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Brennan, Seamus

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 1


Priority Questions. - Public Transport.

Was asked: his plans for competition and deregulation in the bus sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I outlined in detail, as part of a statement to the Public Transport Partnership Forum on 7 November, my proposals for reform of the public transport market both within the greater Dublin area and ...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I will continue to set overall regulatory policy and approve the broad public transport investment strategy for the greater Dublin area. Within that framework, I will est...More Button

Long distance commuter services in the greater Dublin area will also be procured and regulated by the independent regulatory body. The body will be given responsibility for regulating public transp...More Button

I have recently received a consultants' report, which was commissioned by my Department, on the regulation of bus services outside the greater Dublin area. I have published the report without commi...More Button

If it was removed from the website I do not know why. I will look into it.More Button

Of course. It should be there. If it is not I will have it restored. We published it without commitment. To the best of my knowledge, the Department would not interfere with such a report but publi...More Button

Whether the bus system is totally State-owned or the private sector is allowed to compete will not affect the problem of congestion.More Button

We need the number of buses we need. The issue is whether the CIE group is allowed a total monopoly on the bus service. I have made my position clear and I would be pleased if the Deputies opposite...More Button

To deal with congestion in Dublin we must do practical things: finish the port tunnel, the M50 – once the problems in Carrickmines are sorted out – and the Kildare bypass and create mor...More Button

The Deputy mentioned the unions. Through the Public Transport Partnership Forum I will engage in full consultation with the unions on these proposals. I will come back to the letter of comfort later.More Button

Was asked: the reason he sanctioned an increase of 9% in fares on public transport, especially having regard to the need to encourage more people to use public transport; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

CIE submitted an application for a fares increase to my Department in July of this year. The application was made by CIE in the context of losses that had arisen as a consequence of the expansion o...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that modal shift, as they call it in the transport industry – getting people out of their cars and onto public transport – is a policy that should be supported. ...More Button

With regard to fares, we must remember the taxpayer. The consumer price index has gone up by 30% in ten years and fares have gone up by approximately 10%. That means that in real terms fares have f...More Button

If I really thought that it was fares that kept people off buses, I would debate the issue with the Deputy. I have doubts that if fares were halved the numbers using buses would increase significan...More Button

Was asked: in regard to his recent statement of his intention to franchise out certain bus routes in the greater Dublin area, the way in which these pro posals will improve services; the consideration he has ...More Button

On 7 November last I made a statement to the Public Transport Partnership Forum in which I outlined in detail my proposals for the reform of the bus market in the greater Dublin area involving the ...More Button

Initial proposals for franchising were made in a Government consultation paper, A New Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Public Transport, published in September 2000. These proposals took ...More Button

In response to the proposals outlined in that consultation paper, the Public Transport Partnership Forum commissioned a consultancy report, the NERA report, to examine models of transport regulatio...More Button

The European Commission also undertook independent research which supported the case for introducing controlled competition in public transport. This research led the Commission to publish proposal...More Button

I agree that Dublin Bus has made great strides. It has purchased virtually a whole new fleet, streamlined its operations, is a strong company and it has my support. I do not recall refusing licence...More Button

On UK deregulation, I am not going down the UK route which made a mess of the railway system and the bus service outside London. I am interested, however, in going down the franchise route, which i...More Button

The free travel pass is provided by the operator, whether CIE or a different operator.More Button

Exactly. The State purchases that service, therefore, it will purchase it from either the private sector or public sector so there is a level playing field. On the cross-subsidisation of routes, I ...More Button

On whether there is evidence that the private sector can do better, many years ago the same question could have been asked. When Aer Lingus was doing fine people asked why allow Ryanair or anyone e...More Button

Priority Questions. - National Monuments.

