Departmental Expenditure

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

Ceisteanna (387)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

387. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the capital expenditure by his Department from 1 January to 31 August 2019 under headings (details supplied); and the projects funded under B8.1 Smarter Travel and Sustainable Urban Transport, in tabular form. [53599/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy  is aware, funding provided under these subheads is related to capital expenditure programmes and part of a multi-annual capital funding programme.  The timing of expenditure on programmes such as these are by their nature dependent on a number of variables and therefore monthly or quarterly expenditure must be viewed within that context.  The majority of the funding allocation each year tends to be drawn down toward the year end.  Reporting of annual expenditure outturns is made publicly available each year through the Department's audited Appropriation Account and related reports to, and appearances before, the Oireachtas.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport, including cycling infrastructure. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the allocation of funding at project level, working in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.

I can advise the Deputy that, since announcement of Budget 2020, the overall funding for my Department's two principal active travel related programmes is now likely to increase to over €100 million in total.  This improved funding allocation does not include the Bus Connects programme which itself will deliver 200km of largely segregated cycle lanes across Dublin. It also does not encompass various other funding sources that can be supportive of walking and cycling, such as €23 million for 2020 under the Greenways Strategy and funding that is provided outside my Department, like the Urban & Rural Regeneration and Development funds. 

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, 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

Noise Pollution

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

Ceisteanna (388)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

388. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for noise mitigation measures along the M8, N20 and N25; if there is a timetable for the implementation of the measures; the regulations and guidelines for the assessment of areas suitable for noise mitigation measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53610/19]

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 operation of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the relevant local authorities. This includes arrangements concerning noise mitigating measures.

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

Departmental Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (389)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

389. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of new staff recruited to his Department from January 2019 to date; the title of each employment position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53651/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The table below sets out the total number of new staff, by grade, recruited to the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport from January 2019 to date.

Title of Position

Number recruited

Administrative Officer

9

Assistant Principal

4

Archivist

1

Clerical Officer

25

Civilian Driver

1

Engineer & Ship Surveyor

1

Executive Officer (ICT Apprentice)

2

Executive Officer

14

Higher Executive Officer

5

Operations &Training Officer

4

Press Advisor

1

Watch Officer

5

Temporary Clerical Officer

12

Grand Total

84

Airport Development Projects

Ceisteanna (390)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

390. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the meetings he held during 2019 regarding the potential operation of an independent third terminal at Dublin Airport. [53670/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, the National Aviation Policy (NAP) committed that the Department would commission a high-level, strategic capacity review of Ireland’s State airports in 2018, taking into account wider Government objectives and policies for enterprise and tourism as well as developments in the global market.

Oxford Economics in conjunction with Cambridge Economic Policy Associates were contracted to conduct a high-level strategic capacity review of Ireland’s State airports and this Review was published on 24 October 2018. It provides an assessment which is both specific about short terms actions as well as identifying further work that needs to be undertaken to assist in decision-making for the longer term to 2050. In the case of Dublin Airport only, the study assesses the relative advantages and disadvantages of the operation of Terminal 3 by the existing airport operator in comparison with being operated on an independent basis.

To ensure that there is an open approach to the options for Dublin Airport, including any decision on a third terminal, a public consultation on the Review has been completed. All of the issues raised during the public consultation, along with the Review itself and any further work carried out as a result of the Review, are now being considered carefully ahead of the making of recommendations to Government. I have had a number of meetings and briefings with officials in my Department relating to the Review and the work carried out as a result of the Review.

I have had no specific meetings with any other entities or stakeholders, in relation to the potential operation of an independent third terminal at Dublin Airport during 2019.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (391)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

391. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of each of the meetings he has held with his EU counterparts during 2019, in tabular form. [53671/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Attached is a table of meetings held with my EU counterparts during 2019.

