financial sanction in the hands of the DTA to try to pull the various component authorities in the direction of where they want to go.

I agree with Deputy Bruton's statement that the section is more of a suggestion and does not have any teeth. That is the basic fault in it. Over the years Ministers have madead hoc decisions as problems arose and in the long term they were not successful. Deputy Wilson's amendment goes to the heart of the matter by making it necessary to provide a long-term plan. We are all aware that Dublin is growing and for that reason it is essential that there should be forward planning. It is important that there should be an overall authority to co-ordinate the plans of the different local authorities in Dublin, Dún Laoghaire and Naas, as has been suggested. Unless there is such an Authority to co-ordinate the plans of the local authorities the provisions of the Bill will be meaningless. It is not necessary, as the Minister suggested, to appoint a large staff of planners if the terms of Deputy Wilson's amendment are to be implemented. He is not proposing the establishment of another semi-State body or Government Department.

With regard to the statement by Deputy De Rossa about the expected growth in the number of cars in Dublin by the year 2000 I should like to suggest that the Government again take on board a policy of decentralisation of Departments.

Part of the problem of transportation in Dublin is that there are too many fingers in the pie, too many different roles. The county council, the corporation, the traffic study group, CIE and various Departments deal with the problem and we are not adding another layer, a new quango, in this Authority. I do not know whether we are clear in regard to what we are doing because Deputy Wilson's amendments envisage a kind of authority which will have the resources, expertise, professionals, roads, planning, transport and finance and all the other aspects which require a very big staff to prepare a plan and to ensure that all other authorities involved would have to abide by that plan. One can sympathise in a sense with that position which would involve subsuming CIE and the traffic sections of Dublin County Council and Dublin Corporation. There would be sense in that suggestion but all that is proposed here is yet another advisory body.

As the Minister clearly indicated, there is no intention by the Government to provide anything like the resources or staff necessary to give a meaningful role to the Authority. One does not need a Dublin transport authority to allow ramps to be erected in an estate or to decide that a particular road can be turned into a cul-de-sac. If one wants to allow ramps to be erected and so on, it would be very easy to amend an existing Act to allow the local authorities to do so. I am a little concerned that the Authority will be relegated to little more than an advisory capacity, that a certain amount of money for transport will be provided by the Government and, instead of their being answerable for the spending of such money, we will be told these things are now a matter for the Dublin Transport Authority. If one feels that a rail link should be provided for Tallaght — I am sorry to be parochial — the Minister will merely say money is being allocated to the Dublin Transport Authority and they are now responsible. Members of that Authority will not be in the House to answer our questions although they will be in charge.

The bulk of the power in regard to traffic planning lies with CIE and nothing will change in that regard. Dublin Corporation and Dublin County Council will still be responsible for roads and I should like to ask if the Borough of Dún Laoghaire are left out of the transport Authority. Are we talking only about Dublin Corporation and Dublin County Council? Reference is made to the administrative county of Dublin and I do not know whether that includes Dún Laoghaire.

I thought it did.

Could the Minister clarify that point?

Yes, it is intended to include Dún Laoghaire.

Well, it certainly should include Dún Laoghaire and one wonders whether it is wise to confine the issue to Dublin only because some of the adjoining counties have a very substantial transport involvement with Dublin in regard to commuting.

There is a provision in sections 9 and 10 to extend the boundaries.

I am glad that that is so.

God help the Kildare people when the Palesmen attack them.

A radical input into the public transport system is necessary because major improvements could be achieved with the right kind of planning. There could be a major transfer to the use of public transport if the right service was provided at the right price. Many car users would be happy to use public transport if the service was readily available. However, if we have to rely on the Dublin Transport Authority to do that task for us, they will have to be provided with staff to enable them to draw up the sort of plan about which Deputy Wilson is talking, and to enforce it. They cannot do that by making observations and recommendations and hoping that the multifarious collection of organisations involved in transport in the greater Dublin area may take them up. That sounds too much like a cop out. We need an authority with teeth which will have the power and the resources to enforce these things. Such an authority should not be a duplication of the traffic study groups and so on. The Garda control traffic arrangements and the role of the local authorities are secondary in that regard. There is no point in setting up a transport authority unless they are responsible for all aspects of planning.

When the greater Dublin council are set up they should have a traffic committee which would obviate the need for new advisory bodies which seem to be sprouting all over the place to very little effect. Give the Authority the powers and the staff so that they are in a position to prepare plans and implement them. The Minister said that kind of authority is not envisaged and, consequently, there seems little point in Deputy Wilson's amendment in the context of the kind of authority which is proposed here.

It is precisely the type of authority about which Deputy Taylor was speaking — one with teeth — that I had envisaged and which I am trying to produce by these amendments. I said on Second Stage that the kind of advisory terminology we have negatives any good that could come from the Dublin Transport Authority. Such wording as, "the Authority shall on request advise the Minister or the Minister for the Environment" upsets the idea of an effective Dublin Transport Authority.

The Authority shall on request advise the Minister.

It is full of that type of phraseology and that is why I am objecting to it. I submit that the Authority should have teeth. Deputy Taylor says it will be another advisory body. If that is so, I am in agreement with him. We are wasting our time here because such a body would have no effect. Deputy Taylor said also that the power will rest with CIE. I envisage CIE acting as the agent of the Dublin Transport Authority, in other words, that CIE would do what the Dublin Transport Authority would tell them to do, that they would provide the kinds of services and the frequency of services at costs which the Dublin Transport Authority would require of them.

