Aviation Industry

Ceisteanna (2370)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

2370. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of flights that took place in each of the years 2016 to 2018, with both origin and destination here. [32098/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Responsibility for air traffic management is a matter , in the first instance, for the State's aviation regulator the Irish Aviation Authority, who I have asked to respond directly on the matters raised. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Transport Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (2371, 2372)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

2371. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of trees earmarked for removal under the proposed BusConnects plan in the Dublin area. [32174/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

2372. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an environmental impact assessment will be commissioned into the proposed removal of trees in Dublin city as a result of the BusConnects scheme; and if such assessment will examine the impact on air quality. [32175/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2371 and 2372 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including BusConnects.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Ports Traffic

Question No. 2374 answered with Question No. 2317.

Questions Nos. 2375 to 2378, inclusive, answered with Question No. 2373.

Ceisteanna (2373, 2375, 2376, 2377, 2378)

James Browne

Ceist:

2373. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the development of an access road near Rosslare Europort; the steps he will take to mitigate potential traffic chaos at Rosslare Europort in the event of a hard Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32176/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

2375. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to provide funding to extend the M11 motorway to Rosslare Europort in view of the threats of Brexit and the need to develop ports to ensure access to the continent. [32184/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

2376. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to provide funding to develop the access roads to, in and around Rosslare Europort in view of the threats of Brexit and the need to develop ports to ensure access to the continent. [32185/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

2377. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the risk of potential traffic chaos at Rosslare Harbour in view of the threats of Brexit and the need to develop ports; and his plans to provide special funding to develop the roads to, in and around Rosslare Harbour. [32186/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

2378. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he will take to examine road connectivity between Rosslare Europort and the west of Ireland in view of the importance in increasing direct accessibility between the west and continental Europe avoiding likely UK customs delays post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32187/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2373, and 2375 to 2378, inclusive, together.

On the issue of Ports development, I can advise that strengthening access routes to Ireland’s Ports through investment to upgrade and enhance the road transport network is, and remains, a Government priority. My Department is in consultation with TII regarding the relationship between Ports development and road infrastructure development in order to ensure that the best options for accessibility and connectivity are achieved.

The UK’s exit from the EU highlights the importance of high quality international maritime connectivity and the importance of continuing investment to further improve the quality of Port facilities. This is relevant to all our Ports of National Significance, both Tier 1 and Tier 2 (Ports of Waterford and Rosslare), given their potential role in maintaining transportation linkages with crucial EU markets.

In terms of Brexit, a whole-of Government approach has been adopted in relation to our key Ports through the establishment of an Inter-Departmental Committee to ensure that Ports have the necessary infrastructure in place for Brexit.

All three Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) – Dublin, Cork and Shannon Foynes – are currently undertaking major capital infrastructure programmes. These programmes will enhance national and international connectivity, and provide for future increases in trade and national Port capacity requirements by facilitating more vessels, larger sized vessels and increased tonnage and throughput. All of these developments must be financed by the companies themselves without recourse to the Exchequer.

Rosslare Europort as a division of Iarnród Éireann is effectively managing operations at the Port and looking at the potential of the Port to develop further and take advantage of any new opportunities. The Port is targeting growth and new business opportunities, and in 2018 received the approval of the Iarnród Éireann Board for a strategic plan to grow the Port’s business. This includes investment plans for up to €25 million in customer facilities and Port infrastructure, Port assets, and new technology.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Once funding arrangements have been put in place, under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design, construction, including the operation of individual roads, is a matter for the relevant road authority in relation to local and regional roads, or for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned, in relation to national roads. TII also has responsibility for the management and distribution of the roads national capital programme budget.

Noting the above position, I have referred the questions to TII for a more detailed and direct reply on the issues raised concerning national road infrastructure projects. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Question No. 2374 answered with Question No. 2317.
Questions Nos. 2375 to 2378, inclusive, answered with Question No. 2373.

Ports Policy

Ceisteanna (2379)

James Browne

Ceist:

2379. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to upgrade Rosslare Europort to tier 1 status in view of the threats of Brexit and the need to develop ports. [32188/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

National Ports Policy 2013 designated Rosslare Europort as a Port of National Significance (Tier 2).

Ports of National Significance (Tier 2) ports are responsible for at least 2.5% of overall tonnage through Irish ports, have the potential to handle higher volumes of unitised traffic, and, have existing transport links to serve a wider, national marketplace beyond their immediate region, whereas Tier 1 ports are ports that are responsible for 15% to 20% of overall tonnage through Irish ports and have clear potential to lead the development of future port capacity in the medium and long term, when and as required.

The tonnage of goods handled at all Irish ports are published annually by the Central Statistics Office. Rosslare Europort continues to fulfil the criteria of a Port of National Significance (Tier 2).

