Climate Action Plan

Ceisteanna (381)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

381. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on environmental concerns and Government action (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48564/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Climate Action Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan has been informed by the work of the Citizens’ Assembly and the All Party Committee on Climate Action.

The Plan sets out over 180 actions, together with over 600 sub-actions, and embraces every relevant sector: electricity, enterprise, housing, heating, transport, agriculture, waste and the public sector.

The plan has a strong focus on implementation, with clear timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. A Climate Action Delivery Board has been established and will hold each department and public body accountable for the delivery of actions set out in the plan.

Amongst the ambitious actions which are being pursued under this plan are:

- Move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030;

- Deliver a new Retrofit Plan to retrofit 500,000 homes, with large groups of houses being retrofitted by the same contractor to reduce costs, underpinned by smart finance options, and easy pay back methods;

- Deliver an intensive programme of retrofitting to install 400,000 heat pumps in homes and businesses;

- Bring 950,000 electric vehicles onto our roads and deliver a nationwide charging network;

- Eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials which are difficult to recycle, and implement measures to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds;

- Establish a new micro-generation scheme, allowing homeowners to generate their own electricity and sell what they don’t use back to the national grid; and

- Every public body to be given a climate action mandate.

The publication of the first progress report on 31 October 2019 demonstrates robust delivery of the actions set out in the Plan. A completion rate of 85% has been achieved, incorporating 149 measures across sectors. The Climate Action Delivery Board will continue to monitor progress and identify challenges to delivering the remaining actions not yet achieved.

I am confident that the Climate Action Plan will ensure Ireland meets the multi-faceted challenges that climate change presents both at home and abroad, and will contribute to the global effort to lower emissions and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Climate Action Plan

Ceisteanna (382, 383)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

382. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of compressed natural gas public fuelling stations open and operational; the location in which they are based; the number that was originally planned and scheduled to open in 2019; the location in which the scheduled stations are based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48601/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

383. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which the State will ensure EU targets for the deployment of alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure and recharging points will be met within the set deadlines to support the commercial fleet here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48602/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 383 together.

The delivery of 14 public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations, as part of the Causeway Project co-funded by the EU Connecting Europe Facility, is an operational matter for Gas Networks Ireland. However, I have been provided with an update on the current status of these refuelling stations by Gas Networks Ireland. There is one operational public CNG refuelling station which is located in Dublin port. The next public refuelling station will be located at Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Construction of this station has been completed and commissioning is planned for January 2020. A further eight stations have been contracted in 2019 and it is forecast that six of these will be delivered in 2020. There are also three private CNG refuelling stations which are located in Dublin, Cork and Shannon Co. Clare.

The Green Connect project, which is also being developed by Gas Networks Ireland, has been approved for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility Transport Fund. The project spans a five year period from 2019 to 2024. It is a follow on project from the Causeway Programme to complete a national network of CNG refuelling stations along the core road network in Ireland. The project includes the delivery of 21 additional CNG refuelling stations. Two further CNG refuelling stations are to be provided by Gas Networks Ireland's GRAZE project supported by the Climate Action Fund.

The development of electric vehicle recharging points is being supported through a grant of up to €600 for the installation of a home charge point, a grant of up to €5,000 for Local Authorities to install on-street charge points and accelerated capital allowances to support businesses installing charge points.

Budget 2020 provided €6 million in funding to my Department to support the development of this charging infrastructure with €4 million allocated to the home charge point grant and €2 million to the on-street charge point grant. The Climate Action Plan, which was published in June, also sets out a range of actions to support the delivery of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. These actions include expanding the home charger grant to include locations with shared parking such as apartments.

Funding of €10 million from the Climate Action Fund is supporting the ESB to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network, with the ESB also investing €10 million. This project includes the installation of 140 fast chargers consisting of 90 150kW chargers (each of which will be capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously) and upgrading 50 existing standard chargers to 50kW chargers The project will also involve replacing over 500 existing standard charge points with next generation high reliability models. This is a multi-annual project and is expected to be fully completed by 2022.

