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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 842-856
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications
 Header Item National Car Test Data
 Header Item Aviation Industry Regulations
 Header Item Aviation Industry Regulations
 Header Item Driving Test
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Road Safety
 Header Item Road Tolls
 Header Item Local Improvement Scheme
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Transport Infrastructure Provision
 Header Item Ports Development
 Header Item Harbours and Piers Development

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 911 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 94 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 842-856

Sports Capital Programme Applications

 842. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross when an application under the sports capital programme will be processed for a leisure centre (details supplied). [12506/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I am not aware of any application having been received under the Sports Capital Programme for Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre, Askeaton, Co. Limerick. However, an application for that facility has been received under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP).

The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) provides grant aid to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools.  Askeaton Swimming Pool was included in the 2000 round of the LASPP and received the maximum grant of €3.8m for a replacement pool which was officially opened in August 2007.

In January of this year, my Department contacted local authorities and sought expressions of interest in a limited round of swimming pool allocations, subject to funding becoming available from other projects where those projects would not be progressed.

Prior to the closing date for expressions of interest Limerick City & County Council contacted my Department to enquire about the nature of the projects likely to be funded and mentioned that Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre required remedial works.  Limerick CCC was informed that the intention was to fund new pools in locations where no pool currently existed and there was a very significant demand for a pool. Limerick CCC was also informed that, given that Askeaton Pool was already included in the 2000 round of the programme and had received the maximum grant of €3.8m, it was unlikely that any further funding would be provided to it. Limerick CCC subsequently submitted an expression of interest for remedial works for Askeaton Pool.

There were three expressions of interest received for new pools, two of which were valid and both in Dublin. Having assessed existing commitments and the funding available, including funding that will become available from withdrawn projects, it was considered prudent to progress one additional new pool project at this time.  Following consideration of the expressions of interest, and the two valid proposals for new pools, it was decided to include the proposal from South Dublin County Council (SDCC) for a new swimming pool in Lucan in the LASPP.​

National Car Test Data

 843. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the number of cars subjected to an NCT in each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date. [12528/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The subject matter of this particular question is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority and I have therefore referred the question to them for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my Office if a reply has not been received within ten days. ​

Aviation Industry Regulations

 844. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the regulations surrounding the use of private helicopters and aircraft, including if minimum height restrictions exist for flying in built-up residential areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12537/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The Irish Aviation Authority is responsible for aviation safety regulation in Ireland, as provided for under the Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993. This includes the implementation of EU Regulations concerning the use of private helicopters and aircraft in built-up residential areas.

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

Aviation Industry Regulations

 845. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if Regulation (EU) No 598/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at European Union airports within a balanced approach and repealing Directive 2002/30/EC is in place; if it applies to Dublin Airport and to any future developments at the airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12551/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Regulation (EU) No 598/2014 enters into force on 13 June 2016 and is binding in its entirety on EU Member States from that date.  My Department, along with the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Planning and Local Government, is engaged in discussions regarding arrangements for the appropriate implementation of this Regulation in Ireland.

This Regulation will apply to aircraft, as defined in the Regulation, engaged in civil aviation at airports which have more than 50 000 civil aircraft movements per calendar year. Dublin Airport had 191,233 aircraft movements in 2015 and is the only Irish airport that exceeds this threshold.

Driving Test

 846. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his plans to ensure that persons wishing to complete the lorry driving test, category C, in Inishowen, County Donegal, can sit the test in Buncrana instead of having to travel to Letterkenny; if not the reasons for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12750/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

Local Authority Funding

 847. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the allocations to local authorities under regional roads grants from 2010 to 2016 to date in tabular form. [12771/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The regional and local road grant allocations and payments made to local authorities in the period 2010 to 2015 are included in the allocation and payment booklets available in the Dáil library. The regional and local road grant allocation booklet for 2016 is also available in the Dáil Library.

Local Authority Funding

 848. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the allocations to local authorities under discretionary roads grants from 2010 to 2016 to date in tabular form. [12772/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The regional and local road grant allocations and payments, including Discretionary Grants, made to local authorities in the period 2010 to 2015 are included in the allocation and payment booklets available in the Dáil library. The regional and local road grant allocation booklet (including Discretionary Grants) for 2016 is also available in the Dáil library.

Local Authority Funding

 849. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the allocations to local authorities by the National Transport Authority from 2010 to 2016 to date in tabular form. [12773/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The implementation and development of public transport infrastructure projects in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), comes under the remit of the National Transport Authority (NTA).

  My Department provides funding via the NTA to local authorities in the GDA under the Sustainable Transport Measures Grants Programme. This programme facilitates investment in the various QBCs, cycling/walking, safety and traffic management projects throughout the region.

  A similar programme of sustainable grants, the Regional Cities Programme, provides funding to local authorities in the four regional cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. This programme is managed by the NTA on behalf of my Department.

