Fáilte Ireland Expenditure

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

Ceisteanna (800)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

800. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided by Fáilte Ireland to tourism providers for product development or tourism projects and for marketing plans and strategies since 1 January 2019, by county (details supplied); and the locations to which funding has been allocated. [23465/19]

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 the management of individual tourism projects and has no role in the administration of the agency's grant programmes.

I have asked Fáilte Ireland to reply directly with the further detail sought by the Deputy with regard to funding allocations in the year to date.  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

Taxi Licences

Ceisteanna (801)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

801. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of taxi licences that have been withdrawn from drivers since 2011, by year and location of licence. [23466/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the revocation of taxi licences, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

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.

Tourism Ireland Funding

Ceisteanna (802)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

802. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided to Tourism Ireland by year since 2009; the percentage of the funding by year provided by the State as opposed to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23467/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Tourism Ireland is funded through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland. I am advised by Tourism Ireland that the proportionate exchequer provision for Tourism Ireland in the years 2009 to 2019 is as follows:

Date

Funding Provided

Percentage

2009

€51,155,000

71.7%

2010

€48,982,000

73.4%

2011

€47,248,000

71.7%

2012

€45,831,000

72.9%

2013

€44,294,000

71.6%

2014

€42,523,000

72.6%

2015

€40,750,000

73.8%

2016

€39,536,000

70.3%

2017

€40,307,000

75.4%

2018

€40,492,000

75.7%

2019

€47,274,000

78.4%

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (803)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

803. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to allocate further funding for the R232 in County Donegal; if his attention has been drawn to the critical importance of the road (details supplied); his further plans to fund the road in order to bring it to the standard required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23475/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

Before the financial crisis, local authorities could apply on a regular basis for grants for Specific (schemes costing less than €5m) and Strategic Improvement Grants (schemes costing more than €5m) for the strengthening, widening or realignment of regional and local roads. However, the extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the crisis meant this grant scheme had to be curtailed from 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.

The current Capital Plan does provide for the gradual build-up in funding for the road network but it will take some time yet to reach the level required even for the basic maintenance and renewal of the network. For this reason, there continues to be limited scope for funding new or additional projects under the Specific and Strategic Grant Programmes.

Any projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under these Grant Programmes are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis. All projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and the Department's Capital Appraisal Framework (CAF). Given the limited funding available for RLR improvement works it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind. Donegal County Council submitted a Preliminary Appraisal in relation to improvement works on the R232 in January this year.

Grant funding of €500,000 has been allocated for the R232 in 2019 and all available 2019 grant funding has now been allocated. Future allocations will be considered as part of the decision making process for next year's grant allocations.

Roads Maintenance Funding

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

Ceisteanna (804)

John Brady

Ceist:

804. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the funding of upgrade works on the N11 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23567/19]

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 upgrading of individual national roads, is a matter for 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

Autonomous Vehicles

Ceisteanna (805)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

805. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the need for legislative change to facilitate the testing of autonomous cars. [23576/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The field of transport is in the midst of what is widely acknowledged as a number of very significant changes, including those arising from increased applications of connectivity, automation, alternative fuels, the shared economy and digitisation. These in turn present opportunities but also risks. Governments and authorities worldwide are still developing their responses, taking account of the impacts of these changes on safety, the economy, employment, the environment, security and privacy (including data security). For example, EU Member States have regular High Level Meetings on Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CAM), including representatives of the Commission and a number of industrial sectors, which my officials attend. In turn, the Commission has recently proposed a Single Platform for open road testing and pre-deployment of Cooperative, Connected, Automated and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM), with specialised subgroups of national experts on specific aspects.

We intend to lead the development of the Connected and Autonomous Mobility sector in Ireland with due regard to the range of important issues involved, the risks and opportunities. In the near term, and in the context of the Government's new economic pathway, Future Jobs Ireland, we are working on guidelines for testing such vehicles, a strategic roadmap for the sector and an administrative review of the current road traffic legislation in relation to possible testing on the public road.

Good progress has been made particularly with regard to the Guidelines for testing. The outcome of the review of road traffic legislation is currently being examined to determine whether and what formal legal advice may be required. The conclusion of any such legal advice, together with the results of the administrative review and any developments at EU or other international levels, will then inform the decision of whether amendments to the Road Traffic Acts are needed.

The question of what legislative change may be needed in areas which fall outside the remit of my Department are matters for the responsible Minister.

Concussion in Sport

Ceisteanna (806)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

806. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to implement a standardised mandatory education training programme for all sports coaches in respect of concussion. [23614/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The education and training of coaches and volunteers in relation to concussion is a matter for the National Governing Bodies of Sport concerned, under which cognisance is taken of the risk profile of the particular sport concerned, that sport’s collective experience and the medical expertise within it. 