In addition, new regulations being developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will require provision to be made for charge points in new domestic and non-domestic buildings with over 10 car parking spaces and those undergoing major refurbishments. The regulations will also require non-domestic buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.

Exploration Licences

Ceisteanna (384)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

384. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason prospecting licences are being granted in areas of Natura 2000 sites, national heritage areas, special areas of conservation and special protection areas in view of the fact that no mining licences are to be offered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48630/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Prospecting licences may be granted following environmental screening by my Department including screening for Appropriate Assessment. This screening takes into account designated sites including Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Natural Heritage Areas, Nature Reserves and National Parks.

An application for a mining licence is a separate and independent process from prospecting licensing. Mining licences are only issued after planning permission and an IPC licence has been granted by the Local Authority and the EPA respectively. If an applicant can demonstrate that the proposed mine will not have significant adverse effects on a Designated Site, or alternatively, should imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist in accordance with the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477 of 2011), permission could be granted.

Broadband Service Provision

Ceisteanna (385)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

385. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a solution will be provided for a school (details supplied) that is experiencing significant connectivity issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesses and farms and 695 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.

The Deputy's question relates to a school which is located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER areas represent the areas to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed on 19 November with National Broadband Ireland (NBI).

A deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.

Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) will be deployed across all counties during 2020. The BCPs will be located in community centres, schools, library hubs and local sports halls and will enable communities to get free public access to high speed broadband. The BCP locations are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie. Broadband Officers in each Local Authority were tasked with consulting with local communities and business to find the appropriate mix of locations to reap the maximum benefits.

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises. Approximately 70,000-100,000 premises will be passed each year thereafter, with the final premises to be completed in 2026.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Ceisteanna (386)

John Brassil

Ceist:

386. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if discussions have taken place between his Department and companies (details supplied) regarding the minimum amount of premises for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48719/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan is the Government's plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms and 695 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.

The contract to deliver this service was signed with National Broadband Ireland (NBI) on 19 November 2019. Work will begin immediately and a deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. All counties will see premises passed in the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next 4 years.

Approximately 300 community centres, schools, library hubs and local sports halls in every county in Ireland will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband. A list of these community centres is available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on my Department's website www.dccae.gov.ie which also outlines the scope of the NBP intervention area.

NBI will pass approximately 10,000 premises by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises. Each year thereafter, approximately 70,000 to 100,000 premises will be passed with the final completion in 2026.

The country will be divided into 110 areas of around 5,000 premises. The subsidy will be paid to NBI in arrears as premises in each of the 110 areas are completed. There is a comprehensive set of protections and legally binding obligations set out in the contract with NBI, which includes a suite of key performance indicators and significant penalties for under performance to ensure the service is maintained appropriately.

National Broadband Plan Data

Ceisteanna (387, 388)

John Brassil

Ceist:

387. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of providers that have been accepted for the national broadband plan; the number of providers that have been rejected without engagement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48721/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brassil

Ceist:

388. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the material change to the national broadband plan intervention area since the mapping exercise; the number of premises added to the intervention area; the number of premises removed from same; the breakdown of premises removed from the intervention area by operator type that is fixed line, cable, mobile, fixed wireless; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48724/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 387 and 388 together.

As a State intervention, the NBP must comply with the requirements of the European Commission’s Guidelines on the application of State aid rules for broadband networks. The Guidelines require, amongst other things, that Member States carry out a detailed mapping exercise to identify as far as reasonably possible those areas where intervention is required.

Having consulted with industry on an ongoing basis, my Department recently conducted a final public consultation to close the mapping exercise in advance of the award of the NBP contract. Over 180 submissions were received from a variety of stakeholders, including 30 from large and small commercial telecommunications operators, with the remainder from local authority broadband officers and members of the public.

Following evaluation of the submissions and receipt of a positive State aid decision on 15 November, responses have been issued to the submissions from the commercial operators.

Having evaluated the submissions received, approximately 38,000 premises were removed from the intervention area as commercial operators provided evidence that these premises can now access a high speed broadband service from an existing network. These premises relate to network deployment detailed in submissions received from eir (34,000 premises) regarding its fibre rural network and SIRO (4,000 premises) as part of its wider fibre network rollout, which were evaluated as meeting the assessment criteria published by the Department.

