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Tuesday, 1 Jun 2021

Written Answers Nos. 211-237

National Vehicle and Driver File

Ceisteanna (211)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

211. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Transport the reason a person (details supplied) has not yet received a tax disc. [29159/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department's offices in Shannon manage the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) and its associated online services, including online motor tax, at www.motortax.ie.  

The records on the NVDF indicate that the vehicle in question was taxed online on 26th April 2021, and a motor tax disc was issued on 27 April 2021. The vehicle owner in question contacted our offices by email on 14 May regarding the status of her tax disc. My official responded on the same day, and advised the individual concerned that their tax disc had not been returned by An Post, as undelivered. The response also gave details of how a replacement tax disc can be sought, in the event that it is lost, stolen or misplaced. The Department have no record of any further response from the individual concerned. 

Today (1st June 2021)  the customer was contacted by officials in my Department by telephone and by email to confirm address details.  We have posted out a further application form with a pre-paid envelope to allow the customer to apply to Cork Motor Tax Office for a replacement document.  Officials in my Department will maintain contact with this customer to ensure that she has a replacement disc supplied to them.

Departmental Correspondence

Ceisteanna (212)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

212. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Transport if the email addresses of his Department are being manned; and if so, when a person (details supplied) can expect to receive a reply to their query. [29160/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The email addresses referenced in the Deputy’s enquiry are manned daily by my officials at the Departments offices in Shannon. The initial response is automated, with links to the appropriate areas in the website that addresses frequently asked questions. If such links do not address the query, the customer can reply to the automated response seeking further assistance, and one of my officials will respond. Effectively all such queries that are referred to my officials are addressed within 24 hours. 

The records on the NVDF indicate that the individual concerned emailed the Department (at one of the email addresses provided) on 14 May 2021 just after 12 noon. She sought further assistance and a reply was issued from my officials at 15.02 that same afternoon, to the email address the query was issued from. The query itself referred to the non-receipt of a motor tax disc. The response stated that the tax disc in question had not been returned undelivered to our offices by an Post. The response also set out how a replacement motor tax disc could be sought. The Department have no record of any further response from the individual concerned, and were unaware of any continuing issues in this regard.

Today (1st June 2021)  the customer was contacted by officials in my Department by telephone and by email to confirm address details.  We have posted out a further application form with a pre-paid envelope to allow the customer to apply to Cork Motor Tax Office for a replacement document.  Officials in my Department will maintain contact with this customer to ensure that she has a replacement disc supplied to them.

Greenways Provision

Ceisteanna (213)

James O'Connor

Ceist:

213. Deputy James O'Connor asked the Minister for Transport the status of the allocation of the Mallow to Fermoy greenway project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29161/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Funding was allocated to Waterford and Cork County Councils in 2020 from the Carbon Tax Fund for pre-construction work on routes that would link Mallow to Dungarvan as outlined as follows. The section from Mallow to Fermoy is included in the scope of this feasibility work.

Mallow   to Dungarvan Greenway

€80,000  

Cork   County Council

Scope, Pre- Appraisal, Concept, Feasibility and Options Selection for a 39.15km section from Mallow/Youghal to Ballyduff on the Waterford border.

 Waterford   Greenway Network

€80,000  

Waterford   County Council

Options Selection and a Project Appraisal Report for a 38.5 km section from Dungarvan to Cork County boundary west of Ballyduff Upper.

Cork County Council in conjunction with Waterford City and County Council have sought tenders for the undertaking of a Feasibility Report for the development of the Greenway from Mallow to Dungarvan. A Letter of Intent has been issued to the successful tenderer and once the required information requested is submitted and the standstill period expires, it is envisaged that a Letter of Acceptance will be issued in early June.

The cost of the tender was significantly more than the amount originally allocated; however my Department has agreed to funding the entire cost of the project at just over €361,000.

I look forward to the outcome of this work and hope that it will contribute to the creation of a network of Greenways in the area, providing increased opportunities for people to travel by bicycle and foot to work, school, shops and for tourism purposes also.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (214)

Colm Burke

Ceist:

214. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Transport the status of the electrification of the Malahide to Drogheda rail line; the timetable for the work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29162/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport,  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 DART+ Coastal as part of the overall DART+ Programme.

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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Question No. 216 answered with Question No. 215.

Question No. 217 answered with Question No. 208.

Ceisteanna (215, 216, 245)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

215. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport if he has consulted with the Minister for Health in respect of the use of antigen testing in the context of a Covid-19 mitigation measure in order to expedite the full resumption of the inbound and outbound transit from Irish airports; and if he has conducted a review of the most effective methods of testing in respect of travel that falls under his responsibility. [29163/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

216. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to inconsistencies in the way in which one cohort of persons is treated in respect of travel and the use of antigen testing (details supplied). [29164/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

245. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport if rapid antigen testing can be considered and put in place in order to accommodate the opening of international travel during the summer months. [29653/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 215, 216 and 245 together.