Was asked: whether his actions at Carrickmines Castle are in order under section 14 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994, as the destruction of a national monument should be debated by the Oireacht...More Button

I do not accept the Deputy's contention that I have acted illegally. The relevant statutory provision does not apply to the Carrickmines site as it is not a national monument. All the works in rela...More Button

I am satisfied that as a result of my actions on the matter, the solution arrived at achieved the primary objectives of preserving extensive areas of the site at Carrickmines while ensuring complet...More Button

I hope that is why I am remembered and not because of other issues. It is a unique monument, I accept that, and I visited it. The Deputy may not have had the opportunity to look at the measure in g...More Button

I accept that Carrickmines Castle is unique and we have achieved the best compromise. I arranged for An Taisce to meet the National Roads Authority and I asked the National Roads Authority to ensur...More Button

We have achieved the best result with the castle being preserved and those parts of the outer walls that are affected by the road visible to those interested by descending a flight of steps. We nee...More Button

Priority Questions. - Rail Network.

Was asked: the reason the railway system is being allowed to deteriorate, in view of the importance of rail travel and freight transport in the provision of a balanced and sustainable regional development pol...More Button

The Government is committed to the ongoing and future development of the rail network as a critical element of a strategy for sustainable economic growth. Under the national development plan, &euro...More Button

I fail to see, therefore, how the Deputy can argue that the railways are being allowed to deteriorate. Significant progress has been made to date in developing the rail network, with 333 miles of t...More Button

This progress will be maintained in the coming years. I recently approved Exchequer funding for 67 new mainline carriages, 36 additional DART units and the DART upgrade project to allow the operati...More Button

My Department has also initiated a strategic rail review of the entire network and I expect to publish that report by the end of January 2003. The review is designed to determine a strategic approa...More Button

Additional information.The consultants undertaking the study have liaised closely with Irish Rail in considering options for the future development of the network. I recently conveyed my vie...More Button

We are talking about trains, not boats.More Button

I am a strong supporter of the railways and I will continue to demonstrate that.More Button

For many years I campaigned for the re-opening of the Harcourt Street line. In a growing country, railways are essential for the future. It is short-sighted to close railway lines.More Button

My information about Athenry shows that, as part of the CTC signalling upgrade on the Galway line, Irish Rail removed the points to the Claremorris line. That will result in an improved service on ...More Button

We have invested heavily in the rail network. Yesterday we signed an order for new carriages. There is significant work going on at Heuston Station. The 333 miles of track does not apply just to Du...More Button

I will look after Galway.More Button

Other Questions. - Road Network.

Was asked: if, with regard to a recent NRA publication identifying 109 blackspots on the Irish road network, he intends to issue a direction to the NRA to prioritise these projects over all other NDP roads pr...More Button

I understand that the recent report, to which the Deputy refers, was undertaken by the National Roads Authority in order to identify high accident locations on the national road network.More Button

In the context of the national development plan, approximately half of the 109 locations identified in the report will be bypassed or substantially altered under the national roads programme as set...More Button

I do not propose to issue a direction to the NRA in regard to this matter because I do not believe that such an approach is necessary or desirable.More Button

The Deputy and I are unlikely to agree on this matter. The country needs major new inter-urban motorways between the major population centres. That is Government policy and I do not know of any oth...More Button

I recently asked the NRA to give additional attention to improving areas which we are not in a position to bring to motorway standard yet and to see if it could introduce short-term solutions witho...More Button

Not at the expense of giving up on the motorway programme. I have asked the NRA to make sure that, without compromising its future investment in motorways, it should look at things like climbing la...More Button

I have not. The NRA is expert in engineering and safety in that regard and I will leave such matters to them.More Button

I have demanded better value from the NRA for the funds which this House votes it.More Button

Not to my knowledge. I presume it has specifications for dual carriageways, motorways and roundabouts, and that there is an engineering framework within which it constructs roads. That is as much a...More Button

Other Questions. - Traffic Regulations.