In addition, approximately 37,000 premises originally identified as being served by commercial operators have now been included in the intervention area for the NBP, as commercial operators' plans to serve these premises have not materialised.

The map has also been updated for approximately an additional 2,000 premises identified in the latest Ordinance Survey Ireland data. The final Intervention Area now covers 537,596 premises.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Ceisteanna (389)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

389. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the cost to bring high-speed broadband to the home under the national broadband plan for members of the public; the process involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48729/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The contract awarded to National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is for the sale of wholesale broadband services only in the designated areas.

As the network is built consumers will be notified that they can order from their broadband service provider of choice, such as eir, Sky, Vodafone, or a local broadband provider. The price that NBI can charge for connecting each home or business and the monthly rentals, are fully regulated by the contract with the Minister. Prices charged must also be benchmarked to the regulated prices allowed by ComReg each year to ensure prices remain in line with urban areas over the 25 years of the contract. The initial maximum connection charge to a home that NBI is allowed to charge is €100. This charge is paid by the broadband service provider (e.g. eir, Sky, Vodafone, or a local broadband provider) to NBI. Thereafter the maximum monthly wholesale charge for a home buying a 150Mbps service is capped at €30. This is similar to the charge levied by eir’s wholesale division in urban areas.

It was a requirement under the State Aid rules that subsidy could only be awarded to a wholesale only network provider of broadband services. This will ensure that consumers have the choice of many retail broadband providers similar to consumers in urban areas. Similar to offers available in urban areas, consumers in rural areas will also be able to buy multiple services through bundled packages including broadband, fixed and mobile voice, TV and other services from retail operators, in what will be a competitive market. This will ensure choice and competition in the market for broadband, to the benefit of all residential and business consumers.

Renewable Energy Incentives

Ceisteanna (390)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

390. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the grants and incentives given in budget 2020 to help in the production of biogas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48793/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat has been developed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System.

The first phase of the scheme, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened for applications in September 2018. Following EU State aid approval, the second phase of the scheme, an operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion heating systems, opened for applications in June of this year. Under this phase of the scheme, eligible renewable energy technologies will be supported through a multi-annual payment, for a period of up to 15 years, on the basis of prescribed tariffs. Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of €300 million for the roll-out of the scheme for the period up to 2027. As part of Budget 2020, I announced an allocation of €5 million for the scheme.

As set out in the Climate Action Plan, it is intended to set a 2030 target for the level of energy to be supplied by indigenous biomethane injected into the gas grid. My Department is in the process of developing an appropriate target for inclusion in the National Energy and Climate Plan that is due to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of this year. As part of this work, my Department is examining potential options to support biomethane grid injection.

National Broadband Plan

Ceisteanna (391)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

391. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a marked signed copy of the contract and associated documents he signed with the preferred bidder of the national broadband plan will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48806/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The full National Broadband contract, redacted for commercial sensitivity, will be published in due course on my Department's website.

Environmental Policy

Questions Nos. 393 to 395, inclusive, answered with Question No. 378.

Ceisteanna (392, 397)

James Browne

Ceist:

392. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding a nationwide ban on smoky fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48899/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

397. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the work under way by his Department and the Attorney General to finalise a legally robust plan to implement a nationwide smoky coal ban; his plans to do so by regulation, amending legislation or primary legislation; if he will publish the advice on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48955/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 392 and 397 together.

I refer the Deputies to the replies to Questions No.58 of 16 October. The position is unchanged. The government does not publish advice which has been received from the Attorney General.

Questions Nos. 393 to 395, inclusive, answered with Question No. 378.

National Broadband Plan

Question No. 397 answered with Question No. 392.

Ceisteanna (396)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

396. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department will embark on an advertising campaign for the national broadband plan in advance of the beginning of the roll-out of fibre; if so, the nature of the campaign; the budget for the campaign; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48929/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract, which was signed on 19 November, sets out the communication and demand stimulation requirements that must be undertaken as part of the contract. These include the development and implementation of communications campaigns and initiatives to maximise awareness and demand on the network. NBI is obliged to execute these communications plans before, during and post the deployment of the NBP network in each geographical area.