Deputy Taylor mentioned also the rail link to Tallaght. It is not too far-fetched to envisage the following operation: CIE plan a rapid rail link to Tallaght while, without their knowing it, Dublin Corporation are planning a fast six lane road to Tallaght with committed and highly qualified experts on both sides beavering away, not knowing what the other was doing. The role envisaged for the Dublin Transport Authority would be that they would know there was a transport proposal for an area such as Tallaght, that they would make a decision and, as Deputy Bruton said, would control the funds and decide that the big investment should be in a rapid rail link to Tallaght and not in a six lane motorway.

In the past there have been examples of rail and road development cutting across each other. All the points made by Deputy Taylor are valid in the context of the study that was made and which set off the idea of a Dublin Transport Authority. If my memory serves me correctly, there was a plan on one page of that report showing all the convoluted procedures surrounding a simple job like enacting traffic law. There was a whole page showing how the Garda, the local authorities, the Department of the Environment and so on would be involved. That held up the whole process. If there was a proper Dublin Transport Authority, perhaps the kind of authority envisaged here, they would have that kind of power.

What I am talking to here is an amendment designed to convince the Minister that an overall plan is necessary. I recall, while in charge of the Department of Transport as it was then, considering the whole business of staff duplication or, as the Minister said, staff replication and the study at that time became serious. The best advice available to me then was that no such massive investment would be required provided the Authority were organised and structured in a certain way. The conclusion arrived at by the people I asked to study the matter was that very little would be required along with the expert advice and the qualified people available then.

The Minister mentioned that the Government would find themselves in the ridiculous position that Ministers from all over the country would be setting themselves up as planners for Dublin. There is little of the Dublin ideology in that. What I said was that where there was a major and unresolved difference of opinion in regard to the area which the Dublin Transport Authority would be responsible for, the Government ultimately would have to make the decision. I made the point that not every little difficulty which arose should go as far as Government. I was talking about major decisions that would be referred by the Authority to the Government who would have the responsibility of resolving them. If Vitruvius could come from Ventry or Virginia, there is no reason why a Minister who was not a native of Dublin City should not be able to give a solemn judgment on a problem relating to Dublin County Council or Dublin Corporation.

The point was made by Deputy Bruton that he favoured the idea of the authority having the power of disbursement. That is part of what I wish to advocate. If the disbursement decisions were coming from the Authority, they would be a real Authority but there are all kinds of little empire builders in local authorities as there are in any form of administration. We could have Dublin County Council, Dublin Corporation and Dún Laoghaire Borough Corporation all standing very much on their own kind of rights and so on. As of now there is no way of saving ratepayers and taxpayers money as a result of unresolved difficulties.

The Minister referred to the inclusion of members of local authorities. He is legislating for a 12 man Authority with four members of the local authorities. That represents one third of the total which is considerable but, in a majority vote, one of the hazards would be that the man from the Dún Laoghaire area might be of the opinion that his judgments would have to be subjective in regard to problems pertaining to Dún Laoghaire while the same might apply to the representatives from Dublin Corporation and Dublin County Council. Therefore, objectivity might be difficult but if these representatives were not in the majority on the authority perhaps the least damage could be done.

Originally it was envisaged that experts who were non representative might be better because they would be less liable to come under local and representational pressure. I have noticed that, since the new bridges were built across the Liffey and since the numbers of unemployed have risen, the traffic problem in the city is not as bad as it was four years ago when we were trying to put together a Bill to deal with the problem but, as Deputy De Rossa said, an authority with power would not play with the wind but could help to direct or tunnel the wind so long as they had the necessary power.

The time will come when something will have to be done so far as the traffic in the city centre is concerned. I have been in seven different cities in the past 14 months and I have found that in large areas of these cities motor traffic is not allowed. People have come to live with that situation and the day may come when we may have to think seriously about doing something similar. Any such move would bring out the vested interests and the pressure groups, but the existence of a strong Dublin Transport Authority would be our only means of resisting such pressure in the interests of good planning and good transport management.

I do not accept what Deputy De Rossa has said that what I was talking about is very complicated. It was, I would submit, highly democratic in that every stage took account of proper consultation. The hard edge of decision was required in the end, which is important. Nobody could complain if that process were gone through. Extend the period if you like—I put down one year in my amendment—extend it to two years or to whatever time the Minister may decide, and go through it and have a hard plan. Stay with that plan.

I know one road in Dublin city which over the last 12 months or so has had visits from the ESB and Telecom Éireann. Now Dublin Corporation are doing a major job on it. I must say that Dublin Corporation workers are the tidiest and the neatest of the three groupings. They all came at their own time. Liaison is now intended as and from the date this Bill goes on the Statute Book. They do not seem to have consulted each other at all. They did their own thing when their own thing was required in that area. One grouping undermined several beautiful white beam trees. Luckily enough, the people in the area got up in arms immediately and started objecting and protesting. Otherwise, a beautiful line of white beams would have been destroyed. They did not care a tinker's curse. The corporation have now raised the concrete kerbing and are putting another layer on the road on which there is heavy traffic. Dublin Transport Authority would come into their own in that kind of situation. They would require from Telecom Éireann, the ESB and Dublin Corporation their plans so that co-ordination would take place.

I did not mention the Ports and Docks Board and Deputy De Rossa reminded me of their input into the plan. Of course the Port and Docks Board, or as Deputy De Rossa said whatever will replace them when they are replaced, would naturally have an input in their own area. The process will not be too slow which is the main criticism Deputy De Rossa made of my amendment. I would envisage as near a perfect plan as possible at the end of the line and one which had the statutory backing to see it through. Deputy Richard Bruton was in agreement with me at least in regard to the disbursement of moneys. There is a Spanish proverb which says,Un poderoso caballero es don dinero—Mr. Money is a powerful gentleman. For that reason, if the Dublin Transport Authority had the disbursement of moneys they would be able to deal with CIE, corporations and councils, Telecom Éireann and the ESB, etc., within their own remit. I am urging the Minister to think again about this plan. The major criticism that he made was that it would be very expensive. I am submitting that in his own Department there are documents which, if studied now, would still have the validity they had in 1982 when I studied them, indicating that the type of authority with plan and budget which I am advocating would not necessitate a large bureaucracy and a large expenditure of public moneys.

