Air Accident Investigations

Ceisteanna (305)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

305. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the accident report into Rescue 116 has been delayed and the response issued now is identical to the response issued a year ago regarding this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12597/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Deputy will recall in my response to her previous PQ 754319, that I advised, inter-alia, that a second Interim Report will be issued by the AAIU just prior to the second anniversary of the accident (14 March2017) outlining the current status of the investigation and progress made to date. In that regard, I refer you to the AAIU website www.AAIU.ie where you can find the Interim Statement that was released by the AAIU on the 1 March 2019. In addition, I can confirm that the points of contact for each of the four affected families were made aware of the AAIU position prior to public release of the Interim Statement.

As previously stated, the AAIU is the national Safety Investigation Authority for aviation accidents and incidents and while it is located within my Department, it functions independently of me and my Department. Regulations provide for investigations to be held in private, and are confidential. The sole purpose of such Investigations is the prevention of future accidents and incidents and not to apportion blame or liability.

Whilst I understand the on-going public interest in this matter, it is vital that the AAIU is given the time and space to follow due process, complete its work and report on its findings. As the AAIU is independent in the conduct of its investigations, it would be inappropriate for me to become involved in individual investigations. As such, I am not in a position to directly comment further on the AAIU investigation of R116.

Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements

Ceisteanna (306)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

306. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of UK driver licence holders in the wake of Brexit; if UK licences will remain valid; if there will be an amnesty to exchange such licences for an Irish version; and if plans will also include provisions for asylum seekers who hold a UK driver licence. [12605/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Motorists resident in Ireland with a UK driving licence are being advised to exchange that licence for an Irish driving licence before the 29 March 2019. The Department has always advised people to exchange their EU driving licence for an Irish driving licence once they become a resident of Ireland.

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement provides for arrangements to recognise UK driving licences across the EU during the transition period i.e. until December 2020. Legislation in the Road Traffic Acts allows for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK becomes a 3rd country and the potential then exists for arrangements to be made under this legislation. Ireland will be pursuing this option. This may take a little time to complete as it involves a formal agreement and legislation here in Ireland.

The question of issuing driving licences to asylum seekers is still under consideration in consultation with my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Visitors to Ireland can continue to drive here on a foreign licence for up to a year, as provided for under the 1949 Geneva Convention.

Irish Coast Guard Issues

Ceisteanna (307)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

307. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the location of each of the 58 Coast Guard stations which are operational; if they have Internet access, running water and bathroom facilities; and the Coast Guard stations that have been identified for upgrades in tabular form. [12623/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Irish Coast Guard, a Division of my Department, has 44 Units based in 58 coast guard stations.

The Coast Guard building programmes are managed by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, from planning design to build and on-going maintenance. These projects are funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The Coast Guard in conjunction with the Office of Public Works design new station houses and the OPW engage in discussions with the Local Authorities in respect of certain key issues. The rate of progress on these projects will depend on the timelines required for the various phases, the capital funding and other resources available; matters are being overseen and closely monitored by the Coast Guard personnel in my Department. As new build projects are completed, additional projects are put on the IRCG Building Programme.

Medium sized build projects, costs estimated at over €750,000, are managed by OPW Property Management Section and are overseen by an OPW Senior Architect; the medium sized projects currently being undertaken include new IRCG Stations in Westport, Greystones and Kilmore Quay; there are a number of other projects in the initial stages included in this programme, all on green field sites.

Smaller upgrading and renovation projects are managed by OPW Property Maintenance Section and undertaken by the Regional OPW offices, where feasible, on the current footprint of existing IRCG Volunteer Stations. These projects include the updating and improving of Unit facilities including toilets and running water.

The Office of Public Works has undertaken the assessment of IRCG Rocket Houses, to ascertain where current basic facilities can be upgraded to include toilets. These Rocket Houses have long been identified as being in need of more suitable facilities and are now mainly in use as secondary Unit buildings. Due to the nature, design and footprint of these Rocket Houses, it is not always feasible to extend. A trial project for the inclusion of compostable toilets in these circumstances is currently being undertaken.

The IRCG and Maritime Services Division are currently undertaking a review of broadband provision in all Unit and Sub-Unit Buildings.

Please see the following list of the coastguard stations that have been identified for upgrades in tabular form.

Unit name/Grid Ref

County

Type of unit

Running water, bathroom facilities

Broadband - Internet Facilities

Identified for Upgrade

With OPW District Inspectors

for assessment of facilities installation

Doolin CGU

Clare

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Kilkee CGU

Clare

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Killaloe CGU

Clare

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Castletownbere CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Crosshaven CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Goleen CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Toe Head CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Schull Coast Guard Unit

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Youghal

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Oysterhaven CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Bunbeg CGU