Country

Counterpart

Issue

Date

Norway

Minister of Children and Equality and Vice President of WADA

 

Linda Hofstad Helleland

 

Anti-doping issues

 

14 Jan 2019

France

Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian

 

BREXIT

 

19 Feb 2019

Netherlands

Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management

 

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

 

BREXIT

 

 6 June 2019

Croatia

Minister for Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure

 

Oleg Butkovic

 

Ten-T & BREXIT

 

6 June 2019

Sweden

Minister for Infrastructure

 

Tomas Eneroth

 

Transport

 

6 June 2019

Bulgaria

Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications

 

Mr Rossen Jeliazkov

 

Mobility package

 

2 December

Poland

Minister of Infrastructure

 

Mr Andrzej Adamczyk

 

Mobility package

 

2 December

Latvia

Minister of Infrastructure

 

Mr Talis Linkaits

 

Mobility package

 

2 December

Belgium

Federal Minister for Mobility and Transport

 

Mr François Bellot

 

Mobility package & BREXIT

 

2 December

 

Sports Capital Programme Data

Ceisteanna (392)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

392. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the decision on the appeals for the sports capital programme will be announced. [53679/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The most recent (2018) round of the Sports Capital Programme attracted a record 2,337 applications. Allocations were announced in January, May and November of this year with a total of over €56 million awarded to 1,648 different projects. All applicants have now been notified of the outcome of the assessment process and all unsuccessful applicants have been invited to appeal the decision if they feel  an error was made in the assessment of their application. The deadline for receipt of appeals is Friday 20th December.  Depending on the number of appeals submitted, I expect the assessment of all appeals to be completed early in the new year. 

Sports Facilities Provision

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

Ceisteanna (393)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

393. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when promised discus and hammer throwing circles will be erected in the sports grounds in Santry, Dublin 9; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53681/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland is the statutory body with responsibility for the operation of Morton stadium in Santry.

I understand that the substantive works have been completed and that some outstanding issues are expected to be completed in January 2020.   

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply in relation to the outstanding issues. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

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

Rural Transport Programme

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

Ceisteanna (394, 395)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

394. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the usage of the extended rural transport LocalLink services that cover weekend and late night journeys which were initiated as a pilot; if data is available on the journeys taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53692/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

395. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to further expand the usage of the rural transport LocalLink services following the success of the extended weekend late night pilot scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53693/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 395 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 nationally. It also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme, which now operates under the 'Local Link' brand.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have referred your questions to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

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

Rural Transport Programme Data

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

Ceisteanna (396)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

396. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the take-up of the LocalLink rural hackney grant pilot scheme announced in 2019 for 15 rural areas nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53694/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the operation of the Designated Local Area Hackney pilot scheme, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. 

Accordingly, I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

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

Traffic Management

Ceisteanna (397)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

397. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of his plans for the installation of further red light running cameras in Dublin city at Blackhall Place, Con Colbert Road and Queen Street; and when the enabling legislation will be updated. [53709/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 allows that electronic apparatus, including cameras, may be used to provide evidence in relation to offences under a number of the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts. The installation and management of such cameras is a matter for the relevant Local Authority in consultation with An Garda Síochána.

Light Rail Projects Status

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

Ceisteanna (398)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

398. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the proposed extension of the Luas green line from Broombridge to Finglas; if a station will be provided at Royal Canal Park and Pelletstown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53717/19]

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 in the Greater Dublin Area, including light rail infrastructure. 

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

Ports Policy

Ceisteanna (399)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

399. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the transfer of each port of regional significance to local authority ownership structures since the introduction of the national ports policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53728/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

National Ports Policy, published in March 2013, recommended that the five designated Ports of Regional Significance (Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow) are transferred to more appropriate local authority led governance structures.

The Harbours Act 2015, enacted in December 2015, provides the legislative basis to facilitate the transfer of the five ports of Regional Significance to Local Authority control.

Wicklow Port transferred to Wicklow County Council on 30th August 2016. Drogheda Port transferred to Louth County Council on 2nd October 2017 with Dún Laoghaire Port transferring to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on 3rd October 2018. Further progress was made in 2019 when New Ross Port Company transferred to Wexford County Council on August 1st 2019.

