I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 62, 84, 90 and 94 together.
As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.
As the Deputies will be aware, in April last, following a 3 week strike, the Labour Court made a Recommendation in relation to Bus Éireann. This was accepted by both the Company and the trade unions and implementation of the Recommendation is underway in the company.
While a number of services were impacted in the early stages of the changes in rosters, Bus Éireann have advised that is continuing to implement measures to further improve service levels, and that recently there have only been a very small number of cancellations.
Regular updates have been issued from the company with regards to the delays and cancellations and additional measures have been introduced by the company to regularise operations and minimise impacts.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) which has responsibility for ensuring delivery of bus services is aware that Bus Éireann has been experiencing operational issues in the eastern region recently and it is a matter for the Company to resolve those issues. The NTA is closely monitoring developments and has reminded Bus Éireann of its performance obligations under its contract with the NTA including the importance of providing relevant and timely information to customers. The NTA has indicated that it will give consideration in due course to the appropriate course of action under that contract.
The implementation of the Labour Court Recommendation continues to be a matter for the Company and the trade unions, and operational difficulties can be resolved through constructive and realistic engagement on both sides.