Donegal

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Greencastle CGU

Donegal

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Killybegs CGU

Donegal

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Mulroy Bay CGU

Donegal

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Dun Laoghaire CGU

Dublin

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Howth CGU

Dublin

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Skerries CGU

Dublin

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Costello Bay CGU

Galway

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Dingle CGU

Kerry

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Iveragh

Kerry

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Ballybunion CGU

Kerry

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Yes

Glenderry CGU

Kerry

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Yes

Drogheda CGU

Louth

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Greenore CGU

Louth

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Achill CGU

Mayo

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Killala CGU

Mayo

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Westport CGU

Mayo

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Bonmahon CGU

Waterford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Tramore CGU

Waterford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Dunmore East CGU

Waterford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Yes

Ardmore CGU

Waterford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Curracloe CGU

Wexford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Rosslare CGU

Wexford

Main Unit Building

Has facilities

Yes

Ballycotton CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Yes

Old Head of Kinsale CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Castlefreke CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Guileen CGU

Cork

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Cleggan CGU

Galway

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Clogherhead CGU

Louth

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ballyglass CGU

Mayo

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Courtown CGU

Wexford

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Fethard-on-Sea CGU

Wexford

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Kilmore Quay CGU

Wexford

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Yes

Greystones CGU

Wicklow

Main Unit Building - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

Yes

Yes

Yes

Greenore CGU Rocket House

Louth

Secondary storage building - Rocket House

N/A - Storage building

N/A - Storage building

Mulroy Bay CGU

Donegal

Secondary Unit Building

N/A - Storage building

N/A - Storage building

Glenderry CGU Rocket House

Kerry

Secondary Unit Building

N/A - Storage building

N/A - Storage building

Yes

Iveragh

Kerry

Secondary Unit Building - Rocket House

N/A - Storage building

N/A - Storage building

Crosshaven RH

Cork

Storage building - Rocket House

N/A

N/A - Storage building

Seven Heads CGU - Amalgamated with Castlefreke CGU

Cork

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Summercove CGU - Amalgamated with Oysterhaven

Cork

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

Has facilities

No internet facilities

Yes

Glandore CGU - Amalgamated with Toe Head

Cork

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Tory Island CGU - Amalgamated with Bunbeg CGU

Donegal

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

North Aran CGU - Amalgamated with Costello Bay CGU

Galway

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

Yes

Yes

South Aran CGU - Amalgamated with Doolin CGU

Galway

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Carnsore Point CGU - Substation of Rosslare

Wexford

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

Yes

Yes

Arklow CGU - Substation of Courtown

Wicklow

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Wicklow CGU - Substation of Greystones

Wicklow

Sub - Unit - Rocket House

No running water or bathroom

No internet facilities

Yes

Cycling Facilities Funding

Ceisteanna (308)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

308. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding options available to community groups and local authorities that wish to develop cycle paths in their areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12652/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I can advise the Deputy that funding for cycling is provided under a number of different programmes by my Department, of which the two principal ones are now the Smarter Travel/Sustainable Urban Transport programme and the Cycling & Walking programme.

I am also pleased to advise the Deputy that I have secured a significant improvement in funding allocations over the period 2018-2021 which will benefit both cyclists and walkers. These improved allocations over this period include:

- €110 million specifically dedicated to cycling and walking infrastructure in our major urban areas;

- €135 million for sustainable urban transport measures;

- €750 million approximately towards the BusConnects programme in Dublin which will include the delivery of around 200 kilometres of segregated cycling lanes, where possible; and

- €53 million to support the development of new Greenways.

The allocation of funding in respect of individual projects is managed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.

In addition to the above, Government has also made additional money available for cycling projects through both the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds under the National Development Plan and I understand that applications for those Funds are facilitated by the relevant Departments (D/Housing, Planning and Local Government and the D/Rural and Community Development).

Driver Test Regulations

Ceisteanna (309)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

309. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a matter (details supplied) regarding the driver test will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12659/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Driver testers, employed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), must complete training as set out in a series of EU directives on driving testing and licensing, the current main directive being EU Directive 2006/126/EC. This directive sets minimum driving test standards, training and quality assurance for driver testers. Testers have to undergo continuous monitoring of the application of Driving Test Standards, by way of regular and ongoing supervision.

A Driving instructor's opinion of a learner driver's competency is only that - an opinion. Regardless of the experience or capability of an instructor, one instructor's opinion may differ greatly than another. An effective driving test provides learner drivers with a consistent evaluation process which ensures that candidates have attained a sufficient level of competency to drive unaccompanied. If a candidate's nervousness is of such a level that it adversely affects their driving test, they may not be ready to sit the test and may require further instruction.

The RSA has a Quality Assurance Policy which ensures that the practical driving test experience is of a consistent high quality, regardless of where it is carried out or who carries it out, and always produces valid and reliable results. A key element of this Policy is the continuous monitoring of the application of Driving Test Standards. This is done by way of regular and ongoing supervision which is in compliance with the Directive.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (310)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

310. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a list of projects and their respective costs which were funded under the heading of walking and cycling (details supplied) between 1 January and 31 December 2018 will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12669/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware, funding for cycling and walking is provided under a number of different programmes, of which the two principal ones are now the Smarter Travel/Sustainable Urban Transport programme and the Cycling and Walking programme.

Expenditure for the Cycling and Walking programme is recorded under subhead B8.5 in my Department. I can inform the Deputy that figures currently available indicate the total expenditure outturn by my Department on the Cycling and Walking programme in 2018 was €18.1 million spent specifically on cycling and walking infrastructure in our major urban areas.

I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply with regard to the breakdown on this particular programme. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.