Rosslare Europort as a division of Iarnród Éireann is effectively managing operations at the port and looking at the potential of the Port to develop further and take advantage of any new opportunities. The Port is targeting growth and new business opportunities and in 2018 received the approval of the Iarnród Éireann Board for a strategic plan to grow the Port’s business. This includes investment plans for up to €25 million in customer facilities and port infrastructure, port assets, and new technology. The Port is engaging with a number of potential new shipping customers to supplement existing operators and offer greater choice to freight and passenger business.

I recognise that Brexit will have implications for a number of key ports and airports, and Rosslare continues to work closely with my Department and a range of other relevant Government Departments and Offices in preparing for the additional border controls that will arise from Brexit. In this context, my Department has met Rosslare Port management on a number of occasions over the past two years about the infrastructure requirements of the Port in connection with Brexit. My Department has also been meeting ferry and shipping companies regarding their plans for dealing with the challenges of Brexit.

Ports Policy

Ceisteanna (2380)

James Browne

Ceist:

2380. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to improve multi-modal connectivity at Rosslare Europort specifically between rail and ferry services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32189/19]

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.

Driver Licences

Ceisteanna (2381)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

2381. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to allow asylum seekers apply for driver licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32215/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Historically Ireland has not issued driving licences to asylum-seekers. I have asked my officials to re-examine the question of whether we should issue driving licences to asylum-seekers, this matter is still under consideration in consultation with my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2382, 2384, 2385, 2513)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2382. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each of the years March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of same; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [32256/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2384. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure incurred in respect of external legal fees in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32290/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2385. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure incurred in external information technology costs in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32307/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2513. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure by his Department on social media advertising and promotional material within the past year in tabular form. [34621/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2382, 2384, 2385 and 2513 together.

Details of all contracts and expenditure on external services are published on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/expenditure-external-services. The published information includes a description of the type of service including legal, IT, advertising, etc.

The data is published on a six monthly basis. Details for the first half of 2019 (January - June) will be published in quarter three of 2019.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions Nos. 2384 and 2385 answered with Question No. 2382.

Ceisteanna (2383)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2383. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011 including costs incurred from use of the Ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used in tabular form; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32273/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Photography costs incurred by my Department are on its website at http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/photography-costs.

It is the policy of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport that photography costs are kept to a minimum and services are provided in-house by staff. Where services are contracted, best value is sought and a number of quotes are obtained. Services are contracted out on an exceptional basis only.

Questions Nos. 2384 and 2385 answered with Question No. 2382.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (2386)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

2386. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding allocated to various sporting and recreational bodies by way of capital grant nationally in the past three years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32354/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Details of all allocations under the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) since 1998 and all payments since 2007 are available on my Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/sport/english/sports-capital-programme. Allocations and payments are listed on a county basis. Allocations to date in 2019 are included.

In relation to the 2018 round of the SCP, this closed for applications on Friday 19th October last. By the 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 €7 million in allocations to 170 projects were announced on 17 January.

619 equipment-only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8 million were announced in May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works and I expect that it will be towards the end of the third quarter of this year before these final allocations are announced.

Protected Disclosures Data

Question No. 2388 answered with Question No. 2336.

Ceisteanna (2387)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

2387. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of protected disclosures for which he has engaged an external consultancy and or legal firm since 2014 to date; the name of the firms engaged; the year and the costs associated with engaging the consultancy and or legal firms in respect of protected disclosures; the way in which persons are protected in cases in which an external consultancy firm is engaged in respect of protected disclosures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32407/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

In 2018 I received a submission under section 8 of the Protected Disclosures Act. My Department’s assessment of the matters raised concluded that they constituted a protected disclosure and are therefore afforded the protections of the Act, including those in relation to the protection of the identity of maker of the protected disclosure. I can inform the Deputy that in my Department’s initial assessment of the matters raised it engaged external, sectoral specific expertise to assist with that assessment. I can confirm that any information shared was redacted to protect the identity of the maker of the protected disclosure.

This external expertise was procured in line with relevant procurement guidelines. As the name of the company is itself sectoral specific I do not consider it appropriate to disclose it at this juncture in order to ensure the continued protection of the identity of the maker of the protected disclosure. As details of all external consultancy expenditure are published on my Departmental website, for the same reason I do not consider it appropriate to disclose the cost of the contract.

Question No. 2388 answered with Question No. 2336.

Road Safety

Ceisteanna (2389)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2389. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the introduction of a special speed limit zone of 50km outside schools in order to reduce the chances of a road traffic accident involving children; if he has considered such plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32446/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

While the Road Traffic Act 2004 sets default speed limits for various categories of roads, elected members of local authorities have statutory responsibility for making Special Speed Limit bye-laws for roads in their area - with, in the case of national roads, the consent of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). The making of such bye-laws is a reserved function of elected members.

The Road Traffic Act 2004 establishes default speed limits that apply to defined categories of roads and which can only be changed by county and city councils through the making of special speed limit bye-laws. Section 9 of that Act sets out the range of special speed limits that may be set by local authorities through such bye-laws. To assist local authorities in the application of Special Speed Limits, my Department's Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland provide detailed guidance on the application of Special Speed Limits outside of schools and is available to all local authorities.

