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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 951-970
 Header Item Rail Services
 Header Item Public Transport
 Header Item Parking Regulations
 Header Item Ministerial Meetings
 Header Item Bus Éireann Services
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Administration
 Header Item Road Projects Status
 Header Item Road Traffic Legislation
 Header Item Public Transport
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications Data
 Header Item Rail Services Provision
 Header Item Fáilte Ireland Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Correspondence
 Header Item Departmental Communications
 Header Item Departmental Correspondence

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 988 No. 6

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 951-970

Rail Services

 951. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if customers are now required to pre-book Irish Rail seats in advance of travel; and the effect this will have on free travel recipients. [45179/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland. The issue raised is an operational matter 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.

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

Public Transport

 952. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if he will respond to the demands put forward by an organisation (details supplied) for inclusive public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45180/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport 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 which are matters for the individual operators, in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA) as appropriate.

  As the issues raised in this case come under the remit of Irish Rail, 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

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

Parking Regulations

 953. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if a motorist with an Irish registration who has received a fine for a parking violation in Northern Ireland can be pursued for same here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45210/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross It is a matter for the authorities in Northern Ireland to enforce Northern Ireland law. If there are any reciprocal enforcement arrangements they would be a matter for my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Ministerial Meetings

 954. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross when he will next meet with the chairpersons of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. [45263/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross I do not currently have any plans to meet with the chairpersons of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.

Bus Éireann Services

 955. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross his plans to improve the bus services to Ashbourne and Ratoath, County Meath, in terms of reliability and cost comparison with other locations equidistant from Dublin; if he is satisfied that the Bus Éireann 103 service is meeting the terms of its contract obligations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45291/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland. The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Bus Éireann and I have 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.

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

Sports Capital Programme Administration

 956. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the date on which the next round of applications for the sports capital programme will commence; the date on which the current round will cease granting to successful applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45293/19]

 970. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross when sports capital funding will be made available in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45390/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin I propose to take Questions Nos. 956 and 970 together.

  2,337 applications were submitted under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme seeking a total of €162m in funding.

  186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

  619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced in May.

  Work is now being finalised on the remaining applications for capital works and I expect the allocations to be announced shortly. As soon as these grants have been announced a review into the operation of the 2018 SCP will be undertaken. Part of the review will include consideration of timing of the next round but it is anticipated that the SCP will be open for applications again in the coming months.

Road Projects Status

 957. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the status of funding for the N2 upgrade between the Rath roundabout and Kilmoon Cross, County Meath; the position of the project in the list of roads infrastructure priorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45298/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross 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, construction, including any upgrade works for 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 the 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 Traffic Legislation

 958. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the steps he is taking to respond to the request by the National Transport Authority that it be given power to enforce the laws in relation to bus lane usage; if new legislation is being progressed which will give the authority the power to use automatic number plate recognition to carry out enforcement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45303/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross A proposal was submitted to my Department by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to the enforcement of restrictions applying to bus lanes and the possible use of a camera based enforcement system to combat illegal usage of bus lanes. I understand from the NTA that this issue has also arisen during the recent public consultation on BusConnects.

Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 provides the legal vires for establishing prima facie proof of a commitment of an offence under the Road Traffic Acts (including section 35 of the Road Traffic Act 1994), and may be discharged by tendering evidence from electronic or other apparatus, including cameras. In relation to bus lanes usage, the prohibitions and restrictions applying to bus lanes are provided for in regulations made by the Minister under Section 35 of the 1994 Act, with enforcement being primarily a matter for An Garda Síochána. Such offences fall within the remit of the fixed charge system, which is administered by the Gardaí. There are no plans at present to confer such an enforcement role on the NTA.

Public Transport

 959. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the position regarding commuters who wish to take their bicycles onto trains, trams and buses; his plans to ensure that greater provision can be made for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45304/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport in Ireland. The issues raised are a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the relevant transport operators and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA and TII for direct reply. 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

Road Projects

 960. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Sean Sherlock Zoom on Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the engagement he has had on the provision of the north ring road in Cork city. [45312/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross 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

  Questions Nos. 961 and 962 answered with Question No. 930.

Sports Capital Programme Applications Data

 963. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the number of sports capital applications received as part of the current programme; the number of applications that have been validated to date; the number that have been rejected; and the number under internal review by county in tabular form (details supplied). [45362/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin The Sports Capital Programme is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country.

  2,337 applications were submitted under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme seeking a total of €162m in funding.

  186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

  619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May.

  Work is now being finalised on the remaining applications for capital works and I expect the allocations to be announced shortly.

  The following table sets out the results of the assessment of all applications to date.

