Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (573)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

573. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the rail census for 2018 will be published; his plans to accelerate investment in the heavy rail system in view of the growing potential for passenger growth on the railways and the low carbon footprint of rail travel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8408/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware, Project Ireland 2040 states that the priority funding objective in relation to mainline rail is the maintenance and renewal of the existing network so that it continues to provide a safe and reliable infrastructure that enables the provision of quality rail services for passengers across the country. The funding I have secured under Project Ireland 2040 means that I am now in a position to provide this steady state level of funding.

In addition to this increase in funding to support the infrastructure, I have also increased the funding available to support expanded services across the rail network through the PSO subsidy. The improved funding framework has allowed the National Transport Authority and Iarnród Éireann deliver improved services for passengers across the network.

The NTA and Iarnród Éireann continue to explore how to enhance rail services and are currently considering ways to secure additional fleet ahead of the bigger increases which will form part of the DART Expansion Programme.

The National Heavy Rail Census is an annual report of the National Transport Authority (NTA) and as such it is a matter for the NTA to advise as to its publication.

In light of the NTA's responsibility on both matters raised by the Deputy, I have referred his question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

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