My Department will also continue to raise awareness among the general public on the objectives of the NBP, the rollout of the service and the benefits of high speed broadband.

It is important to note that the purpose of a communications campaign and initatives to maximise awareness will be to increase the take-up of high speed broadband. It will be important to highlight the the opportunities that are presented by the digital economy, from health care to farming, and from education to agriculture, rural development, jobs and tourism. From a financial point of view, a higher uptake of high speed broadband can also reduce the cost to the State of the National Broadband Plan, through the utilisation of clawback provisions contained within the contract.

Question No. 397 answered with Question No. 392.

Electric Vehicles

Ceisteanna (398)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

398. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if grants or accelerated capital allowances are available for businesses which purchase and use newly manufactured fully electric mini diggers; if this matter will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49047/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There is a generous range of supports available to incentivise the purchase of electric vehicles. In order to qualify for the electric vehicle purchase grant, the electric vehicle must be classified as M1 (passenger vehicle) or N1 (light commercial vehicle). Electric mini diggers are not eligible for this grant and my Department has no plans to extend the grant to include them.

The accelerated capital allowance is a tax incentive scheme that promotes investment in energy efficient products and equipment. The equipment models eligible for the scheme are listed on a product register maintained by SEAI. Currently, electric mini diggers are not eligible for the scheme. This scheme is a taxation policy and therefore is within the remit of the Minister of Finance.

Energy Policy

Ceisteanna (399)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

399. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the State agencies that have a statutory or regulatory function in respect of energy security; the agencies and bodies that have an advisory role on energy security; the way in which he will ensure that the regulatory aspects of energy security are not captured by stakeholder bodies, such as the ESB and a company (details supplied) that may have strategic commercial interests at stake; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49101/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I have overall responsibility for national policy in the energy sector. This includes policy in relation to energy security, which is fully aligned with EU law and EU policy objectives. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has statutory functions relating to energy security, for both gas and electricity, and is independent in the exercise of its functions. These include functions in the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999, as amended, to promote the continuity, security and quality of supplies of electricity. CRU also is required by S.I. 60/2005 to monitor, and take such measures as it considers necessary to protect, the security of supply of electricity.

In relation to gas, the CRU has the function, under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended, to secure the continuity, security and quality of supplies of natural gas. The CRU is also the designated competent authority for Ireland, for EU Regulation 2017/1938 concerning measures to safeguard the security of supply of gas.

The National Oil Reserves Agency has statutory responsibility in relation to the storage of oil stocks for use in an emergency, at a level sufficient to comply with the State’s stockholding obligations.

The transmission system operators for gas and electricity, Gas Networks Ireland and EirGrid, have legal responsibilities in relation to gas and electricity security.

Article 40 of EU Directive 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity sets out tasks of electricity transmission system operators including that they shall be responsible for: ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet reasonable demands for the transmission of electricity, and contributing to security of supply through adequate transmission capacity and system reliability.

Article 13 of EU Directive 2009/73/EC, as amended, concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas, sets out tasks of gas transmission system operators, including that they shall operate, maintain and develop under economic conditions secure, reliable and efficient transmission facilities to secure an open market, with due regard to the environment.

My Department regularly engages with State Agencies and other stakeholders, including Gas Networks Ireland and the ESB, as part of the normal process of feeding into policy development and formulation.

In relation to energy sustainability and security, I am initiating a major review into Ireland's energy sustainability and security which will:

- Consider the optimal actions that need to be taken, in reaching 70% renewable electricity, to ensure Ireland's electricity system is backed up in a secure, safe and sustainable way.

- Assess the role of gas during the transition, as the lowest CO2 emitting fossil fuel, and consider how and from where it is sourced.

- Review the role that other technologies can play in the transition, including battery storage, pumped storage, the role of interconnection (both gas and electricity) and the possibilities for hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

- Consider what the roadmap for renewable electricity looks like in the period from 2030 to achieving carbon neutrality in 2050

I have written to the Chairperson of EirGrid, ESB, Bord na Móna, Ervia and CRU to seek their input into the review.

