Rail Network

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

Ceisteanna (533)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

533. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when work on the Nenagh to Ballybrophy rail line will be completed; the costs involved to provide buses as an alternative to the train while work is being completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47117/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. Operational matters such as those described by the Deputy are a matter for Iarnród Éireann.

In light of the Iarnród Éireann's responsibilities on this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the Company for a direct and 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

Road Safety

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

Ceisteanna (534)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

534. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position in relation to a road safety project (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47160/19]

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 design, construction and operation 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 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

Road Projects Status

Ceisteanna (535)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

535. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position in relation to a roads project (details supplied) to the mid-west region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47161/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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. In this context, while 12 improvement projects are scheduled to go ahead, subject to necessary approvals, over the next few years, my Department is not in a position to commit to additional major improvement schemes at this point. My Department is, however, liaising with Councils with a view to developing a pipeline of projects for possible future development.

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).

Public Transport Data

Ceisteanna (536)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

536. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the average household spend on public transport each year. [47189/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Information on household expenditure on public transport can be found in the Household Budget Survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office. The Household Budget Survey is conducted every five years with the primary purpose of providing data for updating the consumer price index. The next round of the survey is due to be conducted in 2020.

According to the 2015 Household Budget Survey, the average weekly household spend on public transport across the state was €6.68. Annualising this spend over 52 weeks implies that the average annual household spend on public transport was just under €350 at €347.36, as set out in the following table.

Table 1: Average household expenditure on public transport, 2015

Weekly (€)

Annual (€)

State

6.68

347.36

Source: CSO (weekly) and annualised estimate (annual)

Rail Network

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

Ceisteanna (537)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

537. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of electrifying all rail networks here. [47190/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The Deputy may wish to note that, in line with a commitment contained within Project Ireland 2040 , my Department will next year commission an evaluation of high-speed rail versus higher speeds on the key inter-city routes. That evaluation will consider issues such as electrification as referred to by the Deputy.

The priority for electrification in the medium term is the expansion of the electrified network around the Greater Dublin Area, that part of the network that carries approximately 70% of passenger journeys in any given year. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of the DART Expansion Programme which provides for electrification of the network and expansion of the fleet.

Noting the NTA's responsibilities in the matter raised and their relevance to the Deputy's question generally, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

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

Rail Network Expansion

Ceisteanna (538)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

538. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of completing the Western Rail Corridor on the basis of electrified rail. [47191/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, Project Ireland 2040 committed to conducting an independent review of a possible extension to the Western Rail Corridor (WRC).

In line with that commitment an external company was commissioned to prepare a financial/economic appraisal and business case on proposals for extending the existing WRC from Athenry to Claremorris.

That work is now complete and the business case prepared will be reviewed in line with the requirements of the Public Spending Code. The review did not consider completion of the Western Rail Corridor on the basis of electrification but rather an extension of the existing infrastructure. I would note that electrification of any extension to the Corridor in isolation of its integration with the rest of the route would seem an unusual proposition.

As stated in Project Ireland 2040 if the findings of the review are approved by Government, the project will be prioritised during the lifetime of the National Development Plan.

Public Transport Data

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

Ceisteanna (539)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

539. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of additional buses, rail carriages and trams required to meet existing demand for public transport. [47192/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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, including fleet procurement.

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.

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

Public Transport Fares

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

Ceisteanna (540)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

540. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expected impact of fare-free public transport on consumer demand. [47193/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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 the statutory responsibility for the regulation of fares in relation to public passenger transport services and for the collection and publication of statistics relating to public transport. I have, therefore, referred the Deputy’s question to the NTA for reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

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

Public Transport Subsidies

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

Ceisteanna (541, 542)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

541. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on average each year on contracts to private operators for public transport provision; and the operators in receipt of the contracts. [47194/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

542. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on average each year on subsidies to public transport operators; and operators in receipt of the subsidies. [47195/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 and 542 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 securing the provision of public transport services by way of Public Services Obligation (PSO) contracts in respect of services that are socially necessary but commercially unviable.

The funding of those services comprises both the fares paid by passengers and the subvention payments from the Exchequer. The main purpose of the subvention payment is to meet the gap between the income from fares and the cost of operating services.

Since 2010 my Department no longer pays subvention for public transport services directly to operators. The award of Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding falls under the independent statutory remit of the NTA. The allocations to the companies are decided by the NTA in exercise of its statutory mandate and, in accordance with the various contract arrangements that it has in place with PSO service providers.