I want to answer a few points raised. I will read from Deputy Wilson's amendments. This is comment enough on what he has said about not involving Government as a super-planning committee. It would be great gas at Government meetings deciding on what roads and bus stops should be in Dublin — in the process, upstaging all local democracy in Dublin and overturning not alone the transport plan proposed but also the draft development plan. The Deputy's amendments Nos. 3 to 6 state:

The County Borough of Dublin and the Administrative County of Dublin shall be given an opportunity to comment on the draft Plan, and the Authority shall have regard to the comments of the Local Authorities in finalising the draft and the Authority shall then submit the draft Plan to the Minister.

The Minister shall publish the draft Plan, and shall cause a public inquiry to be held into it; to provide that the report of the inquiry shall be made to the Minister.

The Minister shall submit the draft Plan, together with the Report of the Public Inquiry, to the Government. The Government may approve the draft Plan or alter it and then approve it and the approved Plan shall be published.

The Government approval of the Authority's Plan shall have the effect of requiring the Dublin Local Authorities to amend, where necessary, their development plans to accord with the Authority's Plan as approved by Government.

It is like the Government being county council for Dublin city and county. That is in the original draft Bill produced by Deputy Wilson as Minister. It is clearly not a good idea to say the least.

Deputy Wilson in the latter part of his most recent comments talked about the visits to a certain road in the area which people were digging up every other week. Telecom Éireann this week, the Gas Company another week and so on. One of the powers that is being given to the Authority is section 40 which will enable them to regulate and control the timing of road works. In addition, the Authority will become the traffic authority. The powers of the Garda Commissioner are being transferred to the Authority. The powers of the Minister for the Environment in relation to taxi services are being transferred to the Authority. The traffic wardens' service and responsibility for all traffic management schemes are being transferred to the Authority.

The Greater Dublin Council do all of those.

Mr. Mitchell

The renting of bus services will be a matter for the Authority and they would have a major input into fare levels. This is an Authority with teeth. It is a relevant Authority and is not going to cost a fortune. It is not going to usurp local democracy in Dublin such as it already is. It is going to have a local participation which will add to local democracy in Dublin. That is the way it should be. Finally, I should say that there is provision in the Bill to add to the functions of the Authority if that becomes wise. By virtue of Deputy De Rossa's amendment which I have agreed to insert on Report Stage it would be a matter for this House to approve those additional functions. If and when the Authority get off the ground there is a feeling additional functions should be given to the Authority, some of which have been suggested by Deputies today, it would be a matter for the House to consider giving them those additional functions at that time.

The Minister in the course of his first reply to Deputy Wilson's amendments made the point that the Dublin Transport Authority would not be geared up sufficiently in the way of staff to produce the kind of plan envisaged in Deputy Wilson's amendment and again in his second contribution just now he mentioned that the Authority would not cost a fortune. Could the Minister tell the House the cost and what kind of savings he envisages as a result of the setting up of this Authority? If we look at the explanatory memorandum of the Bill we will see that the main functions of the Authority relate to transport planning:

... it will be responsible for appraising and making recommendations to the relevant local authorities and to the Ministers for Communications and the Environment, as appropriate, on the long term planning of road and rail transport in the Dublin area, both as regards infrastructure (roads, bus and rail facilities, etc.) and public transport services.

It would require a fair amount of staff to do all that and it would require a fair degree of expertise to plan out transport across that spectrum. We cannot do that without a substantial number of engineers, economists and so on. The second main function of the Authority relates to transport funding:

...it will make recommendations annually to the same two Ministers in relation to priorities in both capital and current expenditure on road and rail transport in Dublin.

To deal with that heading would require a fair degree of staffing, a fair degree of research, planning and so on.

It would need so many experts that they could disburse the money just as easily as advise about it.

In relation to transport planning Dublin County Council have already a department dealing with that. The DTA will be given an overlapping function there. I have no doubt that Deputy De Rossa can confirm that the Dublin Corporation have departments also dealing with public transport services. The DTA:

...will set service objectives and standards to be achieved by Córas Iompair Éireann in the Dublin area within its Exchequer allocation, and will monitor Córas Iompair Eireann's progress. It will also be responsible for the licensing of private bus operators to provide public transport services and for the control of taxi services in Dublin.

It will require a fair degree of staff and widespread expertise in planners, engineers, economists and so on. Another aim of the DTA is traffic management, to design traffic and parking schemes and make the subsidiary laws to give effect to them. It will also control the traffic warden service and so on. That would require a fair number of staff. We are going to have all that staff yet the Minister says it will not cost a fortune, and that the staff will not be there to prepare a plan. Could the Minister clarify what he means when he says it will not cost a fortune and when he says that the staff will not be there to draw up a plan?

The estimated cost of the Authority in one year will not exceed £600,000. It is estimated that they will have no more than 20 staff. Savings can be achieved by the co-ordination of transport and will amount to a great number of times more than £600,000. That is the main reason for the Authority. Great savings can be made by better co-ordination of transport. I do not want a bureaucracy employing a set of engineers, architects, road planners and so on. I want to avoid a duplication of what the two local authorities already do. The long list of things that Deputy Taylor read out reiterates the point that this Authority will have teeth and contradicts a point made earlier that this was an Authority without teeth. This Authority will not cost an excessive amount of money. This Authority should achieve great savings not only in terms of money but, also because of more efficient transport, in terms of pollution and health and in terms of time saved in travelling. This is a very worthwhile approach, a very worthwhile Authority. When the House considers that additional functions ought to be given to that Authority we have the enabling provisions in this Bill to do so.

