Sports Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (785, 816)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

785. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to examine making grants available to sports clubs that use an organic product (details supplied) when constructing grass playing fields or when making improvements to existing grass playing fields; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

816. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will make the use of an organic product (details supplied) a condition of a sports capital grant for sports clubs that are to receive grants for the provision of grass playing fields or the improvement of grass playing fields; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 785 and 816 together.

The Sports Capital Programme is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country.

The programme funds the development of many types of sports facilities and equipment including the development of natural grass playing surfaces. The choice of what products and methods best meet a grantee's needs are a matter for the grantee, their technical supervisor and their chosen contractor. Furthermore, the relevant National Governing Body may also provide some technical advice to the sports club or organisation in question. My Department does not have any responsibility for the setting of standards for material used in the development of facilities and accordingly does not endorse or recommend any particular product.

Greenways Funding

Ceisteanna (786)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

786. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an announcement will be made on the next round of greenway funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24249/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The recent funding call for Greenways closed on 30th November last year. Twenty-two applications were received from fifteen Local Authorities and one State Agency. Over the last few months, officials from my Department, along with members of the Project Assessment Board, have been meticulously assessing each of these detailed applications based on the criteria laid out in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways.

I hope that in the next few weeks I will be in a position to award funding to the successful applicants, and an announcement will be made at that time.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (787)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

787. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a club (details supplied) was unsuccessful in its application for funding under the sports capital programme 2018 for equipment and machinery; if there is an appeals process in respect of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23180/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding.

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

619 "equipment only" applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a total value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations on the 20th May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works. I can confirm that the organisation referred to by the Deputy has submitted an application for capital works, and sports equipment, and is being assessed along with the remaining applications.

For the first time applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it may be the third quarter of this year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Road Traffic Legislation

Ceisteanna (788)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

788. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way in which the licensing and regulation of horse-drawn carriages can be managed while the Dublin Carriage Acts are still in force; and his views on whether the system should temporarily revert to An Garda Síochána as was the case prior to 2011 when the Garda carriage office issued licences. [23183/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department is engaging with Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána with a view to resolving this matter as quickly as possible. Advice has also been sought from the Office of the Attorney General as to extant powers and where these reside at present. As the Deputy will understand, it would be premature to take a decision on the approach for the licensing of horse-drawn carriages in advance of receipt of that advice. However I propose to address the matter speedily once the legal position is clearer.

Rail Services Provision

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

Ceisteanna (789)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

789. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the capacity of DART services on the north side of Dublin will be increased, particularly during the morning peak time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23202/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. The operation and scheduling of the heavy rail network, including DART services, is a day-to-day matter for Iarnród Éireann. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development and implementation of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area including, in consultation with Iarnród Éireann, assessing rolling stock requirements for the rail network.

In this regard, the NTA and Iarnród Éireann have just recently commenced a procurement process for the establishment of a 10 year framework agreement for the purchase of additional rail fleet required for the expansion of the existing DART Network as part of the DART Expansion Programme.

Noting the responsibility of the agencies, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA, for a more detailed direct reply on the issues raised. Please advise my office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

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

Motor Insurance Costs

Ceisteanna (790)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

790. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether a driver who has had his or her licence suspended for two years should continue to pay higher than normal insurance premiums seven years after the licence has been reinstated. [23213/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Insurance companies are private companies. Neither the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport nor the Central Bank of Ireland has the power to direct insurance companies on the pricing of insurance products. The EU framework for insurance expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of insurance products. The provision of insurance cover and the price at which it is offered are commercial matters for insurance companies and are based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept and adequate provisioning to meet those risks. These are considered by insurance companies on a case by case basis.

The most recent Consumer Price Index showed that the average cost of motor insurance actually fell more than 24% between its peak in July 2016 and April 2019.

The Cost of Insurance Working Group chaired by Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D'Arcy TD is looking at the circumstances behind the rising cost of motor insurance and how to improve the situation, but will still not be able to directly affect the actual costs of motor insurance. A copy of the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report and subsequent updates can be found on the Department of Finance website. Recommendation 2 of the Report relates to insurers providing additional information on the premium breakdown to consumers. The Central Bank of Ireland published the Non-Life Insurance (Provision of Information) (Renewal of Policy of Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 on 21 December 2018 and these will come into effect on 01 November 2019.

Insurance Ireland operates a free insurance information service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to obtaining insurance. All calls regarding refusal to quote, or quotations that are so excessive as to be in effect a refusal, should be directed to Insurance Ireland by phone at (01) 676 1820, by email at declined@insuranceireland.eu or by post at 5 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1 quoting the Declined Cases Agreement.