Our public health authorities are responsible for determining the most appropriate testing regimes for COVID-19 in Ireland, and Government is guided by their recommendations. My Department assists with the implementation of public health measures in relation to international travel, as decided by Government.

I am aware that considerable work has been undertaken to date to evaluate the potential use of rapid antigen tests in an Irish context. The Government has decided, however, that for testing for international travel to Ireland a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is the only test that is accepted.

Statutory Instrument No. 11 of 2021, which was signed by the Minister for Health on 15 January 2021, sets out the requirement for passengers to have evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test that was carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

Question No. 216 answered with Question No. 215.
Question No. 217 answered with Question No. 208.

Driver Test

Ceisteanna (218)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

218. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Transport the status of an application for a driving test for a person (details supplied) who requires a licence for work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29259/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is the body responsible for the operation of Driver Tests.

Individual appointments are an operational matter for the RSA and I do not have any role in this process.

This question is therefore being referred 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.

Transport Policy

Ceisteanna (219)

Claire Kerrane

Ceist:

219. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Transport if his Department has engaged with the European Commission as part of the ongoing review of the TEN-T core network with a view to having the Atlantic Economic Corridor restored to the network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29282/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) is a term applied in an Irish context to the Atlantic seaboard region. Elements of the AEC are currently on the TEN-T core and comprehensive network, though the AEC as a concept was never included on the TEN-T network.

In April 2019, the European Commission commenced the review of the TEN-T network with an evaluation of the existing TEN-T Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013. The main objectives for the Commission in revising the TEN-T Regulation are to:

- Ensure the completion of the core network by 2030 and comprehensive network by 2050;

- Make the EU's transport systems green, digital and resilient; and

- Reinforce the infrastructure standards and quality requirements across the network.

In August 2019, my predecessor, Minister Ross, made a submission to the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, regarding the review. While preparing this submission there was significant engagement between my Department and the AEC Taskforce to ensure the views of the AEC were incorporated.

The submission outlined significant national developments since the TEN-T Regulation came into force in 2013, particularly the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan, and the implications of Brexit on Ireland's international connectivity. The submission requested that consideration be given by the European Commission to including the Atlantic Economic Corridor region of Ireland on the core network, fulfilling a commitment in the 2016 Programme for Government.

A copy of that submission, and Commissioner Bulc’s reply, is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

www.gov.ie/en/publication/3c921e-submission-to-commissioner-bulc-for-a-revision-of-the-core-ten-t-net/

As part of the review, the Commission is analysing the extent to which the existing Regulation is still fit for purpose and considering what adjustments, if any, may be required to address any new challenges in the European transport sector. There are a number of guiding principles for the Review, one of which is that the planning methodology, used for the design of the network adopted in 2013 remain unchanged. The Commission is expected therefore to only consider slight network adjustments on the basis of this methodology when justified through specific developments.

My Department is participating fully in the review process, engaging directly with the European Commission on a number of occasions (most recently on 19 May 2021), in order to ensure that any amendment to or revision of the TEN-T Regulation recognises the concerns of Ireland and the national policy developments that have occurred since the Regulation came into force in 2013. My Department will arrange a further bilateral with the Commission in September.

I expect the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal reviewing the TEN-T Regulation in Q4 2021, based on an impact assessment which is due for publication in Q3 2021.

In the meantime, I draw the Deputy’s attention to the Commission’s Staff Working Document on the TEN-T Guidelines evaluation which was published on 26 May 2021 and which is available on the Commission’s website at the following link:

ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/1908-Trans-European-Transport-Network-TEN-T-Guidelines-evaluation_en

Road Safety Authority

Ceisteanna (220)

Neasa Hourigan

Ceist:

220. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Transport the number of persons that notified the Road Safety Authority via patient advisory form of diagnosis of epilepsy in each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. [29289/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

All enquires relating to driver licensing are handled by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), the provision of which I have delegated to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) under the relevant legislation.

I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the RSA for direct reply. If she has not heard from them in 10 working days, I would ask that she contact my office directly.

Driver Licences

Ceisteanna (221)

Neasa Hourigan

Ceist:

221. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Transport the number of persons that renewed or applied for a licence on the basis of being 12-months epilepsy free or on the basis of an exceptional case in each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. [29290/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

All enquires relating to driver licensing are handled by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), the provision of which I have delegated to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) under the relevant legislation.