I stress the two main provisions that I have advocated. The Authority should be compelled to make a plan, an all embracing co-ordinated plan for Dublin city and county. This proposal of having an overall plan was opposed by the Department of the Environment as was the other major power for the transport Authority, the budgetary power. Discussion and argument went on between the Departments for a long time and finally the Department of Transport succeeded in having their view somewhat modified but accepted. There was one very sophisticated opponenet of the plan from another Department since then, I regret to say, and the process of teasing it out took a long time.

What I see before me in this Bill seems to be what existed before the discussion took place between the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, and before the Government decision was taken. Part of the Government decision was that there should be a comprehensive plan and that the Dublin Transport Authority should have budgetary powers. I know the Minister for the Environment was the Tánaiste, and I have a suspicion that he was very strong in advocating the Department of the Environment point of view when this Bill was being put together.

I regret that the two major proposals which are essential to this Bill have been dropped. I agree fully with the Minister when he says that there is an area, which was in the original Bill also, where the Authority will be effective. The statute is giving power in certain areas but, although these areas are important, they are not central to my thinking about the Dublin Transport Authority. The two central ideas in the original proposals with regard to this Bill were that of the plan, elaborated in the way in which I have outlined to the House in some detail this afternoon, and the budgetary powers of the Authority.

Various criticisms have been made that this was too complicated, too detailed and too slow-moving. I am aware that most people who have been critical are, and have been for some time, involved in local government. Needless to say they will develop a proprietorial attitude towards powers that local authorities have. That does not mean we have to accept this as something which should bear on the Bill before the House.

I do not know whether or not Deputy R. Bruton is involved in local government. He was, but I do not think he is now. He brings a good mind, as far as transport matters are concerned, to bear on any transport problems that come before the House. I am pleased he feels that the second major item in the Bill, that of budgetary powers, is desirable. I am also pleased that Deputy Taylor who has served a long apprenticeship in local government finds that the Bill, with words such as "advice" and "consultation", is too weak and watery to be effective in doing some of the major jobs we would like it to do.

Is the amendment withdrawn?

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Committee divided: Tá, 66; Níl, 55.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joe.
  • Birmingham, George Martin.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Prendergast, Frank.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Blaney, Neil Terence.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Mattie.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, John.
  • Byrne, Seán.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Fahey, Francis.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West)
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Edmond.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies F. O'Brien and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Barrett(Dublin North-West).
Amendment put and declared lost.
Question declared carried; amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(3) The County Borough of Dublin and the Administrative County of Dublin shall be given an opportunity to comment on the draft plan, and the Authority shall have regard to the comments of the Local Authorities in finalising the draft and the Authority shall then submit the draft Plan to the Minister."

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(4) The Minister shall publish the draft Plan, and shall cause a public inquiry to be held into it; to provide that the report of the inquiry shall be made to the Minister."

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(5) The Minister shall submit the draft Plan, together with the Report of the Public Inquiry, to the Government. The Government may approve the draft Plan or alter it and then approve it and the approved Plan shall be published."

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(6) The Government approval of the Authority's Plan shall have the effect of requiring the Dublin Local Authorities to amend, where necessary, their development plans to accord with the Authority's Plan as approved by Government."

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(7) None of the Dublin local authorities shall (a) give a planning permission, either while an amendment to their development plan under Section 8 (6) is pending or after that amendment has been made, which would be inconsistent with the Authority's Plan as approved by the Government; or (b) vary their development plan to alter or omit a proposal inserted in their plan by an amendment under Head 16; except that a local authority may do either (a) or (b) with the agreement of the Authority given with the consent of the Minister."

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(8) The Authority shall have an involvement in relation to funds for compensation or land purchase arising out of any transport proposals which, by virtue of the Authority's Plan, was (or had been for a period) contained in a development plan of a local authority."

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 9:

In page 7, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(9) Before making any variation of a development plan the purpose of which is to provide for transport infrastructure or services, the Dublin local authorities shall have regard to the views of the Authority, at two stages in the variation process:

(a) in relation to the terms of transport proposals which are to go on public display; where the Authority and a local authority cannot agree on the terms of proposals for display, the Minister for the Environment shall settle the terms of such proposals,

(b) before the local authority makes a decision on whether or not to include the proposals in their development plan."

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendment No. 10 is in the names of Deputies Mac Giolla and De Rossa.

I move amendment No. 10:

In page 7, subsection (3), between lines 38 and 39, to insert the following:

"(c) promote the greater use of public transport within the Authority's functional area."

This simply adds a third definition to the general duties and functions of the Authority under section 8. My reason for putting forward this amendment — and I hope the Minister can see his way to accepting it either as it is or in a revised form — is that I feel strongly that there is a need to shift the balance in favour of public transport. At this point I am not referring to the distinction between privately run public transport and State owned public transport; that is a separate issue. I am talking about the necessity to ensure that our roads and streets over the next 20 years are not clogged up by hundreds of thousands of cars travelling into and out of Dublin at peak hours. Indeed, peak hours will stretch and become ever closer together if the projected numbers of cars materialise and we will have a continuous traffic jam in our city.