Under the Road Traffic Acts, a Special Speed Limit may include a periodic speed limit which can be designed to apply and operate outside schools at specified periods, for example when children are arriving at, or leaving a school during term time.

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (2390)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

2390. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the road funding and grants each local authority received by local authority and year; and the amount each is responsible for in kilometres. [32592/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's 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.

Within the budget available to the Department, grant funding is allocated on as fair and equitable basis as possible. In this context, grants in the main grant categories are allocated based on the length of regional and local roads within a local authority area of responsibility and contributing traffic factors. Arising from the arrangements in place in relation to Local Property Tax receipts, the four Dublin Councils are largely self-funding for works on regional and local roads since 2015 and my Department no longer provides grants to these Councils under the main regional and local road grant categories.

Grant funding has been allocated based on the 2012 road length figures as set out in the table below. The Department is currently in the process of updating those road length figures.

Details of the regional and local road grant payments in previous years and allocations for 2019 to local authorities are outlined in the regional and local road grant booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.

Local Authority

Regional km

Local km

Total km

Carlow

186

1008

1194

Cavan

399

2481

2880

Clare

634

3439

4073

Cork

1402

10465

11867

Donegal

800

5325

6125

Dunlaoghaire Rathdown

106

561

667

Fingal

262

982

1244

Galway

826

5443

6269

Kerry

536

3802

4338

Kildare

482

1889

2371

Kilkenny

421

2584

3005

Laois

349

1721

2070

Leitrim

336

1769

2105

Limerick City and County

521

3138

3659

Longford

154

1367

1521

Louth

266

1389

1655

Mayo

629

5459

6088

Meath

574

2578

3152

Monaghan

302

2122

2424

Offaly

389

1666

2055

Roscommon

373

3357

3730

Sligo

224

2286

2510

South Dublin

106

786

892

Tipperary

896

4482

5378

Waterford City and County

421

2426

2847

Westmeath

310

1829

2139

Wexford

477

2851

3328

Wicklow

445

1671

2116

Cork City

44

419

463

Dublin City

215

931

1146

Galway City

35

245

280

Total

13,120

80,471

93,591

In relation to national roads, 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 operation of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. Within the budget available to it, allocations to individual local authorities is also a matter for TII. I have, therefore, forwarded the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Road Safety Authority Reports

Ceisteanna (2391)

John Curran

Ceist:

2391. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he received a report from the Road Safety Authority regarding the manner in which e-scooters are to be regulated; if so, the details and timeframe for the regulation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32607/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

A draft report was submitted by the Road Safety Authority to the Department last month, and is currently being considered by my officials, in consultation with other key stakeholders, before being formally submitted to me for my consideration, along with their recommendations, as to whether or not to amend legislation, having regard to the safety of all road users.

Road Projects

Ceisteanna (2392)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

2392. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the start and completion date and budget breakdown for the Coonagh to Knockalisheen road in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32611/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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

Under Project Ireland 2040 my Department is committed, subject to necessary approvals, to providing grant funding towards the cost of 12 significant capital road improvement schemes on non national roads and the upgrade of the Coonagh to Knockalisheen road is one of these schemes. Implementation of the scheme, including management of the total scheme budget, is the responsibility of Limerick City and County Council.

As regards grant expenditure to date on the scheme, the Regional and Local Road payment booklets available in the Oireachtas library provide details of grant payments made by my Department to the end of 2018. In 2019 grant funding of €1,675,744 was paid out to end of June 2019.

The total estimated cost of this scheme is approximately €52 million. Advance works related to the scheme have been completed and the main scheme is at tender documentation preparation stage with completion estimated to be 2023. I would point out that cost estimates for the Project Ireland 2040 road improvement schemes are reviewed at project development milestones and, allowing for cost inflation and project implementation risks, can be subject to change.

Road Projects Status

Ceisteanna (2393, 2394)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

2393. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the start and completion date and budget breakdown for the northern distributor road in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32612/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

2394. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeline for the construction of the northern distributor road in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32613/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2393 and 2394 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 (NDP) the main focus of funding for regional and local roads is on maintenance and renewal of the network with some limited investment in road improvements.

My Department has provided some funding to Clare County Council in relation to the proposed Limerick Northern Distributor Road, with a view to bringing the project through the route selection stage and allow the local authority the possibility of preserving a route corridor to facilitate the possible development of the road in the long term. My Department is also facilitating the preparation and consideration of an economic and financial project appraisal of the scheme, including an assessment of the impact on the costs associated with the Limerick Tunnel PPP contract, in line with the requirements of the current Public Spending Code (PSC) and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework (CAF).

Under the NDP there is, however, no Exchequer regional and local road grant funding in place at present to progress this scheme through the planning process to construction stage.