Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ceisteanna (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

62 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Transport if he will publish clear guidelines for local authorities and local communities to allow them work together to salt and grit local roads using voluntary efforts and community organisations in partnership with local authority offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2361/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pádraic McCormack

Ceist:

69 Deputy Pádraic McCormack asked the Minister for Transport if he will consider, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, making resources available to provide salt bunkers for distribution by local authorities to allow residents in housing estates store and access salt supplies for local roads and vulnerable estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2337/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 69 together.

The Government Emergency Task Force, under the auspices of the Department of Defence, is the framework around which national emergency responses are co-ordinated. Under the published emergency planning procedures, the national response to severe weather events is led by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Department of Transport plays a support role in responding to such events. The Severe Weather Inter-Department Co-ordination Group met daily over the duration of the severe weather to co-ordinate the national response and monitor impacts across all sectors countrywide. Following a meeting last Wednesday that Group have already commenced a review of the overall response to the recent event. The review will, amongst many issues, include transport related matters, community involvement and salt management issues.

Clearly the priority will be to continue to ensure there is sufficient salt supply to keep the national primary road network open during any sustained period of severe weather. I am also of the view that public authorities should examine ways of supporting community groups in "self help" efforts. As I have indicated this is an issue which will be considered in the review currently underway. The review is expected to be largely completed over the next 6 weeks and Government Departments including my Department will be actively contributing to the review based on their experience over the recent spell of severe weather.

Question No. 63 answered with Question No. 61.

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

64 Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport if he will require the National Roads Authority to purchase salt stocks centrally for local authorities as well as keeping responsibility for centralised salt provision for primary routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2332/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brian Hayes

Ceist:

66 Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Transport if he has reviewed the amount of salt and grit that will be kept in stock throughout the winter months in view of salt shortages due to freezing weather conditions in recent months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2327/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

67 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Transport if he will ensure that there is public transport service in Dublin after 9 p.m. in adverse weather conditions; if necessary that winter tyres be available for Dublin Bus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2271/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Arthur Morgan

Ceist:

71 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Transport the steps he will take to ensure that adequate salt supplies are sourced and distributed by the National Roads Authority to local authorities across the State so as to ensure that recent severe problems are not repeated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2196/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kathleen Lynch

Ceist:

87 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Transport if he will review the operations of the Government task force dealing with the present weather crisis with a view to providing a national transport strategy for dealing with transport requirements in extreme weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2252/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lucinda Creighton

Ceist:

90 Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Transport the communication he has had with the Dublin Airport Authority and the National Roads Authority following December’s travel disruption due to the difficult weather conditions; his plans to implement new strategies to keep transport links open in the case of such conditions in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2198/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64, 66, 67, 71, 87 and 90 together.

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding for the Transport sector. As the Deputies will be aware, the issues raised by them mainly fall within the operational responsibilities of the relevant agencies, be it the National Roads Authority, the public transport companies and the Dublin Airport Authority in which I have no function. I refer the Deputies to my response to today's priority questions 54 and 57.