In this Bill we should attempt to give a particular direction to the Authority as regards how we see transport developing in the region. The Eastern Regional Development Agency carried out recently a fairly detailed study of what they expect in future population trends in the eastern region and pinpointed various areas of development but, for one reason or another that I do not know of, they did not address themselves at all to the question of the development of the transport services to cater for the projected population increase. The main function of transport, whether by car, bus or train, is to shift people and goods as quickly as possible, as comfortably as possible and perhaps as cheaply as possible from one point to another.

I referred earlier to the fact that there will be a need to restrict, to some extent at least, access of private transport into the city in order to maintain some kind of reasonable living environment. It is also necessary for us to attempt to influence the development of our tranportation and the purchasing decision of people in relation to transport. It seems that there are many people, for instance, in Tallaght, Clondalkin and Blanchardstown, who can ill afford it but are being forced to buy "bangers" of cars and perhaps drive them untaxed and uninsured, because of the inadequacy of the public transport network. There is a wastage of national resources investment in a large number of private modes of transport. Investment in public transport would be far more cost efficient.

I hope the Minister can see his way to adopting my amendment in its present form, or in some amended form which might be more appropriate to parliamentary terminology. The need is to indicate a necessity to move away from the idea that over the next 20 years of development people, singly or in pairs must buy cars in order to get from our suburbs into work. Indeed, some of our suburbs are fairly distant from the city centre. We can include Leixlip, for example, although it is in County Kildare and outside the greater Dublin area in terms of administration. One can think in terms of Mulhuddart, which again is a fairly long distance away. These areas need public transport if people are not to be forced into buying cars, clogging up roads and creating the necessity for even greater investment in roads, bridges and so on.

It has always struck me that in the debate about the viability, for instance, of DART we are told that the subsidy will be X number of pounds and cost of producing it X number of pounds. We have never seen a comparative study of what the costs are of major road developments and buying land to provide major road developments, the by-passes, which are required and the ongoing cost of maintaining these new road developments. I have no hard figures to back it up, but it is my view that in terms of the actual cost in pounds there will not be that great a divergence between developing a public transport system and providing roads for motor cars. The better living environment one would have as a result of fewer cars on the road and avoiding the necessity of driving on great laneways through our cities and suburbs are costs which are rarely considered when balancing the development of roads against the development of rail.

I ask the Minister to include my amendment in the Bill and to give a direction to the Authority that we feel there is a need for greater emphasis in the promotion of public transportation.

One of the central purposes in setting up the Dublin Transport Authority is to encourage the use of public transport and to give it the impetus Deputy De Rossa has spoken of. For that reason I have much pleasure in accepting his amendment. I believe that when the Authority are set up and working more people will opt for public transport. That, of course, assumes that the Authority will achieve one of their other principal purposes, that is, to bring about an efficient, a reasonable, in terms of cost, and speedy transport service.

Deputy De Rossa spoke about Blanchardstown, one of the new western suburbs which is fairly distant from the city centre — it is in my constituency. It is true that the transport service for people of this area who do not have cars is not as good as it should be, but there are a number of reasons for this. Some of the remarks I am about to make would apply equally to places like Tallaght, Clondalkin, Swords, Leixlip and so on, but there is a special factor to be taken into account in the case of Blanchardstown.

In Dublin city and county the prevailing planning policy is one of low rise, low density development. That planning policy has very general support. Everybody in all parties supports the approach of the planning authorities not to have high rise flats — indeed to have hardly any flats — but to have houses with fairly large gardens and wide open spaces, but that policy has inevitable implications for transport. First, it slows down transport because people will walk only so far to a bus stop. This means there have to be more bus stops and the more bus stops there are, the slower the service. It also means that within the walking range of that bus stop there is a lower population than would otherwise be the case, and that also adversely affects the economics of running a transport service. This fact has been brought out by different studies. An Foras Forbartha highlighted the fact that this planning factor greatly affects the transport options available to us, particularly the future extension of the DART — the Dublin Area Rapid Transit. It is not possible to have rapid transit if there are many stops and yet, with a low rise, low density planning policy there will have to be many stops, otherwise people will not use the service, and this is very costly.

In the case of Blanchardstown there is another factor. Blanchardstown is separated from the city by the Phoenix Park. People have very strong views about whether buses should be allowed to go through the park. I have posed this problem to my constituents by way of questionnaire in the past and it has been studied by an interdepartmental working committee. People in the greater Blanchardstown area who do not have cars — women and children who may have to use the bus because the husband has taken the car to work — have to travel by bus, which has to drive around the park. This takes much longer because of traffic jams. Yet car owners can merrily drive through the park in a fraction of the time it takes to drive around it. There is a very strong lobby led by An Taisce, and there is some merit in what they say, which holds that buses should not be allowed to run through Phoenix Park. If we ban buses from the park, are we to allow the cars to continue going through the park to Blanchardstown? If buses were to go through the park they would be less of an intrusion as far as aesthetics, the environment and the air in the park are concerned than cars. It would be hard to ban cars from going through the park.

Because there are no other roads to take that traffic, we will be increasing the length of time it takes for drivers to get to their place of work; we will be increasing air pollution, traffic jams and so on. It is very hard to see that as a realistic option. Yet there is a school of thought that all traffic should be banned from the park. It is very hard to see that as a realistic option because the roadworks required to be done in order to take up that traffic would be very significant. I do not see which of the communities besides the park would like to be knocked down to make way for new roads simply because people want to stop existing traffic going through the Phoenix Park. If one does not stop existing traffic, then can one justify stopping the bus? I do not think one can justify stopping the bus — if one feels as I do and as Deputy De Rossa does that one wants to encourage people to use public transport. Yet when I sent out a letter to nearby areas in my constituency to test opinion on this I know that the very mention of the issue created controversy.

