National Transport Authority Funding

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

Ceisteanna (628)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

628. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount the National Transport Authority has provided to Iarnród Éireann for refurbishment works at Howth Junction and Donaghmede DART stations in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; the works carried out with the NTA funding in each of the years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9604/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure and services in the Greater Dublin Area.  As the Deputy is aware, Iarnród Éireann receive Exchequer funding via the NTA in relation to refurbishment works at train stations on the heavy rail network such as Howth Junction & Donghmede.

In light of the NTA's responsibility in this area, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for further reply on the information sought and issues raised. 

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

Bus Éireann Fleet

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

Ceisteanna (629)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

629. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of providing 50 additional single and 50 double deck buses for the Bus Éireann fleet; the estimated cost of providing 125 additional buses to the Dublin Bus fleet; his plans to provide new and expanded fleets for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9605/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure including bus fleet acquisition for both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.

In light of the NTA’s responsibility in this area I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the Authority 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.

Cycling Facilities Provision

Ceisteanna (630, 635)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

630. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount the capital investment plan has allocated to upgrades of urban cycling infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9621/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

635. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to upgrade the urban cycling infrastructure under the capital investment plan. [9738/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 630 and 635 together.

As I very recently informed the Deputy, over €110m in capital funding is directly allocated to develop cycling and walking infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford over the period 2018-2021.  This programme will provide safe alternative active travel routes to help alleviate congestion by providing viable alternatives and connectivity with existing public transport infrastructure. A further €135m capital funding is allocated over this same period for investment in Sustainable Urban Transport projects, and these will include projects that will provide either direct or indirect improvements for urban cycling.  In addition to these cycling-specific investments, the BusConnects programme, which will involve re-configuring the city bus network and infrastructure, will also entail construction of significant new cycling facilities alongside bus routes on the key radial routes into the city centre and provide safe cycling arrangements, largely segregated from other traffic along those corridors. All these substantial investments will allow us to further increase the numbers cycling, thereby easing congestion, improving public health and enhancing the liveability of our cities.

As set out in the Government's recently published National Development Plan, as part of the annual Estimates process, the multi-annual capital allocations will be reviewed and extended annually on a rolling basis to cover the coming 5-year period.  This will provide Government with an annual opportunity to review the allocations in light of any implementation issues arising and/ or new priorities which may emerge as the National Development Plan is implemented.  The NDP also commits to a full mid-term review of the National Development Plan in 2022, to allow Government to take stock of progress in terms of delivery of the planned projects and programmes, and to allow Government to review and reaffirm its investment priorities. The review will be carried out in order to prepare and publish a new updated 10-year plan for public capital investment in 2023, covering the period 2023 to 2032.

Light Rail Projects Status

Ceisteanna (631)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

631. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeframe for the commencement and completion of construction on metro north; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9635/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including the development of a metro scheme.

Following consideration of the Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study and the recommendations of the National Transport Authority (NTA) arising from this study, the Government decided in 2015 that an optimised metro rail link as set out in the study is the long term public transport solution on the Airport/Swords corridor. In addition, the Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to proceed with the metro scheme.

The recently published Project Ireland 2040 now proposes to take forward a Metro Link scheme to run from Swords, via Dublin Airport to Dublin’s south city centre (operating in tunnel under the city centre) and onwards to Sandyford using the existing Luas Green Line to ensure that growth along this corridor can be accommodated. This will provide Dublin with a high capacity, high-frequency cross-city rail corridor serving critical destinations such as Swords, Dublin Airport, Dublin City University, Ballymun, the Mater Hospital and existing destinations along the Luas Green Line to Sandyford. Metro Link will provide faster reliable journey times to and from these key destinations while offering interchange with other rail, DART Expansion, light rail and bus services. 

The next steps are that the details of the Metro Link scheme (Swords to Sandyford) will put out to public consultation in the coming weeks, with construction expected to commence in 2021 with a view to delivering the project by 2027.

