Public Transport Expenditure

Ceisteanna (569, 570)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

569. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated annual monetary saving in energy costs arising from the planned investment in hybrid-diesel buses. [37147/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

570. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated annual monetary saving in energy costs arising from the planned investment in diesel-electric trains. [37148/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 569 and 570 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 responsibility for developing and ensuring the delivery of public transport infrastructure including the provision of additional fleet.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities on this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the company for a more detailed reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Road Projects Status

Ceisteanna (571)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

571. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the northern relief road at Mallow, County Cork. [37164/19]

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.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (572)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

572. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will instruct Iarnród Éireann to desist from lifting the old railway tracks in the Nobber and Castletown areas of County Meath (details supplied) due to the ongoing review of the re-establishing of the railway line to Kingscourt, County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37174/19]

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 of the rail network, including former lines on the network, is an operational  matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance.

I have previously informed the Deputy that the priority funding objective in relation to mainline rail is the maintenance and renewal of the existing operating network. That objective is supported by the significantly enhanced funding now available to support that network as evidenced by the approximate 23% increase in Exchequer funding provided in 2019. 

The Deputy is also aware from previous answers I have given on this issue that there is no funding provided within Project Ireland 2040 for the re-opening of the Kingscourt line nor is there any review underway in that regard.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) does propose to commence a review of the statutory Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area toward the end of next year. That review will consider issues which have arisen since finalisation of the Strategy in 2016, including the potential extension of the existing M3/Parkway Line northwards to Navan.  The review will provide an opportunity to reconsider the population and commuting forecasts in order to determine whether any revised Strategy might include such an extension to Navan.

In light of the Iarnród Éireann's responsibilities on this matter, I have referred the Deputy's specific question in relation to activity on this disused line to the company for a more detailed reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Sports Facilities Provision

Ceisteanna (573)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

573. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of progress on the proposed new national velodrome and badminton centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37190/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the development of the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus at Abbotstown.

Under the National Development Plan 2018-2027, €16m has been committed to develop a National Velodrome and Badminton Centre at the National Sports Campus in 2020 and 2021. The proposed facility would comprise a 250-metre cycling track, 12-16 Badminton Courts in the in-track area, spectator seating and ancillary facilities including office space.

Sport Ireland's Master Plan for the Campus includes several large infrastructure projects, many of which have been delivered.  Preparatory work on the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre, which is an important project on the Master Plan, is underway. In July 2019, given the period of time that has lapsed since the Velodrome was initially proposed, Sport Ireland appointed project managers and a design team to carry out a review of the project. Initial work will focus on a review of the existing planning permission, granted in 2015, to assess suitability and fitness for present and future purposes.  This review will be completed later this year, and, subject to the necessary resources being available, it is intended that the project would go to tender in 2020.

Dublin Airport Authority

Ceisteanna (574)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

574. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the DAA has completed the airport noise contour maps; the stages the process has been through; the bodies or persons with which it shared the information; if and when his Department and Fingal County Council were given the maps; if each was provided preliminary versions; and the reason the information was not provided to residents. [37211/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

daa holds the statutory responsibility to manage and develop Dublin and Cork Airports, including a number of obligations under the European Communities (Environmental Noise) Regulations 2018. Under Regulation 6(f) of these Regulations, daa are designated as the noise mapping body for Dublin Airport and are required to produce strategic noise maps and issue them to Fingal County Council as the relevant noise action planning body. This process is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also designated under the 2018 Regulations.

As this is an operational matter for the daa, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the daa for direct response.  If a reply is not received within 10 days, please contact my office.

Road Projects Status

Ceisteanna (575)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

575. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the M20 Cork to Limerick motorway. [37323/19]

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.

Horse Sport Ireland

Ceisteanna (576)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

576. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the funding granted to the sport horse industry will be considered for additional funding of €5 million in budget 2020 to enable the industry to achieve objectives (details supplied); if the funding Departments will recognise the benefits of this investment as reflected in figures drawn from a 2016 analysis; if he will meet with the industry to discuss its strategy for the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. Sport Ireland channels funding for sport through the relevant recognised National Governing Body of Sport. In the case of equestrian sport, Sport Ireland allocates funding to Horse Sport Ireland through its Core Funding and High Performance Funding programmes.

The level of funding available to Sport Ireland for 2020 is subject, in the normal way, to the ongoing Budget 2020 process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy with any additional relevant information. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Road Safety Data

Ceisteanna (577)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

577. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if road safety statistics are available for the section of road on the N25 from Seieverue to Glenmore, County Kilkenny; if Transport Infrastructure Ireland has plans to improve the safety along this section of road; if funding has been allocated for the work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37333/19]

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.  Once funding arrangements have been put in place with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the operation and maintenance 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 more detailed and direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Bus Éireann Services

Ceisteanna (578)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

578. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to encourage Bus Éireann to facilitate customers that want to bring their bikes onboard buses through the use of an online reservation system similar to that used by Irish Rail; and his views on the removal of the €10 charge on a single journey that is currently applied. [37358/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The issue raised is an operational matter for Bus 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 ten working days.

Fáilte Ireland Staff

Ceisteanna (579)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

579. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the post of chairperson of Fáilte Ireland will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37364/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I intend to reappoint the current Chairperson for a second term subject to the endorsement of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport, as is required under the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies.  Officials in my Department are currently liaising with the Committee to arrange an early appearance.

