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Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

Written Answers Nos. 385-389

Local Authority Services

Ceisteanna (385)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

385. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will ensure, and, on road safety grounds, provide funding so that road markings on key urban, regional, national and motorway routes are luminescent, given the tendency of the existing painted markings to disappear during bad weather at night; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3842/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As road authorities, it is a matter for local authorities, in conjunction with TII in respect of national roads, to manage the maintenance of roads within their functional areas.  Within their roads budget, it is also a matter for local authorities to prioritise maintenance works which have safety implications.

Motor Industry

Ceisteanna (386)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

386. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he or the Road Safety Authority have met the key importers and manufacturers of vehicles in relation to improving safety systems in cars and other vehicles and in particular the development of high technical solutions to monitor and regulate the speed and safe driving of vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3843/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Improvements in vehicle design and the incorporation of new technologies afford greater safety for motorists and other road users and is a fundamental element of the more holistic 'safe systems approach' to road safety as outlined in the Government's 2013-2020 Road Safety Strategy. 

Actions in the Strategy relating to the ongoing research of emerging 'in-road' and 'in-vehicle' road safety technologies by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the implementation of measures to ensure the timely implementation of the eCall service in line with EU regulations, is testament to the Government's commitment to implementing improved vehicle engineering safety standards.

In terms of vehicle engineering expertise and the provision of advice in relation to such, under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 – S.I. No. 477 of 2006, the RSA has responsibility for the oversight and development of standards for motor vehicles and the making of recommendations in relation to the regulation of such.

In view of the RSA's technical expertise in this area and their corresponding statutory function in this regard, I have referred the Deputy's query to the RSA for direct reply. If a reply has not been received within ten days, please contact my private office.

Light Rail Projects Status

Ceisteanna (387)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

387. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report to Dáil Éireann on developments in the scoping and planning for Metro North; if he or agencies of his Department have formed a planning unit in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3844/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 'New Metro North' scheme was chosen as the most appropriate public transport solution to address the future transport needs of the Swords/Airport/City Centre Corridor under the Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study carried out by the NTA. The scheme has been included in the Government’s new Capital Plan 'Building on Recovery Infrastructure & Capital Investment 2016-2021'.  It is expected that construction commence in 2021 with a view to delivery by 2026/27. 

I understand that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has commenced initial work on the design and planning stages of the scheme in collaboration with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), and in line with their Project Management Guidelines.  The key objective of this first phase will be to determine the Route alignment. This will be informed by a number of key work streams and studies.

Thereafter, the NTA, in its role as Sanctioning Authority, will prepare a detailed business case for the project based on more detailed design and cost estimates of the route prior to lodging the Railway Order for the proposed scheme. The comprehensive appraisal will be conducted in accordance with the Government's Public Spending Code.

Boat Permits

Ceisteanna (388)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

388. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of an application for a permit by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3487/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Arts)

Private boats on the lakes in the Park are regulated by way of mooring discs or pegs. In a scheme introduced in 1991, following lengthy consultation with interested parties, mooring discs were issued to all boat owners having a recognised traditional mooring right on the lakes, subject to an overall limit on the number of discs issued. It is considered that a limit is necessary so as to balance recreational use with the conservation imperative of flora and fauna of the lakes and surrounding areas, and also taking account of obligations under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. My Department does not permit the casual placing of boats on the lakes on a daily basis, as boats and engines coming from outside the Park carry the risk of spreading invasive alien species such as zebra mussels and various pond weeds.

To facilitate others, persons applying for mooring pegs are placed on a waiting list and any pegs becoming available are allocated to those on the list. In order to facilitate the short-term accommodation of some of those on the waiting list, they are entered into a lottery each year for one of 22 temporary mooring pegs to use the lakes for one year. My Department receives numerous requests for mooring spaces but, unfortunately, the demand far exceeds the number of spaces available.

The 2015 lottery took place last year under the supervision of my officials and local angling club members. Offers of discs have issued to those persons drawn from the lottery but it is not my Department’s policy at the moment to issue letters to unsuccessful applicants. I am advised that the person referred to by the Deputy was unsuccessful in 2015 and has been automatically entered into this year’s draw as a result.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (389)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

389. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding she allocated and the funding spent on capital projects and other initiatives in the constituencies of Louth and Meath-East, by project and initiative, by completion date and by cost, for the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3555/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Arts)

Details of the annual funding allocation to my Department at subhead level are published in the annual Revised Estimates Volume. Through these subheads, my Department administers and delivers a wide range of programmes and measures, descriptions of which are available on its website at http://www.ahg.gov.ie/.

Expenditure under these programme areas is recorded and accounted for on a national basis and it is not possible to give a regional, county-by-county or constituency breakdown of that expenditure. For example, a number of my Department’s programmes are delivered through agencies and other intermediary bodies that operate across county boundaries and in respect of which there is no detailed breakdown on a county basis or constituency basis held by my Department. Groups and organisations that receive grants directly from my Department are not typically constituted on a single-county basis or constituency basis.

In view of this and because of the wide range of my Department’s schemes and programmes, and the large volumes of payments and grants involved, it is not possible to provide the information sought. However, if the Deputy has specific queries relating to a particular programme or grant, I will endeavour to provide him with relevant information in that regard.

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