I have, therefore, referred the Deputy’s questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

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

Cycling Facilities Funding

Ceisteanna (543)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

543. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding for cycling in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form. [47245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware funding for cycling is made availabIe under a number of different programmes, primarily through the National Transport Authority in recent years; however, my Department retains an element of direct funding through initiatives such as cycle training programmes, Green Schools, Bike Week or the Greenways Strategy. I would note that not all these funding programmes are organised on a county level and therefore exact county level expenditure for all funding may not be available.

The detailed information requested by the Deputy, where available, is currently being compiled by county and will be forwarded in due course in line with Standing Orders.

The Deputy will also be aware that cycling specifically also benefits from Government funding and support provided under other programmes that come under the aegis of other Departments, such as the Cycle to Work Scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and more recently the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds.

Air Accident Investigations

Ceisteanna (544)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

544. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of vacancies by job title in the air accident investigation unit; the estimated full-year cost of filling each of the vacancies in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47308/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

No vacancies exist in the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) at this time. However, I do wish to advise the Deputy of the following:

As part of my Department's Work Force Plan, sanction was sought and approval given to recruit an additional Pilot/Inspector for the Air Accident Investigation Unit in 2019.

This position was recently advertised through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) with applications closing on the 31 October 2019. The PAS is currently establishing an Interview Board and it is hoped that the Interview process can be completed by the end of December 2019. If a candidate is deemed successful in this competition and that individual accepts employment in the AAIU as an Inspector of Air Accidents – Pilot/Operations , this will bring the establishment of the AAIU to full strength as sought for by the Chief Inspector of Air Accidents.

The estimated full year cost at the first point of entry is €87,325 pa.

Commercial Vehicle Testing

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

Ceisteanna (545)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

545. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rationale for the mandatory testing of commercial vehicles that are one, two and three years old respectively under the CVRT scheme in view of the fact that many vehicles of such an age are generally covered by manufacturer warranty; the amount raised in the past two years from testing vehicles that are one and two years old from the vehicles date of registration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Commercial vehicle testing arrangements in Ireland are governed by European directive (EU directive 2014/45).

Article 5 of this directive sets down the test due dates for most commercial vehicles and in Ireland we have transposed this into national law via the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (Vehicle Testing) (No. 2) Regulations (S.I. 347 of 2013 as amended)

A warranty on a vehicle is a consumer protection issue and should not be confused with the roadworthiness of a vehicle, which is what commercial vehicle testing is concerned with.

All commercial vehicles older than 1 year need to have a roadworthiness certificate. This is because commercial vehicles generally do more significant mileage than, for example, personal vehicles. In addition, they generally carry heavier loads and their drivers drive longer hours, which in turn pose an increased risk to road safety.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has responsibility for the operation and oversight of the commercial vehicle testing arrangements I have therefore forwarded the second part of this Question to the RSA for direct reply to the Deputy. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.

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

National Car Test Data

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

Ceisteanna (546)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

546. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of cars that have passed and failed NCT tests in the past two years to date; the amount raised in NCT fees in the same period including retests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47333/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has responsibility for the operation and delivery of the vehicle testing arrangements. I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days

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

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (547)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

547. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application for sports capital funding by a club (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47340/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The final set of allocations for local capital projects under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) were announced on the 15th November last. A total of €37m was allocated to 994 different projects. These allocations included a provisional grant of €23,824 to the organisation referred to by the Deputy. Full details of all allocations are available on my Department's website.

Road Improvement Schemes

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

Ceisteanna (548)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

548. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consultants have been appointed for the provision of technical advisory services to progress the planning and design work on the proposed M4 Maynooth to Leixlip road improvement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47343/19]

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 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

Public Transport Fares

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

Ceisteanna (549, 550, 551)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

549. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the reply of the NTA to Parliamentary Question No. 219 of 6 September 2019 in which it indicated that it will take increases in carbon tax into consideration in fare reviews for public transport going forward; and if this means public transport outside of the Dublin Bus services (details supplied) in Dublin will see increases or decreases in fares. [47349/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

550. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether public transport should be affordable; his further views on whether public transport fares should be cut (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47350/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

551. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the consultation with representative groups or the general public that takes place as part of NTA fare reviews; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47351/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 549 to 551, inclusive, 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 regulation of fares in relation to public passenger transport services and is best placed to respond to the issues raised by the Deputy. I have, therefore, referred the Deputy's questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

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

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (552)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

552. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of a grant application by a club (details supplied); if the application will be awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47355/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The final set of allocations for local capital projects under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) were announced on the 15th November last. A total of €37m was allocated to 994 different projects. These allocations included a provisional grant of €38,471 to the organisation referred to by the Deputy. Full details of all allocations are available on my Department's website.