- Total 2017 Resubmitted applications 2017 Resubmitted allocations 2018 "Equipment only" applications 2018 "Equipment only" allocations Capital applications being considered for allocations
Carlow 46 5 2 13 11 28
Cavan 43 5 4 8 8 30
Clare 82 7 7 16 13 59
Cork 260 15 14 83 58 162
Donegal 101 8 8 27 26 66
Dublin 333 27 25 118 70 188
Galway 160 14 12 40 29 106
Kerry 123 8 8 37 33 78
Kildare 98 8 8 25 19 65
Kilkenny 57 3 3 19 16 35
Laois 60 4 4 18 15 38
Leitrim 24 1 1 3 3 20
Limerick 106 10 8 24 18 72
Longford 22 2 2 5 5 15
Louth 52 4 4 15 11 33
Mayo 85 5 5 19 15 61
Meath 95 11 11 9 5 75
Monaghan 43 4 4 8 5 31
Offaly 51 3 2 7 5 41
Roscommon 49 7 7 14 11 28
Sligo 49 6 5 12 11 31
Tipperary 86 4 3 13 11 69
Waterford 74 8 7 17 13 49
Westmeath 61 3 3 21 17 37
Wexford 93 9 8 21 20 63
Wicklow 84 5 5 27 21 52
Grand Total 2337 186 170 619 469 1532

Rail Services Provision

 964. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the delivery and roll-out date of the 41 additional carriages as announced on 30 September 2019 (details supplied); the role the NTA and Irish Rail will have in the procurement in the new stock; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45366/19]

 967. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the cost and expected delivery date of the 41 new rail carriages announced for Irish Rail by him at the end of October 2019. [45371/19]

 979. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross when the extra commuter line facilities, such as extra rail carriages recently announced are likely to come on stream; the commuter routes likely to benefit; the extra passenger capacity arising from same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45486/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross I propose to take Questions Nos. 964, 967 and 979 together.

As the Deputies are aware, I announced last week the Government's approval for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Iarnród Éireann to proceed with the proposed purchase of 41 additional InterCity Railcars to increase capacity across the Greater Dublin Area rail network.

This additional stock, which will increase capacity by around 34% on the Kildare, Maynooth and Northern lines in the morning peak time, will cost approximately €150 million and is expected to commence entry into service by end 2021.

Obviously, expenditure of this nature involving the investment of considerable taxpayer resources, must comply with the Public Spending Code which sets out the roles and responsibilities of public authorities in relation to public expenditure generally. For this project, Iarnród Éireann is the Sponsoring Agency and the National Transport Authority (NTA) exercises the role of the Sanctioning Authority.

Noting the responsibility of the agencies, I have referred the Deputies' questions to the NTA for further details and direct reply on the specific issues raised. Please advise my office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

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

Fáilte Ireland Expenditure

 965. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the volume of capital funding allocated by Fáilte Ireland by county since 1 January 2016. [45368/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy. While my Department provides capital funding to Fáilte Ireland for investment in tourism product development, it is not directly involved in the management of individual tourism projects and has no role in the administration of the agency's grants programmes.

Accordingly, I have asked Fáilte Ireland to reply directly to the Deputy with the further detail sought by the Deputy regarding capital funding allocations in the period in question. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

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

Departmental Correspondence

 966. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if a copy of all correspondence between his Department and Fáilte Ireland and-or Tourism Ireland regarding promotion of the greyhound industry in 2019 will be provided. [45369/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross The matter on which the Deputy is seeking information will involve a search of Departmental records, which will require additional time beyond the usual timeframe for answering a PQ. Therefore, in accordance with Standing Order 42A, a more detailed reply will be provided to the Deputy within ten working days.

  Question No. 967 answered with Question No. 964.

Departmental Communications

 968. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if he will provide a copy of all communications to and from his Department with Transport Infrastructure Ireland in October, November and December 2017. [45378/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross The Department has, on an ongoing basis, extensive communications with Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The subject of this PQ therefore requires extensive searches of Departmental records. In these circumstances additional time is required over and above the normal timeframe for answering this PQ. It is noted that Standing Order 42A makes provision for such circumstances. It is therefore proposed to provide more detailed information to the Deputy within ten days.

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

Departmental Correspondence

 969. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross if he or his current or past advisers sent or received official departmental correspondence to or from an email address that is not either Houses of the Oireachtas or departmental; and if so, if he will provide copies of all such correspondence.  [45383/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross I can confirm that I have never sent or received official Departmental correspondence from an email address that is not either provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas or my Department.

  My Department has an ICT systems usage policy that provides a suite of ICT policies governing the use of ICT systems by all users, with every effort being taken to obtain a balance between IT security and the usability of the Department systems. That policy includes a section on how limited use of personal email is permitted, subject to the conditions set out in the policy document.

  As regards my advisers, since I became Minister in May 2016, there have been some rare occasions where my advisers have had to communicate through their personal emails on Departmental matters. This correspondence has included engagement on a number of topics, for example;

  Press queries;

  Representations from local representatives seeking meetings on DTTAS matters;

  Update on changes to IT systems;

  Photographs from DTTAS events;

  Information about sporting events.

  Question No. 970 answered with Question No. 956.


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