Air Services Provision

Ceisteanna (580)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

580. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the Dublin Airport Authority and the Irish Aviation Authority will provide a report in relation to the number of complaints made by persons that requested special assistance; when a publicity campaign was last run advising persons on the way in which to book special assistance and engage with the appropriate agencies in relation to making a complaint; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37425/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Daa has statutory responsibility for the management and operation of Dublin Airport, including the provision of special assistance to passengers and I have forwarded your question to the Company for direct reply. 

 The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) is responsible for enforcing European air passenger rights in Ireland, including EC Regulation 1107/2006, which recognises that travelling by air can be a more difficult experience for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. This law tries to ensure that these persons have opportunities for travel which are comparable with other passengers. CAR's role in this regard includes the running of publicity campaigns.  Where a complaint is not resolved by the daa, it may be escalated to CAR as the enforcement authority.  I have forwarded your question to CAR for direct reply in respect of their role in this matter.

The Irish Aviation Authority has no responsibility in the area of the provision of special assistance at Irish airports.

If the Deputy does not receive a reply from daa or CAR within ten working days, please advise my Private Office.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (581)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

581. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the projected increase in the gross capital expenditure ceiling applying to his Department in 2020 over 2019; and the projects this increase has been earmarked for. [37450/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2020 forecast ceiling for capital investment set out for Transport, Tourism and Sport is €2.058 billion. This compares to an actual allocation of €1.586 billion for 2019 which is an increase of €472 million from 2019 to 2020.

The planned increase in the capital ceiling for this Department is to support increasing investment across a range of capital projects managed by the Department mainly in the areas of Public Transport and Roads, as set out in the Project Ireland 2040 Tracker, available at the following link.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/6db7c4-investment-projects-and-programmes-tracker/.

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (582, 583)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

582. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the requirements and-or procedures in place to ensure full transparency of profits made by a company (details supplied) on routes awarded to it by the National Transport Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37475/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

583. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of financial and health and safety audits conducted by the NTA in respect of a company (details supplied) since it was awarded the contract to operate services; the findings of these respective audits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37476/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 582 and 583 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland.  The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (584, 585, 586)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

584. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the fines imposed by the NTA on a company (details supplied); and the reason for the fines. [37510/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

585. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of scheduled journeys, that is departures, that a company (details supplied) failed to operate on routes since it took over operation of the routes. [37511/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

586. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the failure of a company (details supplied) to operate scheduled departures on all of its Dublin routes; and the number of times this failure was explained by not having driving staff available to operate the route affected. [37512/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 584 to 586, inclusive, together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland.  The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Go Ahead Ireland and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Dublin Bus

Ceisteanna (587, 588)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

587. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the fines imposed on Dublin Bus over the past five years for failure to operate scheduled services. [37513/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

588. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the failure to operate scheduled services that resulted in fines imposed on Dublin Bus. [37514/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 587 and 588 together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland.  The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Dublin Bus and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Road Projects

Ceisteanna (589)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

589. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding his Department has set aside for a roads project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37539/19]

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.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (590)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

590. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a final reply will issue to an interim response (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37543/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Deputy is referring to the Government commitment to provide funding for Donegal to address the severe infrastructural damage caused by flooding in August 2017. 

My Department is, and has been, liaising directly with Donegal County Council on an ongoing basis in regard to addressing the repair works remaining to be completed.  Discussions are currently centred around providing the necessary funding over a two year period and establishing the estimated spend and timing for works remaining to be carried out.   My Department is committed to providing funding to complete the outstanding works.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (591)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

591. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the systems put in place at ports and airports in preparation for Brexit have been tested and evaluated by external experts and-or bodies to ensure their robustness and effectiveness; if not, when he envisages such testing taking place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37625/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Government’s Contingency Action Plan of July 2019 outlined the interagency works underway by Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Health, HSE Environmental Health Service, and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to ensure optimal goods trade traffic flows at our key ports and airports.

This work is advanced and I understand that the Revenue Commissioners  are leading on the necessary IT changes for October 2019 readiness. The robustness of the proposed inter-agency arrangements will be tested prior to 31 October 2019 by the relevant agencies. An inter-department group, under the Chair of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is in place to coordinate this work.

Motor Tax Exemptions

Ceisteanna (592)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

592. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a car used by a cancer support group (details supplied) can be classed as an ambulance and be tax exempt accordingly; if not, if it is liable for standard rates of road tax despite the fact that the car is used to bring the clients of the group to hospital appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37656/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Under current legislation, there are a limited number of exemptions from motor tax.  There is no provision in legislation for exemptions from motor tax for individuals or organisations, rather exemptions are provided for by category of vehicle.   Many of the categories of exemptions, such as those for fire engines and ambulances, have been in place since the 1920’s, when all such vehicles would have been in State ownership.  

The determination of the appropriate vehicle licence (motor tax disc) for a vehicle in any individual instance is a matter for the local licensing authority (motor tax office).   Licensing authorities have an obligation under Article 3 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing)(Amendment) Regulations 1992 to be satisfied that a vehicle licence being applied for is the appropriate licence for the vehicle concerned.  

Motor tax legislation does not contain a definition of an ambulance.  My Department, in issuing guidance to motor tax offices on this matter in the past, has advised that an ambulance means a vehicle which is specially designed, constructed or adapted, and is primarily used following registration, for the conveyance of injured or seriously ill persons to a hospital on a stretcher and which is permanently fitted to accommodate and hold in position one or more standard stretchers.