These are precisely the sorts of issues that have to be addressed taking into account the transport needs of all the people, especially those who do not have their own transport. Of course the environmental issues and the very special position of the Phoenix Park have to be taken into account. The issues need not be discussed in an atmosphere of rancour or emotion. They should be discussed, dispassionately examined and decisions taken. There is now a report on the subject on my desk advancing the two arguments, detailing the time savings that would be achieved by allowing buses to go through the park, the savings on fuel and so on.

I raise this in the context of Deputy De Rossa's amendment and what he said about it. He is right, people in the outer suburbs, like Blanchardstown, and the greater Blanchardstown area, because they are so distant from the city centre, have very special transport needs. The least we can do is endeavour to provide them with as cheap as possible speedy, reliable transport services. That goes for the other suburbs as well.

I have great pleasure in accepting Deputy De Rossa's amendment because it reiterates one of the central purposes of this Bill.

I am very pleased to support the amendment. I might make a few comments on the purpose behind the amendment and on what Deputy De Rossa said. The activities of the task force have improved the quality of service available. The Minister and Deputy De Rossa mentioned the importance of quality service. When my party asked me to put heads of a transport policy together some time ago I linked a separate Dublin city services bus company with the idea of a strong Dublin Transport Authority. My objective at that time was that there would be an efficient and well run city bus service. Given the population I simply could not see how such a service could not pay its way or even make a profit. There are in the conurbation practically one million people. If the emphasis were placed on public transport — and a strong Dublin Transport Authority would be able to put certain brakes on private transport at least in parts of the city — then there should be a commercially viable Dublin city bus service provided for the capital. I know it would require tight management of the company, leadership and good marketing. All of that would be needed, leadership of the company covering the Dublin city services, good marketing of what is available and a continuation of the type of provision, bus lanes and so on, that has made somewhat for an easier flow as of now. I know that linked into it is the whole problem of the one person bus service. I mentioned in the House already that I had found a one man bus service very much in place in parts of the Soviet Union last summer, operating very efficiently, providing a punctual, efficient and good service. One could purchase the tickets in a slot machine and punch them oneself on board the bus. That kind of idea might apply. We should at least explore that kind of possibility.

I remember getting the figures for other Euro-cities with regard to subsidisation of transport. If my memory serves me right — it may have been that same old study — Dublin did not come out too badly. I carried out a more up to date study of cities roughly the same size as Dublin. There is no reason why we should not have that kind of service. There is no question or doubt about it, people will use it. I do not know whether it is simply because there is not always an efficient public service that people invest in bangers and drive them around sometimes at certain risk even to themselves. Certainly in some age groups there is a fascination in having something of one's own to drive around in.

I know that the Fianna Fáil Government who thought out, planned and brought to execution the whole DART system did come under severe criticism. I appreciate the remarks made by Deputy De Rossa, that there never has been a comprehensive, all embracing study carried out of costings, taking everything, but everything, into consideration. It is not all that easy to glibly say: this was not worth the investment or that was not worth the investment. There is a superficial way of looking at it, of proving that the investment was too high and the cost too great. There is also the comprehensive one suggested by Deputy De Rossa, which is the only one relevant when one thinks of the transport problems of a city the size of Dublin. I suppose it is a small city, but it has become a sizeable one with approximately one million people in its conurbation.

I was interested to hear the Minister mention the Phoenix Park and Blanchardstown. I use the Phoenix Park at least twice a week. I must say it would go very hard on me if buses and trucks—now banned—were allowed to go through it. Even though it would be a considerable inconvenience for me, if it were a question of banning cars—in other words banning all motor traffic from the Park—rather than acceding to the request for trucks and buses to go through, then for the sake of the environment and for the park itself, I would prefer to see everything banned. Admittedly it would cause a certain amount of chaos.

I should like to recall to the House the story of how the Phoenix Park came to belong to the people of Dublin. They owe it to the Duke of Ormonde. It was to be given to George I's mistress—I think she was the Duchess of Cleveland. As an architectural historian of Dublin city said—the Duke of Ormonde succeeded in having that attempt to give it to her, following the old principle of rewards in Ireland for services rendered in England, blocked and in saving it for the city of Dublin. Indeed, it was not his only input into the planning of Dublin city. I think he was responsible also for the quays being the way they are. We have an obligation to preserve it. If necessary cram the Navan Road, cram Chapelizod but do not let the park be despoiled.

I want to thank the Minister for accepting my amendment. I find myself in the embarrassing position of having my amendment accepted by both sides of the House. It is an odd experience for me.

It is a non-political Bill.

I will not pursue that line. I should like to comment on the success of the task force. There is no doubt that they have been very successful in introducing the bus lanes, the contra flow for buses, co-ordinated traffic signals and so on, things I suggested many years ago. However, I wonder to what extent the drop in the number of cars on the road as a result of the recession contributed to the freer flow of traffic. If people were buying the cars they would like to buy I wonder if the flow of traffic would be as good. I accept that the buses and cars are running better as a result of the efforts of the task force. The rearrangement of traffic on the quays also assisted the flow of traffic.

Another matter that contributed to the improvement in the flow of traffic was the decline in work in the docks area. However it is important that we plan for the future. Hopefully we will soon emerge from the recession and industry and business will prosper but when that occurs we should have in place the proper transport infrastructure to ensure that our streets are not once again clogged up and overburdened with juggernauts. We do not want them tearing up and down our streets and polluting the atmosphere. I hope the transport Authority will have power to restrict access by juggernauts in certain parts of the city, particularly in residential areas.