Was asked: if he will introduce metric speed limits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he intends to review speed limits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 73 together.More Button

Metrication of speed limits is in principle desirable for consistency with road distance signs and with general national and EU policies in favour of metrication. In general, I support the policy o...More Button

The adoption of metric values for speed limits will of itself create the need for alterations to the imperial values applying at present. The last comprehensive review of speed limits was carried o...More Button

In advance of the adoption of a new statutory code to underpin a metricated system of speed limits, regulations to amend the European Communities (Units of Measurement) Regulations, 2001, need to b...More Button

Whatever about redesigning speed signs, in many cases they need to be more visible. I will take that matter up with the relevant authorities. The speed limit on the M50 is 70 miles per hour and it ...More Button

On the issue of a 20 miles per hour limit for housing estates, I do not want to cherry-pick or to drive around the country and decide where to make changes. That would have all sorts of implication...More Button

I have asked my Department to commence the review and it has begun. I propose in the next couple of weeks to add a small group to that to bring outside views to the review. With the best will in t...More Button

We are talking about perhaps 40,000 signs and a speed limit review. It took a number of years the last time the process was undertaken. To have the changeover made and speed limits reviewed in 18 m...More Button

By the end of the first quarter of 2003 a fair road map should be laid out on it.More Button

The Minister of State, Deputy McDaid, has reminded me that to have a child hit by a car at 30 miles per hour is the equivalent of dropping that child from 52 feet. Therefore, I share the Deputy's c...More Button

Early indications suggest the penalty points system is having the desired effect. The monitoring of this will continue and I will include county roads in our review. The overall national speed limi...More Button

Other Questions. - Traffic Corps.

Was asked: when he intends to establish the new traffic corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when the dedicated traffic corps, promised in the programme for Government, will be established and operational; if funds have been allocated for this purpose in his Department's Estimates for 2003...More Button

Was asked: if he will establish the traffic corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 59 and 88 together.More Button

Proposals for the implementation of the commitment set out in the programme for Government to establish a dedicated traffic corps is being developed by my Department, in consultation with the Garda...More Button

These matters have yet to be decided. I am strongly committed to the introduction of a new traffic corps that will be separately identifiable and visible. Many countries have such a corps and Irela...More Button

I will have further discussions with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on how to shape the corps. There are many options, one of which is having routine matters dealt with by civ il...More Button

It will almost certainly require legislation if we embark on the scale I envisage. Operationally, a traffic corps within the Garda Síochána can be established by the Commissioner. Gar...More Button

There is no specific sum provided for this in the 2003 Estimates. Necessary funding will be made available, as it is required, to support the development of the corps.More Button

It is my aim to have something organised by the end of next year. Funds are available in the general Estimate to carry out the consultation and administration processes leading to the establishment...More Button

These issues have not yet been worked out. I have only commenced discussions with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. It is a matter for him, through the commissioner, to deploy the ...More Button

We have to work out how it will be structured and led and its terms of reference. The costs will be estimated as this is worked out. I will seek funds once the costs have been estimated.More Button

The Deputy should not be too pessimistic.More Button

It is not in the 2003 Estimates. Who is to say it will not be in the 2004—More Button

A traffic corps could be established without spending enormous funds in 2003, but it might not be fully operational.More Button

The people will be employed gradually; one does not hire them all on first day.More Button

Other Questions. - Dublin Transportation Office.

Was asked: the number of meetings and their agendas with the DTO.More Button

I have had two meetings with the Dublin Transportation Office. The first meeting took place on Monday, 1 July, at which I received a presentation on the DTO's work. A subsequent meeting took place ...More Button

I am told that Dublin City Council is concluding its consideration of the design of the new signs and that it will be in a position to put forward proposals shortly.More Button

Santa Claus.More Button

The Railway Procurement Agency is examining the metro project. I have asked it to extract from its considerations the possibility of a link from the city centre to Dublin Airport. A modern airport ...More Button

As regards our constituency, the proposed Luas will run from Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green. The RPA has proposals to convert that to the metro at a later stage. That will ensure the metro will r...More Button

As regards Deputy Eamon Ryan's question about other light rail projects, I do not have proposals for additional light rail extensions at this time. There is a general proposal for an extension to C...More Button

Deputy Shortall asked me about my target for the airport link. I would like to have it completed by 2005 if I can. I have been criticised for giving dates and trying to get things done on target. T...More Button

I might have. As regards Operation Freeflow, I understand it will operate again this year.More Button

Written Answers follow Adjournment Debate.More Button

Written Answers. - State Airports.