The transfer of the remaining port of regional significance, Galway Harbour Company, is well advanced and the due diligence is completed. The Department continues to liaise with the local authority and the port with regard to the transfer process.

Cycling Policy

Ceisteanna (400)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

400. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of funding through the National Transport Authority an education programme available to primary schools to ensure that children are trained in safe cycling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53729/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware Cycle Right, the national cycling training standard, was set up and launched by my Department, in conjunction with the Road Safety Authority (RSA), Cycling Ireland and other interested parties in 2017. The programme provides a national standard of cycle safety and skills training so that trainees develop the competence and confidence to cycle safely on the road network.

Since its first year, when over 15,000 primary school students in 428 schools across 22 counties received cycle training, the numbers receiving training has increased steadily, by approximately 5,000 per annum, with a target for 2020 of 30,000.

The funding allocated by my Department for the programme in 2019 is in the region of €725,000.

Departmental Advertising Data

Ceisteanna (401)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

401. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent on advertising in 2018 and to date in 2019 on Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53752/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Public communications and advertising of Brexit related issues for the sectors under my Department’s responsibilities were primarily carried out through the Department’s  agencies or through central Government communications and publications. The only Brexit related advertising expenditure directly incurred by my Department since 2018 relates to the mandatory advertising in Iris Oifigiúil to announce the making of Statutory Instruments necessitated by Brexit. This amounted to €62.

Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (402)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

402. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the meetings he has held with Minister for Justice and Equality in relation to extending the eligibility criteria for asylum seekers to apply for a driver licence. [53754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I have not met with the Minister for Justice and Equality specifically on this issue to date.  However, my officials and I have been corresponding with the Department of Justice and Equality on this matter and engagement between both Departments continues.

Rail Services Provision

Ceisteanna (403)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

403. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeframe for new rolling stock to be delivered to Irish Rail for use on the Mullingar to Sligo line; and his plans to deal with the overcrowding that persists. [53756/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Government recently approved for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Iarnród Éireann to proceed with the proposed purchase of 41 additional InterCity Railcars (ICRs).  The purchase of these ICRs will increase capacity on the rail network including that on the Mullingar to Sligo line as part of the Dublin to Sligo line.  This additional stock will cost approximately €150 million and is expected to commence entry into service by end 2021.

Road Projects Status

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

Ceisteanna (404)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

404. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if adequate funding will be provided to a local authority in 2020 to ensure progress on the further planning and design of a road project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53771/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and securing capital funding in relation to the national roads programme.  Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in the context of delivering the Government's commitments arising out of Project Ireland 2040, the planning, design, and construction, including the distribution of funding for individual national roads, is a matter for 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 (405, 409)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

405. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided in 2020 towards the necessary upgrading of a road (details supplied) in view of the very heavy volume of traffic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

409. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if specific funding for a road project (details supplied) will be provided to the local authority in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53802/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 405 and 409 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of Cavan 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 Council.

The extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant that grant funding for road improvement schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.

Project Ireland 2040 does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but it will take some time to reach the level required for the adequate maintenance and renewal of regional and local roads.  For this reason the primary focus for capital investment is the maintenance and renewal of the network and implementation of the 12 regional and local road projects identified for development in the period to 2023, subject to necessary approvals, in Project Ireland 2040. For this reason there is  limited funding available  for specific improvement grant schemes.

All specific improvement projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework and it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind.  I understand that Cavan County Council is working on a project appraisal for submission to the Department regarding the R178 Virginia to Bailieborough road. 

The planning of a scheme to upgrade the Dunancory Bridge on the R194 did receive specific grant funding this year.  Allocations for 2020 will be announced in the New Year.

Bus Services

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

Ceisteanna (406)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

406. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of hybrid buses in operation as of 1 December 2019 in Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus, respectively. [53781/19]

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 in the Greater Dublin Area, including bus fleet purchase.

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