I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the RSA for direct reply. If she has not heard from them in 10 working days, I would ask that she contact my office directly.

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (222)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

222. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport if a private bus operator can operate on a route that Bus Éireann has decided to reduce its service on; if there is a process that must be adhered to; the body that sanctions such a decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29291/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, 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 passenger transport services nationally.   

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

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (223)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

223. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Transport the nature of the data breaches experienced by his Department since 2018. [29318/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Over 90% of the data breaches that occurred in my Department since 2018 are classified as unauthorised disclosure of personal data (most of which occurred due to human error), while the balance involved the loss of personal data e.g. loss of an electronic device.

The majority of the breaches identified were determined to be minor in nature and were handled in accordance with the Department's data breach management policy.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (224)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

224. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Transport when the ramp at platform 2, Thurles railway station, County Tipperary will be upgraded and reopened for public use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29321/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

As the issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the Company for direct reply.

Public Transport

Ceisteanna (225)

Paul Donnelly

Ceist:

225. Deputy Paul Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport the number of tram sets operating on the Luas Red Line; the number, length and passenger capacity of type 401 and 402 trams operating on the line; the number of type 401 and 402 trams that have been lengthened; and the planned percentage increase in passenger capacity of trams operating on the Luas Red Line over the period 2021 to 2023. [29333/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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

The issues raised are matters for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the Luas operator, Transdev, and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (226)

Paul Donnelly

Ceist:

226. Deputy Paul Donnelly asked the Minister for Transport if there are plans to increase the frequency of Dublin Connolly to Wexford from three services in each direction to four services in each direction at the weekends. [29334/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

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

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally and for the scheduling of these services in conjunction with the relevant transport operator, in this case, Iarnród Éireann.  I have, therefore, forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Aviation Industry

Ceisteanna (227)

Seán Canney

Ceist:

227. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Transport his plans to support the aviation industry in the regions in order to ensure international connectivity for the regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29357/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Government is acutely aware of the devastating impact that COVID-19 restrictions are having on the aviation sector and from the outset has sought to ensure that the aviation industry is in a position to rebound quickly when the public health situation allows. Government supports for the airports, airlines and companies in the aviation sector have been provided throughout this crisis. By the end of June 2021, the sector will have received approx. €300 million in State funding spanning employment supports, waiver of commercial rates and deferral of taxes. The bulk of the support to airlines is through the TWSS/EWSS wage subsidy schemes which were specifically designed to maintain the link between employers and employees. Liquidity support has also been made available by ISIF to large aviation enterprises.

In November 2020, in recognition of the very difficult circumstances facing the aviation sector, the Government agreed a revised funding package of €80 million specifically for Irish aviation in 2021. As part of this package, €21 million is being provided under the Regional Airports Programme (2021-2025) this year.  This gives funding certainty to Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West Airports and also supports the PSO services on the Donegal/ Dublin and Kerry/Dublin air routes. In addition, €32 million is being provided to Cork and Shannon airports through a new one-year Covid-19 regional State airports programme. A €26 million Irish state aid scheme to compensate airport operators for the losses caused by Covid-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by Ireland to limit its spread. The scheme will augment the supports already in place and help the industry to maintain connectivity and make a recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

Transport Policy

Ceisteanna (228)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

228. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Transport when the safe routes to school programme will be rolled out; if schools in County Donegal will be selected for this programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29360/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

In March, I was delighted to launch the Safe Routes to School Programme which will support Active Travel infrastructure for selected schools around the country. The Programme will see approximately €15 million of funding this year to support walking, scooting and cycling to primary and post-primary schools.

As the Deputy is likely aware, the Safe Routes to School Programme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing the necessary infrastructure.

All schools were eligible to apply to the programme and information was circulated from the Departments of Education and Transport to schools nationwide. The closing date for expressions of interest was 16 April 2021 and there was a fantastic response with over 900 expressions of interest received. At least one expression of interest was received from every county, including Donegal.

The Safe Routes to School Programme team is currently making good progress in assessing applications and is due to report a final recommended list of schools to be included in this year’s programme in the coming weeks.

The Programme will select a number of schools for participation this year, with further opportunities for schools that are not successful in their application to reapply at a later date.

Cycling Policy

Question No. 230 answered with Question No. 229.

Ceisteanna (229, 230)

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

229. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Transport if he will expand incentives to purchase and or use electric bicycles to include persons that do not qualify for the bike to work scheme such as students and carers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29450/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

230. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Transport if he will introduce incentives to purchase and or use electric bicycles to facilitate persons whose employer does not participate in the bike to work scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29451/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 229 and 230 together.