Was asked: the Government's proposals for the future of Aer Rianta; if his attention has been drawn to the serious concern expressed both by Aer Rianta executives and by unions representing workers in Aer Ria...More Button

Was asked: the future plan for Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding his future plans for Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58, 67 and 85 together.More Button

The programme for Government provides that, as part of the process of continuing to transform Aer Rianta, we will ensure that Shannon and Cork airports have greater autonomy and independence. On 21...More Button

The current position is that Aer Rianta funds developments at both Cork and Shannon from its own resources and borrowings without recourse to the Exchequer. Obviously, if the ownership structure of...More Button

Based on submissions which I have received to date, there is clearly a wide diversity of views on the best way forward for Cork and Shannon airports which range from maintaining the current Aer Ria...More Button

Whatever the outcome of the current examination of options for greater autonomy for these two airports, I have already made it clear that Aer Rianta's development plans for Cork Airport will procee...More Button

This major plan for Cork will bring the capacity of the airport up to 2.5 million passengers per annum and will facilitate further expansion thereafter to handle growth up to five million passenger...More Button

The new passenger terminal at Shannon which opened in 2000 has effectively doubled the airport's capacity providing it with the capability to handle 4.5 million passengers per annum. Traffic throug...More Button

Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 56.More Button

Was asked: the number of responses he has received to his announcement of 2 August 2002 seeking proposals for a second terminal at Dublin Airport by the closing date of 31 October 2002; the nature of the expr...More Button

A total of 13 submissions were received by the due closing date of 31 October from the following Irish and overseas companies and consortia in response to the call in early August by my Department ...More Button

I announced yesterday the establishment of a small panel of experts to conduct a professional and independent assessment of these submissions. Mr. Paddy Mullarkey, former Secretary General of the D...More Button

The work of the panel, which I expect to be completed before the end of January, will assist me in framing a report to Government on this issue. The panel will examine and assess the “expressions o...More Button

The current exercise is not a tender process but rather an informal canvass of the market for ideas which will assist me in determining if the concept of a second independent or competing terminal ...More Button

The published notice which called for “ expressions of interest” set out a number of areas which interested parties were required to address in their submissions. These included a clear specificati...More Button

Question No. 70 answered with Question No. 62.More Button

Written Answers. - Rail Services.

Was asked: his plans to develop high speed inter-city trains.More Button

Was asked: the number of meetings and agendas of any such meetings held with CIE regarding rail freight.More Button

Was asked: his plans to develop inter-city train services.More Button

Was asked: the number of meetings and the agendas of any meetings held with Iarnród Éireann regarding a rail commuter service to Galway.More Button

Was asked: the plans there are to close rail lines.More Button

Was asked: his plans to develop rail freight.More Button

Was asked: if he has commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of the movement by freight by rail rather than road; if he will undertake to do so prior to a decision being taken on the future of the freight servic...More Button

Was asked: the Government policy on rail line closures.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the future of the Iarnród Éireann freight service, especially having regard to reports that up to 600 rail freight workers may be laid off in the new year; and ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to develop and re-open rail lines.More Button

Was asked: his plans to develop a rail commuter service to Galway city.More Button

Was asked: his policy on the development of the western rail corridor.More Button

Was asked: if he will develop the western rail corridor.More Button

Was asked: the Government policy on rail freight.More Button

Was asked: when he expects to receive the results of the strategic study on the Irish rail system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the consideration he has given to the introduction of incentives to industry and to the railway authorities to make rail transport more attractive, similar to the incentive schemes that operate in ...More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the future of the Galway-Mayo rail link, especially having regard to the decision of Iarnród Éireann to lift the crossover at Athenry.More Button

Was asked: if a favourable response can be given to keep open and develop the passenger rail and freight capacity from Rosslare Harbour and Limerick Junction.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the logic of setting an objective and timeframe to reinstate the rail links north-south from Sligo to Cork via Galway, Ennis, Shannon and Limerick with an extensi...More Button