Inland Fisheries

Ceisteanna (400)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

400. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the proposed national salmon life centre in Ballina, County Mayo; the projected timeframe for the commencement of the development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49137/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Proposals, including prospective funding and project time lines for a Salmon Life Centre in Ballina are a matter for Mayo County Council. Enquiries as regards to its prioritisation and the anticipated timeframe for any delivery should be addressed directly to the Council.

Mobile Telephony Services

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 378.

Ceisteanna (401)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

401. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the safety of 5G; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49138/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

5G is the next generation of mobile communications and has the potential to deliver hugely enhanced connectivity.

The potential health impacts of exposure to non-ionising radiation are addressed in a substantial volume of internationally recognised scientific research and evidence. This includes the guidelines set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These guidelines have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission and provide scientifically-based exposure limits that are applicable to both public and occupational exposure from electromagnetic fields (EMF).

The ICNIRP Guidelines apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G. ComReg, the independent telecoms regulatory authority, ensures that licensed mobile operators comply with their licence conditions and do not exceed these guidelines.

An Irish Government commissioned report published in 2016 reaffirmed the conclusions of an earlier 2007 report, that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects.

Nevertheless, public exposure to non-ionising radiation is an issue that is kept under review. As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I assigned a new statutory function to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year to provide general information to the public in this regard, to monitor international scientific developments and provide independent advice to my Department in this area. Information is published on the EPA’s website at www.epa.ie/radiation/emf.

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 378.

Road Network

Ceisteanna (403)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

403. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has received a request from the local authority for funding to upgrade Castlefinn Bridge in County Donegal; if so, the details of the project plans; if his attention has been drawn to the need to deliver this project in view of the state of the structure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48611/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) in Donegal is the statutory responsibility of Donegal County Council, 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. 

Applications for funding under the Department's Bridge Rehabilitation Scheme are invited on an annual basis for consideration for funding in the subsequent year. Councils are made aware of the conditions and are asked to submit applications in order of priority. Donegal County Council recently submitted its bridge rehabilitation funding application and Castlefinn Bridge was not included in this application. The Department will examine applications from all local authorities and Councils will be notified of their allocations early in the new year.

Larger scale bridge upgrade works fall under the Specific Grant category and applications need to comply with project appraisal requirements. A Specific Grant application has not been received in relation to Castlefinn Bridge. 

It is important to reiterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement local authorities in their spending in this area and it is open to Donegal County Council to fund work on this bridge from its own resources.

Cycling Facilities Provision

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

Ceisteanna (404, 405)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

404. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the National Transport Authority checks the compliance of cycling infrastructure schemes which it funds with the national cycle manual and the design manual for urban roads and streets. [48534/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

405. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the National Transport Authority has overseen the design of the proposed Broadmeadow greenway and checked it for compliance with the national cycle manual. [48535/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 404 and 405 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 cycling infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. 

Noting the NTA's responsibility in this matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

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

Stadium Projects

Ceisteanna (406, 407, 408)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

406. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the development of a stadium (details supplied); if his Department is involved in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48582/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

407. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has met with the development committee established for the development of a stadium (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48583/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

408. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if capital funding has been allocated to Dublin City Council for the design or redevelopment of a stadium (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48584/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 406 to 408, inclusive, together.

The Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund opened for applications on 19th November 2018 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 17th April 2019.

An application has been made for funding towards the design of the redevelopment of the stadium referred to by the Deputy. That application is one of 72 applications received. Details of all applications have been published on the Department's website. The detailed evaluation procedures have also been published on the Department's website.

As set out in this evaluation process, applicants were given an opportunity to provide corrected and amended documentation, where necessary, in support of applications. This part of the process is now complete and detailed assessment work of the applications has commenced. In view of the detailed information contained in each application I expect that it will be towards the end of this year before assessments are completed.

Neither I nor Minister Ross has met with the development committee to discuss the proposed redevelopment.

Road Projects Status

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

Ceisteanna (409)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

409. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the north ring road in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48587/19]

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