I have been reading with interest the debate in regard to access to the Phoenix Park by buses. My inclination is towards assisting those who cannot afford a car or, for whatever reason, are not in a position to drive a car. They should be facilitated at least to the same extent as owners of private cars. I have not seen the report which is on the Minister's desk but I would tend towards the view that buses to a limited extent should be permitted to use the Phoenix Park, even on an experimental basis. I will be facetious and suggest that the Phoenix Park be restricted to green buses in order to blend in with the scenery.

(Dublin North-West): I share the views of Deputy Wilson that we should restrict traffic going through the Phoenix Park. Many people are concerned about the speed of cars travelling through the park. Many accidents have occurred and a number of deer killed. I would not agree with Deputy De Rossa's suggestion that buses should be permitted to use the park. I agree that people should be allowed to drive their cars to the park but things have got out of hand up there.

With regard to juggernaut traffic, I am sure the Minister will recall that some years ago when he was a member of Dublin Corporation concern was expressed about the speed of those vehicles through the city. There were complaints about the parking of such vehicles in residential areas. It appears there is little the Garda can do about such parking. At meetings of residents' associations people express their concern about the way juggernauts park in residential areas but the Garda have said that there is little they can do if the vehicle is not causing an obstruction. I hope a provision will be inserted in the Bill compelling the drivers of such vehicles to park in certain areas. At one time Dublin Corporation prepared plans for parking space for juggernauts but they were not implemented.

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 8, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

I had a series of amendments to this section which were opposed by the Minister. I cannot allow the section to pass without expressing my regret that an effective authority — there are areas where, as the Minister has said, the Authority will be effective — will not come into existence in the areas I mentioned. I must express disappointment that my amendments which were geared towards making it mandatory on the Authority to produce a plan were not accepted by the Minister or the House. Although I did not get support, generally speaking, from Deputy De Rossa I note that the next amendment we will be dealing with was partly covered by one of my amendments.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 9.
Question proposed: "That section 9 stand part of the Bill".

This section states:

(1) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance and the Minister for the Public Service, and where matters within the responsibility of the Minister for the Environment are concerned with the consent also of that Minister, may by order confer on the Authority such additional functions, in relation to road and rail transport planning, resources or operations in its functional area, as the Minister thinks proper and specifies in the order.

Apart from the fact that we have the Ministers for Finance, the Public Service, the Environment and Transport included — one would be inclined to say Uncle Tom Cobbley and all — the section is an important one. Earlier the Minister indicated that enabling powers were being granted by him in the Bill. Subsection (1) seems to be relevant in that regard. One could be cynical about anything being enabling which would have to take on piggyback the Ministers for Finance, the Public Service, the Environment and Transport. It beats me. I should like the Minister to indicate to the House if he thinks that the section could be used on some day of enlightenment to make provision for the type of plan that I have been advocating if he so decided. Are the enabling powers given there enough to cover such an eventuality?

This section will enable me to table for the prior approval of the House an extension of the functional areas of the Authority. Let me be clear about that because section 10 also deals with functional areas. I may specify additional functionings for the Authority in respect of their entire area or part thereof but that will require the prior sanction of the House. The sort of thing we could include would be the requirement of a transport plan on which Deputy Wilson is so keen, disbursement of Exchequer funds for the purposes of transport in the Dublin area and other matters which we might wish to add in later years. However, in the light of experience of how the transport Authority proposed by the Bill will operate and in the light of events and developments, we will be able to take these matters on board. If Deputy Wilson has the misfortune to return to 28 Kildare Street as Minister he will be able to institute his transport plan if he wishes to do so.

Section 9 (5) was raised earlier on in regard to suggestions made by Deputy De Rossa. Does the Minister envisage that subsection (5) will change on Report Stage?

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 10.
Question proposed: "That section 10 stand part of the Bill."

This section has been mentioned already with regard to the functioning area. In 1982 we were talking about Dublin Corporation, the Borough of Dún Laoghaire and the Dublin County Council area. The Minister said he would have powers to extend the functional area also. What is the exact legal position in regard to the three bodies which I have just mentioned? I know Deputy Raphael Burke is chairman of a huge council but does that cover the original Borough of Dún Laoghaire as well as the whole of the county council area? Has the area catered for by the corporation been changed under this new arrangement?

The functional area has not been changed. It is the city and county of Dublin as we have always known it. The boundaries have not been changed by the local government arrangements. I understand that a Bill will be introduced in the near future to give effect to the arrangements in respect of splitting Dublin county into three county councils and the abolition of Dún Laoghaire Borough Council. I should point out that, even though Dún Laoghaire has been a borough for a long time, it is also represented on Dublin County Council and has been for many years.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 11.

I move amendment No. 11:

In page 8, before section 11, to insert the following new section:

"11.—The Authority shall be required to generally consult with the local authorities within its functional area regarding any measures it intends to take under this Act.".

On reading through the Bill there did not seem to be any direct requirement on the Authority to consult the local authorities operating in their area of jurisdiction. It would make sense that they should be obliged to do so. If I heard Deputy Wilson correctly he said that his series of amendments, from No. 3 to No. 9 ——

I said that consultation was built into my amendments.

Obviously the purpose of Deputy Wilson's amendments was to establish a complex, detailed and time consuming process of planning. It was in that context that I opposed the amendments and not on the basis that there would be an obligation to consult with local authorities. If the Minister can show that there is an obligation on the transport Authority to consult with local authorities in the Bill, then I would be quite happy to withdraw the amendment. However, the obligation should be there in order to avoid situations of conflict between the authorities concerned after decisions have been made.