Was asked: his plans to transfer a greater amount of freight traffic to the railways; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 80, 81, 83, 94, 110, 113, 118, 119, 124, 127, 134, 137, 138, 147, 148, 154, 395, 396, 405 and 420 together.More Button

I have no plans to close any part of the rail system and neither have I received any proposals from Iarnród Éireann to do so. Furthermore, the company has informed me that it has made...More Button

It is my stated position that future investment in the railways will be guided by the outcome of the strategic rail review which is nearing completion. The consultants undertaking the study have li...More Button

During the course of meetings with chairman of CIE on 9 September and 22 October 2002, the agenda for which was the overall deterioration in the finances of the group and the reform of public trans...More Button

The board of CIE at its meeting on that day agreed to postpone any decisions in this regard. For my part, I will take full account of the findings and recommendations of the review before taking an...More Button

The strategic rail review was commissioned by my Department earlier this year. The primary purpose of the review is to provide the Government with a basis for establishing a strategic policy framew...More Button

Following an extensive nationwide consultation exercise on the terms of reference for the study, my Department received more than 150 written submissions with regard to rail issues in Ireland. I un...More Button

While the provision of a commuter rail service to Galway city has also been proposed, I have had no meetings with Iarnród Éireann on the matter. I am informed that other submissions r...More Button

These and all other rail proposals received are being assessed as part of the strategic rail review which will make recommendations in this regard. The strategic rail review, which is being carried...More Button

Central to the review is an examination of the potential for rail freight services, including an assessment of the scope to transfer a greater amount of road freight to the rail network. In this re...More Button

Iarnród Éireann has informed me that the recent removal of the crossover at Athenry is an intrinsic part of a project designed to modernise the signalling system on the Galway to Dubl...More Button

Was asked: when he will outline the Government's preferred route and station plan for the proposed Dublin metro; and when he envisages the first stage of such a metro will be in operation.More Button

Was asked: if the Government intends to proceed with the planned metro system for Dublin; the anticipated dates for the start of construction and operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his proposals for a rail link to Dublin Airport; the way in which it is intended to decide on the route for the link; the way in which it is intended to finance the project; if money has been alloc...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that he can deliver the Dublin metro by 2007.More Button

Was asked: the action he intends to take to deliver the Dublin metro.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a rail link to Dublin Airport; if he has received proposals from CIE for an alternative proposal involving a mainline service from Cabra or an extension of t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66, 68, 79, 116, 123 and 131 together.More Button

My Department has recently received the outline business case for phase one of the Dublin metro from the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA. The Government agreed in January 2002 that a phased approac...More Button

The Government decided that the metro would be procured by means of public private partnership, PPP, with the RPA acting as the public sector client. As such, the cost of the metro will only become...More Button

The precise route of the line to the airport, and of the location of stations, will be decided only following a public consultation exercise which the RPA will carry out.More Button

Following the Government decision in January, the RPA initiated the procurement process for the metro by conducting a pre-qualification exercise which attracted a considerable number of responses f...More Button

The Dublin Transportation Office's strategy, A Platform for Change, addressed the issue of the preferred method of serving the airport with a rail-based public transport link. It considered that me...More Button

A provision of €9 million euro is included in the 2003 Estimates to allow the RPA to continue the development of the metro proposals.More Button

Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 58.More Button

Question No. 68 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Was asked: if additional funding will be made available to Iarnród Éireann to extend and upgrade its rolling stock; and the amount involved.More Button

Significant Exchequer and EU funds have been invested in recent years to upgrade the rolling stock available to Iarnród Éireann and increase the capacity of the network. CIE has or wi...More Button

In addition, my Department is in discussions with Iarnród Éireann regarding further rolling stock acquisition. Decisions with regard to further Exchequer investment in rolling stock w...More Button

Was asked: his policy in relation to providing capacity on the northern suburban line in view of the expectation that population in towns such as Balbriggan is due to treble in the coming decade and the prese...More Button

