Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Ceisteanna (122)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

122. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport if he plans to proceed with the initial stages of the BusConnects scheme for Dublin; if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of workers involved that the introduction of the new design will mean widespread changes to existing rights, conditions and labour practices; if he will meet with workers' representatives to discuss the implications of the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14306/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the Programme for Government commits toward a fundamental change in the nature of transport in Ireland and I firmly believe BusConnects will be at the centre of that change in the years ahead. As with all public investment projects, BusConnects must comply with the Public Spending Code which sets out the requirements for the evaluation, planning and management of public investment projects in Ireland.

The Code sets out a number of Decision Gates in the development of a project proposal;  these are points where major decisions need to be made about the progress of a project and, for projects expected to cost over €100million, Government approval is required at these stages.  For a project in this category, "Decision Gate 1: Preliminary Business Case" is the first stage where the Public Spending Code stipulates that formal Government approval is required. In accordance with the Public Spending Code's requirements, prior to seeking Government approval, the Preliminary Business Case is subject to review by both my Department and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform. Following completion of these necessary steps I will then bring the matter to Government for its decision.

With regard to the Deputy's questions in relation to the impact of BusConnects on workers rights, conditions and labour practices, I wish to advise the Deputy that the terms and conditions of employees are a matter for the relevant companies and do not fall within my remit as Minister for Transport.