  Local authorities have also benefitted from funding provided by my Department to the NTA for the public bikes schemes in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

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

Road Safety

 850. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the progress on Transport Infrastructure Ireland's plans to provide electronic speed control warning indicators on the gantries along the M50; and the costs and timelines for same. [12774/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and operation of individual road projects (including the M50) is a matter for the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly known as the NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

I have, therefore, referred the Deputy’s question to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Road Tolls

 851. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the revenues from the M50 toll for the years 2010 to 2015 in tabular form; the different payment methods of motorists; and the total tolls paid by the different vehicular users of the M50, such as HGVs and cars, in tabular form. [12775/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly known as the NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority.

More specifically, the statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads is vested in TII under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Roads Act 2007).

Accordingly I am forwarding your question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Local Improvement Scheme

 852. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will provide funding to local authorities to reinstate the local improvements scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12810/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) remains in place.  This Scheme provides funding for private roads and laneways, the maintenance and improvement of which is, in the first instance, a matter for the relevant landowner.  While the LIS does not have a ring-fenced allocation in 2016, local authorities may use a proportion of State grant funding (15% of the Discretionary Grant) for LIS should they wish to do so.  In addition Councils can also provide monies from their own resources towards LIS.

The Programme for a Partnership Government provides that, as the economy recovers, the Government will promote increased funding for Local Improvement Schemes, on an annual basis. A major objective for the new Government will be to prioritise new investment in local and regional road maintenance and improvements, and LIS funding will be promoted in that context.

Planning Issues

 853. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae Information on Danny Healy-Rae Zoom on Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will intervene with Transport Infrastructure Ireland to put an end to the situation, following the signing into law of the spatial strategy in 2012, whereby planning applicants on the N22 road between Rathmore and Killarney find it impossible to get planning permission (details supplied). [12812/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The decision as to whether to grant planning permission in any particular case is a matter for the relevant planning authority in the first instance and for An Bord Pleanála in the event of an appeal.  As a statutory consultee under planning legislation, submissions or comments on planning applications and on proposed developments represent TII's primary input to the planning process.

In making decisions on planning applications, planning authorities and the Board must consider the proper planning and sustainable development of an area, having regard to the provisions of the relevant development plan, any submissions or observations received and relevant Ministerial or Government policies, including the Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines 2012 issued by the then Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.  Planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála are required to have regard in the performance of their functions to guidelines issued under this section of the Planning and Development Acts.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have no role in the planning permission process.

Transport Infrastructure Provision

 854. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his views on whether the metro north project is essential for the future rail needs of the greater Dublin area; and if he agrees with the demotion of the project in the greater Dublin area transport strategy.  [12847/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The Programme for Government includes a commitment to provide funds to enable the New Metro North project to proceed during the lifetime of the Capital Plan: "Building on Recovery Infrastructure & Capital Investment (2016-2021)".

  The revised Metro North project was recommended by NTA last year as the best option for the Swords- Dublin Airport- City Centre corridor following a comprehensive assessment of various schemes, and having regard to the long term public transport needs of the corridor. The project is included in NTA's Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (2016-2035).

  Subject to compliance with the requirements of the Public Spending Code, it is expected that construction of the project would commence in 2021 with a view to completion by 2026/27.

Ports Development

 855. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the current status of the Alexandra Basin project; the total amount the Government will spend on this project; and when it is due for completion. [12848/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​Planning permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála in respect of an application by Dublin Port Company for the Alexander Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project on the 8 July 2015.

Enabling works in respect of the project commenced at the western end of the Alexandra Basin in March 2016. Dublin Port Company are currently pursuing some additional consents required including a Foreshore Licence and a Dumping at Sea Licence.

With regard to funding for ports, National Ports Policy clearly outlines that there is no Exchequer funding for ports.  All port infrastructure development must be funded by the port on a commercial basis without recourse to the Exchequer.

It is estimated that the ABR project will take 5 years to complete at a cost of €227m and it will be funded in a number of ways. In addition to the Company's own resources, Dublin Port Company has received EU Commission grant approval under the Connecting Europe Facility for €22.8m in respect of the project.  The port has also signed a Finance Contract with the European Investment Bank in respect of a €100m loan facility for the project.

Harbours and Piers Development

 856. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of the harbour redevelopment plans for Galway Harbour; his plans to provide funding for this project over the coming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12849/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Galway Harbour Company lodged its application for Planning Permission with An Bord Pleanála in 2013. An oral hearing on the application was held in January 2015. I understand additional information was requested by An Bord Pleanála and the process of evaluating the company's response is ongoing.

With regard to funding for ports, National Ports Policy 2013 clearly outlines that all port infrastructure development must be funded by the port companies (including Galway) on a commercial basis without recourse to the Exchequer.


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