Irish Rail is about to start taking delivery of a fleet of 80 new diesel railcars, the first of which are due to arrive in the first week in December. Of these, 76 units will be allocated to Dublin...More Button

The DTO strategy, A Platform for Change, identifies the need to increase track capacity between Connolly and Howth Junction on the northern suburban line. The strategy envisages implementation of t...More Button

The strategic rail review commissioned by my Department and expected to be published early next year will provide a framework for the implementation of this and other rail projects in the coming ye...More Button

Was asked: his plans to deal with overcrowding on mainline rail; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am very much aware of the problem of crowding on inter-city routes at peak periods, and am conscious of the discomfort and inconvenience this causes to passengers.More Button

Iarnród Éireann has a statutory responsibility for ensuring the safety of its passengers. It is, therefore, a matter for the company to satisfy itself that the number of passengers be...More Button

Data provided by Iarnród Éireann shows that over the period from 1994 to 2001, passenger numbers on inter-city services increased from 7.8 million to an estimated 11.3 million. In ord...More Button

Iarnród Éireann expects to place a contract in the coming weeks for the supply of 67 new carriages for use on inter-city routes. The total cost is €117 million and funding is bei...More Button

In addition, the 80 diesel railcars for use on suburban services, which will begin to be delivered from December, will allow a number of mark 3 push/pull trains, currently in use on Dublin outer su...More Button

In the meantime, the railway inspectorate of my Department continues to monitor developments in regard to crowding on trains. The inspectorate has been in contact with Iarnród Éireann...More Button

Iarnród Éireann has commissioned an independent review of its strategy for managing crowding on inter-city services and this is nearing finalisation. Pending completion of that revie...More Button

The Railway Safety Bill, 2001, which is at Second Stage in this House, will require all railway undertakings, including Iarnród Éireann, to implement a formal safety management system...More Button

Questions Nos. 118 and 119 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Was asked: if he proposes to introduce public service contracts into the rail service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am committed to improved transparency and accountability in the provision of State support for the provision of public transport services. In this context, my Department has worked with the CIE c...More Button

In my statement to the public transport partnership forum on 7 November 2002, I set out my proposals for institutional and structural reform of public transport. I indicated, inter alia, tha...More Button

The first Luas services will be operated by Connex Transport Ireland Limited, under the terms of a service level contract signed with the Railway Procurement Agency. Future Luas and Metro services ...More Button

Finally, I also indicated in my statement that I propose all public transport outside the greater Dublin area should also be the subject of independent economic regulation. The proposals I intend t...More Button

Question No. 145 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Was asked: the date by which all Irish Rail services will be fully accessible by persons with disabilities; if money has been allocated for this purpose in his Department's estimates for 2003; and if he will ...More Button

It is my policy that Irish Rail should provide the highest possible degree of accessibility for the mobility impaired within the overall resources available to the company. The DART and Arrow subur...More Button

There are a number of other rail carriages which are not fully accessible and most of these will be phased out over the next three years or so as new wheelchair accessible rolling stock comes on li...More Button

All station upgrades and new station developments take into account the needs of the mobility impaired. There is an ongoing programme in place to provide either ramps or lifts at stations to make p...More Button

Question No. 158 answered with Question No. 71.More Button

Was asked: the discussions he has had with Irish Rail regarding the development and expansion of its services.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Priority Question No. 52.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he supports the policy of bike and ride in relation to rail travel; the financial support and bicycle parking facilities, both covered and secured which will be required from Ia...More Button

I fully support bike and ride initiatives in the public transport arena, which makes it easier for a prospective user of such services.More Button

A range of initiatives have been taken by Iarnród Éireann in recent years to support the development of bike and ride. These include: the development of cycle parks – these are ...More Button

While Irish Rail do not have figures for the precise cost of providing bicycle facilities as part of their general development programmes, I am advised that the Dublin Transportation Office has pro...More Button