As the Deputy may be aware, tax policy is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance, in the first instance. I welcomed the announcement of increased thresholds under the existing Cycle to Work Scheme as part of the 2020 July Stimulus package, as well as the expansion of the scheme to electric bikes. The changes to the Scheme are in line with the commitment made in the Programme for Government.

The use of e-bikes is proving to be an increasingly popular method of travel, whether for commuting or leisure purposes, and is encouraging more people to choose to cycle. Bearing this in mind, and referencing the commitment by the Government to increase funding to active travel, all potential incentives to potential purchasers of bikes and e-bikes will be taken into consideration moving forward.

The Programme for Government commits to widening the eligibility of the Bike to Work Scheme and my Department, in cooperation with the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform will be examining ways in which to do this so that bikes and e-bikes are available and affordable to as many of our citizens as possible.

I was delighted to recently take an initial step towards this with the launch of the Pilot Bike and e-Bike Upcycling Initiative in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD). This  three-year pilot scheme will see high quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes provided at a lower cost to those on low incomes and/or those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged. My Department will provide €1 million per annum towards this initiative for its duration, while Pobal will administer the scheme through DRCD's Community Services Programme. The deadline for applications was 28th May 2021.

Finally, the Deputy may also be aware that my Department is in the process of preparing a new Sustainable Mobility Policy following public consultation last year. This new policy framework will provide a strategic backdrop to the increased investment planned by this Government across the sustainable mobility programme, including active travel, and I look forward to the completion of this important work in 2021. The issue of widening the eligibility of the Bike to Work scheme will be explored as part of this policy document.

Question No. 230 answered with Question No. 229.

Driver Test

Ceisteanna (231)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

231. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport when he expects the large backlogs of both driver theory and practical tests to be cleared; if he will prioritise those that require a full licence for the purposes of employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29480/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

In line with the further easing of restrictions, the gradual re-opening of in-person driver theory test centres will commence after the 7th of June. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) will reopen its network of test centres and will be permitted to conduct 25,000 driver theory tests per month.

Prior to COVID-19, the RSA provided 15,000 tests per month. In light of the significant backlog of customers, the RSA will gradually increase capacity in its test centres to 25,000 tests a month.

The test centres have extensive COVID-19 measures in place to protect both customers and staff and to ensure the safe delivery of the service. It is hoped that capacity will gradually increase to 50,000 tests per month over time, if public health guidance permits.

The RSA has been working to deliver an online theory test service, with a pilot online test already underway for trucks and buses. This pilot service has now been extended to include a limited number of car and motorbike tests. 

The new offering will see 4,000 online theory tests available for all categories of vehicles per month. Tests are available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis with the new online service becoming more widely available later in the year. Once the online service is established, all customers will be able to opt to do the test online.

Driving tests for essential workers will continue to be the priority for the driver testing service. In line with the gradual reopening of services, driving tests for all those who are eligible to take the test and have been waiting longest will recommence in a limited fashion.

My Department is liaising with the RSA on an ongoing basis to meet the growing demand for tests.  An additional 40 driver testers have been authorised along with 36 approved for retention or rehire in 2020. The RSA is making good progress in recruiting these additional testers and they are expected to conduct tests by the end of June 2021. 

The Department and the RSA will monitor what impact the new testers are having as they come on stream and as the Covid restriction level reduces. Further recruitment, if necessary, will take place.  

The health of both the public and the testers themselves must take priority, and as a result it is important to recognise that it will take time to get driver testing waiting times back to normal pre-Covid levels.

Dublin Bus

Ceisteanna (232)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

232. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport the number of bus drivers recruited by Dublin Bus in each of the past three years in tabular form; and the annual salary range of bus drivers. [29482/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, 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 a matter for Dublin Bus 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.

Rail Network

Ceisteanna (233)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

233. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport the number of train drivers recruited by Iarnród Éireann in each of the past three years; and the annual salary range of train drivers. [29483/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, 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 issues raised are operational matters for Iarnród 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.

Public Transport

Ceisteanna (234, 235, 236, 237)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

234. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport the number of wheelchair accessible taxi grants issued for the period March 2020 to May 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29535/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

235. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport the cost of wheelchair accessible grants issued for the period March 2020 to May 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29536/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

236. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport the number of wheelchair accessible taxi grants issued for the period March 2020 to May 2021 that were issued to persons who did not previously own a small public service vehicle licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29537/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

237. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport the number of wheelchair accessible taxi grants issued for the period March 2020 to May 2021 that were issued to persons changing from an existing saloon licence to a wheelchair accessible vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29538/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 234 to 237, inclusive, together.

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including SPSV licences and  administration of grants for SPSVs, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

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

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