Public Transport Expenditure

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

Ceisteanna (791)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

791. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of the €28.94 million allocated for the sustainable transport measures grant programme in 2018 that was drawn down. [23285/19]

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, including individual projects within the Sustainable Urban Transport programme, and administers the funding for the programme on a non-statutory basis in regions outside of the Greater Dublin Area.

The Sustainable Urban Transport programme has replaced the Sustainable Transport Measures Grant Programme as referred to by the Deputy.

The allocation, and draw down, of funding in respect of individual projects is managed by the NTA in conjunction with the relevant local authorities, accordingly I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed 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

Railway Stations

Ceisteanna (792)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

792. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he will visit Thomastown train station, Killucan, County Westmeath, in view of a commitment given in Dáil Éireann in order to appreciate at first hand the importance of reopening the station in terms of facilitating increased numbers travelling by rail and its contribution to environmental enhancement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23332/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

This matter is under consideration and my office will revert on the matter in due course.

Sports Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (793)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

793. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the 2019 sports capital grants will be allocated; the budget allocated for the 2019 round of sports capital grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23336/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. A minimum of €40m will be allocated in total.

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced on the 20th May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works.

For the first time applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it may be the third quarter of this year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Wild Atlantic Way Project

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

Ceisteanna (794)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

794. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason Grianán of Aileach in County Donegal has not been identified as a discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way despite its significant tourism footfall and its close proximity to the coast. [23345/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy. While my Department provides funding to Fáilte Ireland for investment in tourism development, it is not directly involved in individual tourism projects or programmes such as the Wild Atlantic Way.

I believe that the north-west section of the Wild Atlantic Way and its hinterland, including County Donegal, has very exciting potential for tourism and I am very supportive of our tourism agencies’ efforts to increase visits to the area.

With specific regard to the Grianán of Aileach, I understand that Fáilte Ireland already promotes this as a “must-see” destination in the region and that it has further plans to maximise the potential of this ancient site. I have asked Fáilte Ireland to respond directly to the Deputy's question and to provide further detail on its current promotions and further plans for this site. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

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

Road Projects

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

Ceisteanna (795)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

795. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the next phases of the N56 in County Donegal; if contractors have been appointed for the next sections of this national secondary road; if additional plans are being prepared for other sections of the N56 in addition to those parts being tendered at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23362/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a 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

Maritime Safety Regulations

Ceisteanna (796)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

796. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to update the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act 2000. [23382/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act 2000 dealt, in the main, with the establishment of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB). The MCIB is an independent statutory body whose main function, as outlined in the Act, is to investigate and publish reports into marine casualties that take place in relation to any vessel in Irish waters or to an Irish-registered vessel anywhere in the world.

The Act details how investigations are to take place and stresses that the purpose of an investigation is to establish the cause (or causes) of a marine casualty with a view to making recommendations for the avoidance of similar marine casualties. It is not the purpose of an MCIB investigation to attribute blame or fault.

In order to transpose an EC Directive from 2009 (Directive 2009/18/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector), the Act is to be read as modified by the provisions of Statutory Instrument 276 of 2011 (the European Communities (Merchant Shipping) (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations 2011) in relation to any accidents covered by the Directive.

My Department will review the situation as appropriate.

Road Projects

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

Ceisteanna (797)

James Browne

Ceist:

797. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a joint bid to hold a fundraising event on a new road will be supported (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23410/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. The Roads Acts 1993-2015 prescribes the roles and responsibilities of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned, for the delivery of the National Roads Programme. Among these roles and functions, TII and local authorities are responsible for the operation and management of individual national roads.

I am supportive of this proposal and hope that the parties can work together to facilitate this worthwhile fundraising event.

Noting the above position, I have referred the question to TII for a 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

Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements

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

Ceisteanna (798)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

798. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a person (details supplied) was denied the ability to exchange the person's Australian full driver licence for an Irish full driver licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23435/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

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

Road Traffic Offences

Ceisteanna (799)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

799. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 383 of 28 May 2019, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, on 18 April 2019, a person (details supplied) was reported as saying that gardaí will be issuing fixed-charge notices on the roadside as part of the Garda ACTIVE mobility strategy; if legislation will be needed in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23454/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) are issued by the Fixed Charge Processing Office (FCPO) in Thurles. It is my understanding that the Assistant Commissioner was referring to an application, currently under trial, which allows a Garda member at the roadside to send electronically a notification to the FCPO to issue an FCN to an offender. The delivery of the FCN to that offender will continue in the usual manner, i.e. by post.

The new application will therefore increase efficiency in the current system for issuing FCNs. This is a matter of internal Garda process and does not require a change in legislation.