Throughout the Bill there are provisions which require in respect of different functions of the Authority that they should consult with the relevant local authorities. However, there is no general provision of that sort even though the sum total of the individual provisions amounts to the same thing. For the purposes of clarification, I am prepared in principle to accept the amendment. Deputy De Rossa is trying to insert it in the wrong place in the Bill but I undertake to insert a similar amendment on Report Stage which is the appropriate place for it. I think it will be an amendment to section 8 at that stage.

I am quite happy to accept the Minister's offer in regard to the amendment. It may well be in the wrong place and I bow to the greater expertise of the parliamentary draftsman.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question proposed: "That section 11 stand part of the Bill."

By accepting section 11 are we precluded from discussing the Schedule in detail when we come to it?

It may be discussed later on.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 12.
Question proposed: "That section 12 stand part of the Bill."

This is a very strange section. I will read it:

(1) The Minister may, with the consent of any other Minister concerned, give to the Authority such general directions in writing concerning the traffic management objectives of the Authority or its administration as he considers appropriate.

(2) The Authority shall comply with any direction under this section.

With regard to subsection (1) I presume the Minister for the Environment is in the back of the Minister's mind. I am strongly opposed to the section because it gives too much power to the Minister. If the Dublin Transport Authority are to have any role or function and if we are not wasting time this is the area where they should have competence but it is in this area that the Minister is taking power to himself to give direction in writing concerning the traffic management objectives of the Authority and the Authority must comply with any such direction. I should like to hear a justification from the Minister for his taking that power in section 12. This is a provision that the House should oppose. It smacks of an administrator afraid to allow any little bit of power out of his hands. It is giving the last word to the Minister in regard to general directions on traffic management.

I agree totally with Deputy Wilson. We are back to the point of Deputy Wilson's earlier amendment because the Authority will have no real power. The Minister will have the power at all times. While the Authority may be setting out to do good work the Minister of the day, because of some personal quirk, for instance, might decide what should be done and direct the Authority accordingly.

Earlier we had extensive amendments on section 8 from Deputy Wilson which proposed not only to give the Minister power but to make the Government the effective authority for Dublin. Now the Deputy is objecting to my having a reserve power in relation to the management objectives and administration. This is a very unreasonable line for the Deputy to adopt. Surely it is reasonable to provide in the Bill for the Minister to be able to give written directives should the need arise in relation to traffic management objectives and administration. All of this costs money and the Exchequer will be footing the bill. I or my successors will be answerable to this House for any such directive and for any costs involved so I do not know why there should be any concern about the section.

The Minister harps back regularly to what was the coping stone in my suggestion for a plan to be made statutorily by the Dublin Transport Authority. In great detail I went into the procedures with regard to the plan. I repeat that there could be nothing more democratic than the process I outlined with regard to that plan. I envisage an authority with expertise in transport and planning. I envisage their constructing a plan and the next step in the process was to be consultation with the local authorities. The Minister has said that three county councils will be formed eventually together with the Corporation of the City of Dublin. I envisage careful consideration being given to suggestions from the local authorities and publication of the plan, all steps away from the Minister and away from the Government. I envisage people with knowledge, experience and judgement making the assessment and there being a public inquiry giving an opportunity for those interested in areas of the plan with regard to the city or to transport in the city to air their views. I do not think one could have a blueprint for a more democratic process than that.

The public inquiry having been held and due note taken of what emerged from it, the plan as finally settled by the Authority would be sent to the Government for acceptance by them. The purpose of that is not to give the Government a major role in the affairs of the Dublin Transport Authority but to give them the authority that acceptance by the Government would give them and which is sadly lacking in the splinter process of decision making in this area as of now. I have the full support of Deputy Bruton in that regard. He does not consider that there is enough in this Bill in that regard nor does Deputy Taylor consider there is enough bone and muscle for the Authority as envisaged.

The role that was to be left to the Government was merely to settle any disputes that might arise between one and another local authority or between the Dublin Transport Authority and any one local authority. That might never occur but it is a different matter from what is involved in section 12. The provision is so out of place that it sticks out like a sore thumb. Even the vagueness of the phrase that the Minister may, with the consent of any Minister concerned, and so on, is irritating in a Bill that is to become a statute. What is meant by the phrase, "any other Minister concerned"? The phrase, "the Minister may give to the Authority such general directions in writing" is included to give more bite concerning the traffic management objectives of the Authority or of their administration as the Minister considers appropriate. I do not know how the Minister will have the knowledge that will authorise him, as it were, to write to the Authority and give them directions. Where will he acquire the expertise to match the expertise available by definition to the Dublin Transport Authority Furthermore, there is the case in subsection (2) that any Czar would be satisfied with, that is, that the Authority shall comply with any direction under this section. This looks like a foreign body, like something that was added after the remainder of the Bill had been put together. It is not in harmony with the rest of the Bill and for that reason I am opposing it. If I had time now I would put it to a vote but when we take this Bill again I will be calling a vote on this aspect because it should not have any part in this Bill.

The Minister drew a parallel between what he is claiming for himself here and what I was claiming for the Government in my amendments. There is no such parallel. The Minister is comparing the lesser with the greater. He knows that the argument he was putting forward was not paralleled by my suggestion in regard to powers for the Government. The Minister in his heart of hearts knows that the argument he was putting up was not paralleled by my suggestions regarding powers for the Government.

Would the Deputy conclude? I must put a question.

I want to give notice, as I am asked to do by Standing Orders, that on Report Stage I will be asking for an amendment.

Let me give notice that amendments not already reached will be considered on Report Stage.

In accordance with an order of the House, made today, I must put the following question on the Dublin Transport Authority Bill, 1985: That the amendments set down by the Minister for Communications and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill, the Bill, as amended, is hereby agreed to in Committee and, as amended, it is reported to the House.

Question declared carried.
Bill reported with amendments.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 12 March 1986.