Data Protection

Ceisteanna (255)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

255. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the preparedness of his Department in the context of the incoming general data protection regulation, GDPR, EU 2016/679; if staff in his Department have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing on the GDPR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7654/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department began its GDPR preparations last year with the appointment, as required under Article 37 (1)(a) of the Regulation, of an Interim Data Protection Officer (DPO) who undertook training and is a Certified Data Protection Practitioner. The DPO also represents my Department at the Interdepartmental Committee on Data issues which is chaired by the Department of an Taoiseach.

Additionally, an identification and audit of personal data has taken place in my Department and through this exercise all staff have been made aware of the Regulation, its impacts on the Department and the new data subject rights under the Regulation. Furthermore, my Department is currently in the process of establishing a Data Protection Working Group which will have representatives from each sectoral area and will engage with the DPO on all issues of on-going compliance with the Regulation.

My Department has planned training for staff ahead of 25 May 2018. Training will consist of foundation level training but also, in compliance with the Regulation, training that is commensurate to the type of personal data being processed.

Rail Network Maintenance

The referred replies were forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (256)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

256. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to maintain vital rail infrastructure for the south-east region; if matters (details supplied) will be reviewed; if additional funding to secure the future of services in the south County Kilkenny area will be investigated in advance of budget 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7663/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I wish to advise the Deputy my Department provides capital funding to Iarnród Éireann for the maintenance and renewal of the heavy rail network under the Infrastructure Manager Multi-Annual Contract (IMMAC), in accordance with the requirements of EU law. Iarnród Éireann also receives capital funding, via the National Transport Authority (NTA), for heavy rail projects as well as funding under the Accessibility Grants and Regional Cities Programmes. The NTA is the statutory body with responsibility for overseeing the delivery of public transport services provided under public service contracts including, in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann, scheduling of services.

Noting the responsibilities of Iarnród Éireann and the NTA, I have forwarded your question to both organisations for direct reply in relation to the details provided by the Deputy. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

The referred replies were forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Rail Services Provision

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (257)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

257. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the feasibility of a reinstatement of rail services for Mullinavat, County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7664/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is an operational matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Road Safety

Ceisteanna (258)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

258. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to introduce a national accreditation programme for car mechanics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7707/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The introduction of a national accreditation programme for car mechanics does not fall under the remit of my Department.

In general, Further Education and Training awards, the validation of education and training programmes, and the National Framework of Qualifications are administered by Quality and Qualifications Ireland, which falls under the aegis of the Minister for Education and Skills.

Road Safety

Ceisteanna (259)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

259. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the considerable safety concerns arising from cars that have been poorly or improperly maintained by technicians without adequate training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7708/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Road Safety Authority, which comes under my Department's remit, has responsibility for the National Car Testing Service and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test, both of which will detect vehicles that do not meet the required roadworthiness standards.

However, the standards of vehicle maintenance, as with other service standards, is a consumer rights matter and falls within the responsibility of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which is under the aegis of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and do not come within the remit of my Department. Neither does the training of technicians who carry out such maintenance, or the adequacy thereof, which is a matter for Quality and Qualifications Ireland under the Minister for Education and Skills.

Road Safety

Ceisteanna (260, 261)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

260. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to introduce a national accreditation programme for bike mechanics further to correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter [7709/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

261. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the safety concerns arising when vehicles, including bicycles, are poorly maintained; and his plans to introduce measures to raise public awareness of the need to properly maintain bicycles. [7710/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 260 and 261 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that at present I have no plans to introduce a scheme for accreditation of bicycle mechanics.

I am acutely aware, however, of the importance of cyclist safety and my Department continues to work with and fund key stakeholders to address how road users behave on our roads in order to promote a safe and respectful approach from all users sharing the public road space.

The Road Safety Authority - which operates under the aegis of my Department - does important work in getting safety messages across. The RSA’s ‘Cycle Smart, Cycle Safe’ campaign directly addressed safety issues for cyclists, including cycling equipment check, Rules of the Road, sharing the road and proper signalling procedures. The RSA continually addresses road safety issues for all road users - including raising awareness of how other road users should interact safely with cyclists - and it actively engages with a variety of key stakeholders across a wide range of media.

My Department also funds Cycle Right and the Green Schools Travel programmes, which help provide quality cycle training for children, to help ensure the safety of cyclists into the future by providing instruction on the safe operation of bicycles in urban areas.

Cycle to Work Scheme

Ceisteanna (262, 263)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

262. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has considered extending the cycle-to-work scheme to self-employed persons and those who self-access their taxes; the estimated cost of such an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7772/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

263. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has considered increasing the allowance under the cycle-to-work scheme for those purchasing e-bikes; the estimated cost of such an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7773/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.

As the Deputy is aware, tax policy generally and tax incentives, such as the tax exempt benefit of kind under the Bicycle-to-work scheme, are matters for the Minister for Finance in the first instance.

I am very supportive of the Cycle to Work Scheme, which is a tax incentive aimed at encouraging employees to cycle to and from work by allowing for beneficial tax arrangements in respect of the purchase of a bicycle and certain related cycling equipment. Under this scheme, employers may agree with their employees to operate a cycle to work scheme under a salary sacrifice arrangement. Participation in the scheme is voluntary but, where offered by an employer, it must be made available to all employees and directors. The scheme applies to new bicycles and pedelecs (electrically assisted bicycles which require some effort from the cyclist) and also includes the purchase of certain new safety equipment.