Infrastructure and Capital Investment Programme

Ceisteanna (632)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

632. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to seek financial investment to fund major transport infrastructure projects, including metro north, from development banks based in the EU, US, Japan and China; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9636/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware the recently published National Development Plan (NDP) provides for full Exchequer funding of €91 billion allocated for public capital investment over the period 2018 to 2027. This Exchequer investment will be supplemented with State-backed investment by commercial State-Owned Enterprises to generate a total 10-year investment programme estimated at €116 billion.

It is a stated requirement of the NDP that Departments must ensure that individual projects and investment proposals meet all of the relevant appraisal processes and value-for-money tests required under the Public Spending Code, before Exchequer resources are ultimately expended on the relevant projects. For each project with a capital value over €20 million - which clearly includes Metro Link - as part of the project's appraisal process, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) will be consulted to advise on both the optimal financing and appropriate procurement delivery models for the project.

Noise Pollution Legislation

Ceisteanna (633)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

633. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the implementation of EU regulation 598/14 with regard to airport and aircraft noise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9637/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Government recently approved my proposal to designate Fingal County Council as the Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport with An Bord Pleanála as the appeals body in order that Ireland fully complies with EU Regulation 598/2014, which came into effect in 2016. 

The full details of how the Regulation will be implemented, including the role and responsibilities of Fingal County Council, will be set out in primary legislation and my Department has just commenced drafting Heads of a Bill.

It is my intention to have this legislation enacted by the end of the year.

Road Projects Expenditure

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

Question No. 635 answered with Question No. 630.

Ceisteanna (634)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

634. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided in 2018 towards the implementation of essential safety measures at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9733/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for TII in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.
Question No. 635 answered with Question No. 630.

Driver Licence Renewals

Ceisteanna (636)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

636. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a current and valid driver licence is an acceptable form of identification to obtain a new and or replacement and or renewal driver licence; if the public services card is the only acceptable form of identification to obtain a new and or a replacement and or renewal driver licence; his plans to amend the forms of identification that are accepted when applying for a new, replacement and or renewal driver licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9781/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Where a person is renewing a driving licence they must produce their current licence.  However, this is not the sole means of identification - further proof of identity, residence, PPSN and address is required.  The forms of identification and other documentation required are in the public domain, and I refer the Deputy the following - https://www.ndls.ie/identity-validation.html#photographic-i-d.

From 9 April, there will be a new system of identification involved.  As of that date, applicants appearing at a National Driver Licensing Service centre will be asked to produce a Public Services Card (PSC).  There will also be an online system available.

The introduction of the PSC is part of a Government policy to reduce the burden of applications procedures for both the citizen and the State.  Currently, numerous application processes across the whole range of Government services and agencies require people to prove their identity, usually with slightly varying requirements.  These processes add significantly to the burden on the citizen to prove their identity repeatedly for different application processes, and add to the administrative burden the State.

It was always intended that the PSC would offer a single system for ID verification which could be used to access multiple public services.  This was provided for under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, under which 'specified bodies' - including the Road Safety Authority, which is in charge of the NDLS - may request production of the PSC as part of transactions such as applications.

At the same time, the move to an online system, which has frequently been urged by members of the House and others, is possible only when there is a robust ID verification system underpinning it.  The State system for online ID is the MyGovID platform, established by the Department of Employment and Social Protection.  The ID verification underpinning the MyGovID platform is the process of obtaining a PSC.

Taxi Regulations

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

Ceisteanna (637)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

637. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the penalties and fines which were imposed in the past five cases whereby a person has been convicted of illegally operating a taxi; his views on whether the penalties in operation are a sufficient deterrent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9794/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Under the Taxi Regulation 2013 Act, a person who is operating a taxi without a valid SPSV driver licence and/or SPSV vehicle licence is committing an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine, with detailed provisions set out in Section 28 of that Act.  A member of An Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant a person who in their opinion is committing or has committed such an offence.  The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is primarily a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the 2013 Act.  My Department engages regularly with NTA to review and consider the appropriateness of arrangements, and I am not aware of any immediate proposals for change in relation to fines.

Given the NTA's role in taxi regulation, I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days. 

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