It is pertinent to note that there is an increasing body of research being conducted on the matter of concussion in sport, some of which is being conducted by international sport federations. It is the expectation of Sport Ireland and I that the guidance developed by National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland would accordingly continue to evolve over the coming years.

Concussion in Sport

Ceisteanna (807)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

807. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there is inconsistency between the various sports in terms of concussion recovery time; the steps he will take to implement the roll-out of a national protocol to address the inconsistency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23615/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I fully recognise the importance of ensuring athlete safety. Athlete welfare is paramount. Various organisations have concussion and head injury guidelines for their sports, which stress the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of the athletes.   

However, neither I nor Sport Ireland have a statutory role or remit with regard to monitoring, reviewing, or ensuring consistency between, the safety standards in use by, or applicable to, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs). Responsibility for athlete safety and participants rests with the individual National Governing Bodies of Sport. The approaches taken in each sport in relation to concussion are accordingly a matter for the NGBs themselves with cognisance being taken of the risk profile of the particular sport concerned, that sport’s collective experience and the medical expertise within the relevant sport. 

NGBs must, of course, abide by Health and Safety legislation and should have regard to any guidance issued by relevant statutory agencies. The safety of all those involved in sport is of paramount importance, whether as participants, competitors, spectators, volunteers or workers.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (808)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

808. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there is an appeals process for clubs that were unsuccessful in the sports capital equipment funding round announced in May 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23670/19]

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.

Thereafter, 619 "equipment only" applications were assessed and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May.

The unsuccessful equipment only applications are now being invited to appeal the Department's decision if they feel the Department made a mistake in either ruling their application invalid or in not awarding their application a sufficiently high score to obtain a grant. Unsuccessful applicants will have 2 weeks to lodge appeals. Officials in my Department will consider these appeals and make final decisions as quickly as possible.

Rail Services Staff

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

Ceisteanna (809)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

809. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of fully qualified DART and diesel train drivers by gender, respectively, in Irish Rail; if they are DART or diesel train qualified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23689/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. 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

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (810)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

810. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he met the chief executive officer of Iarnród Éireann most recently; and when he will next meet the CEO. [23772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I last met with the Chair of Iarnród Éireann on 9th August 2018. I have not yet met with the current Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann. However, my Department has regular engagement with the company at all levels, including at CEO level, in relation to issues including governance, financial, investment, safety and service related issues including in relation to Brexit.  I am regularly briefed by my Department in relation to such issues.

Taxi Licences

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

Ceisteanna (811)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

811. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of licences issued for Kilkenny city and county for the purpose of providing a taxi or hackney service; the number approved for transport of disabled passengers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23806/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the licensing of vehicles for this sector, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

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

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (812)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

812. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status on an application for funding from a sports organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23834/19]

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 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 and the application referred to by the Deputy is one of these 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 Projects

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

Ceisteanna (813)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

813. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the awarding of the contract for the upgrade of the Dunkettle interchange has been delayed; the expected cost of the project; when he expects the contract to be awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23842/19]

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 road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred your 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

Sport and Recreational Development

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

Ceisteanna (814)

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

814. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on reduced rates for children and for groups of children such as siblings in public sports facilities such as the National Aquatic Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23875/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland is the statutory body with responsibility for the operation of facilities at the National Sports Campus, including the National Aquatic Centre. I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply on this matter. Please contact my office if a reply is not received with 10 days.

The vast majority of public sports facilities are owned and operated by Local Authorities and many offer reduced rates for children and other users. In the National Sports Policy 2018-2027, the Government underlined that Local Authorities are well positioned to take a leading role at local level, working with Local Sports Partnerships and other relevant stakeholders to offer opportunities for all members of their communities to participate in sport and physical activity. My Department and Sport Ireland work in collaboration with Local Authorities, for instance at the Sports Leadership Group which includes a local government representative, the Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council, Mr Daniel McLoughlin.

The National Sports Policy 2018-2027 also considered the issue of access to facilities. It recognised that while the majority of primary schools must access a swimming pool in the community to fulfil the aquatics strand of the PE curriculum, there is no specific funding available to help them defray costs like transport and facility hire. In this context, the National Sports Policy includes an action that my Department will work with relevant stakeholders to explore the merits of a new programme of current sports funding under a targeted scheme to support schools on a sustainable basis in defraying reasonable costs (such as necessary transport and facility hire) incurred in delivering the aquatics strand of the PE curriculum.

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

Rail Services Data

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

Ceisteanna (815)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

815. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason no response has issued from the National Transport Authority to Parliamentary Question No. 1059 of 26 March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24015/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I have been informed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) that a reply dated 11th April did issue to you on the matter raised. I have asked the NTA to reissue its response to you and to also inform you of any further developments in the interim concerning the matter raised.

Please inform my Private Office if you do not receive a reply from the NTA within 10 days.

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