Question No. 392 answered with Question No. 136.More Button

Question No. 393 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the overcrowding on the commuter rail services in north Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if it is intended to further augment the rail services serving the towns of Maynooth, Leixlip, Celbridge, Kilcock and Naas-Sallins; if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing demands in this ar...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 398 and 400 together.More Button

I am very much aware of the problem of crowding on our railway network, including services in north Kildare and I am conscious of the discomfort and inconvenience this causes to passengers.More Button

Iarnród Éireann has a statutory responsibility for ensuring the safety of its passengers. It is, therefore, a matter for the company to satisfy itself that the number of passengers be...More Button

Data provided by Iarnród Éireann shows that over the period from 1994 to 2001, passenger numbers on all suburban services increased from 18.8 million to 22.7 million. In order to addr...More Button

However, the railway inspectorate of my Department continues to monitor developments in regard to crowding on trains. The inspectorate has been in contact with Iarnród Éireann on a nu...More Button

The Railway Safety Bill, 2001, which is at Second Stage in this House, will require all railway undertakings, including Iarnród Éireann, to implement a formal safety management system...More Button

As regard increasing capacity on services, Iarnród Éireann have ordered 80 diesel railcars for use on suburban services. These will begin to be delivered from December next and should...More Button

With specific regard to the capacity of the Maynooth line, Iarnród Éireann have informed me that they intend to allocate a number of the new diesel railcars to the route thereby incre...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Was asked: the specific proposals the Government has for the upgrading of the bus fleets and the provision of bus priorities in Dublin and other cities in regard to the commitment given in An Agreed Programme...More Button

There has been a major programme of upgrading of the bus fleets in Dublin and the provincial cities which has helped to enhance the quality of such services. In the case of Dublin, 484 buses have b...More Button

One of my priorities for the public transport sector is to continue to improve the position of buses as regards traffic priority. For Dublin, the Dublin Transportation Office, DTO, receives a grant...More Button

To date, nine QBCs have been implemented in the Dublin area, amounting to approximately 100 km of bus priority. Extensions to existing QBCs and additional QBCs and bus priority measures are planned...More Button

My Department has also been supporting the development of bus priority in the main cities outside of Dublin through its representation on the steering committees for land use and transportation stu...More Button

The construction of QBCs in Dublin is primarily funded by my Department through traffic management grants administered by the DTO. There is a €40 million provision in the Estimates for 2003 fo...More Button

Was asked: the measures which he intends to take to increase bus competition.More Button

Was asked: his plans for bus deregulation.More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the recent consultant's report on the regulation of bus services outside of the Dublin area.More Button

Was asked: when he intends to deregulate the bus sector.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62, 70, 102 and 103 together.More Button

I refer the Deputies to my replies to Questions Nos. 49 and 53 which cover the matters raised.More Button

Was asked: if he is considering the introduction of a road pricing system for motorists in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no proposals at present to introduce road pricing as a means of managing demand for transport and reducing traffic congestion in urban areas, including Dublin.More Button

The Dublin Transportation Office's transport strategy for 2000 to 2016 for the greater Dublin area, A Platform for Change, is based on two interdependent elements: demand management and public tran...More Button

In this context, the DTO has commissioned a detailed demand management strategy for the greater Dublin area which will consider, inter alia, the potential and practicability of road pricing....More Button

Was asked: the specific measures the Government intends to bring forward to promote integrated ticketing and smart card technologies in regard to the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government; if...More Button

The Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, has been given statutory responsibility for the implementation of an integrated ticketing system for initial deployment in the greater Dublin area. The RPA has ...More Button

The development costs of the full integrated ticketing project are estimated to amount to €26.9 million. In the 2003 Estimates for my Department, €3.6 million have been earmarked for inte...More Button

Was asked: the criteria used in the increase of CIE fares.More Button

Was asked: the reason CIE received a 9% increase in fares.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 89 together.More Button

I refer the Deputies to my reply to Question No. 50 today.More Button

Was asked: if resources will be made available in 2003 for new public transport and rail developments in the Cork region.More Button

Significant investment has been made to date in public transport in the Cork area and further investment is planned in the future. Some 54 new buses have been purchased for the Cork bus fleet under...More Button

A significant upgrade of the trackwork and stations is taking place on the Cork to Cobh route. Four new diesel railcars to upgrade the capacity on the Cork to Cobh line will be introduced on this l...More Button

I also intend to make funding available in 2003 for the introduction of quality bus corridors –“green routes”– in Cork, the first such bus priority initiative to be funded by my Departm...More Button

Question No. 113 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Question No. 114 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Was asked: the level of financial support given to Dublin Bus to meet its operational costs, as distinct from the purchase of buses; the total percentage of revenue this represents; his plans to increase the ...More Button

In 2002, €233 million is being provided in subvention to the CIE group as a whole, and this is being increased to €245 million in 2003. Agreement has been reached with the Minister for Fi...More Button

Distribution of the total subvention between the operating companies is a matter for the CIE group. However, I have been advised that €54 million in subvention was provided to Dublin Bus in 20...More Button

Was asked: if the extension of city bus services to the growing towns and villages throughout north Kildare who do not currently have such services, will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Dublin Bus serves the Kildare towns of Maynooth, Kilcock, Leixlip and Celbridge. Over the past few years, additional resources have been allocated to the routes 66, 66A, 66B, 66X, 67, 67A and 67X, ...More Button

Dublin Bus plans to further increase the service to all four towns to exploit the advantages of the proposed Lucan QBC extension to the Spa Hotel with both all day and peak time Xpress schedules ad...More Button

Commuters from the north Kildare area are also benefiting from the enhanced services provided by Bus Éireann, with an increase in scheduled departures. For example, on the Edenderry-Clane-Du...More Button

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Written Answers. - Railway Procurement Agency.

Was asked: if he will report on the operation of the Railway Procurement Agency; the number and grades of staff employed; the source of their pay costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Railway Procurement Agency is an independent State agency established on 28 December 2001 under the provisions of the Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act, 2001, to procure light rail and met...More Button

I have been advised by the agency that 118 staff members are in its employment. The grade structure is a matter for the agency in which I have no function. The expenses of the agency, including pay...More Button

Written Answers. - Driving Licences.

Was asked: his proposals for a review of the provisional driver licence system; when he expects the review to be completed; when he expects to have specific proposals in this regard; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to abolish provisional driving licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he intends to reform the provisional licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 71, 139 and 158 together.More Button

A provisional licence may be granted to a person who wishes to learn how to drive a vehicle to pass a driving test. This licence provisionally allows a person to drive that vehicle in a public plac...More Button

However, I am considering renaming provisional licences to reflect their reformed status.More Button

Written Answers. - Road Safety.

Was asked: the outstanding elements on the road to safety strategy.More Button

The Government is strongly pursuing the implementation of its Strategy for Road Safety, 1998-2002, the first ever national road safety strategy to be adopted by the Government. The strategy has pri...More Button

The Government strategy is monitored by the high level group on road safety. The group has produced a series of annual progress reports. The fourth progress report was published recently. Copies of...More Button

All actions outlined in the strategy have been progressed and most have been completed. The fourth progress report outlines those actions which have been already completed, those which are due for ...More Button

The requirement to carry a driving licence is being introduced on 1 January 2003. A further speed and seatbelt survey has been carried out by the National Roads Authority and will be published sho...More Button

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 55.More Button

Was asked: when the fifth progress report on the road to safety will be published.More Button

The operational period for the current five year road safety strategy will conclude at the end of the year.More Button

The strategy has been the subject of ongoing monitoring by the high level group on road safety which has published a series of annual progress reports. The fourth progress report was published rece...More Button

The high level group has now been tasked with the preparation of a new road safety strategy that will span the period 2003 to 2005. The immediate background to the development of the new road safet...More Button

Questions Nos. 102 and 103 answered with Question No. 62.More Button

Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 91.More Button

Question No. 105 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Question No. 106 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Question No. 107 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Was asked: if he intends to review the penalty points system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has received a report from the Garda Síochána on the operation to date of the penalty points system; the number of motorists on whom penalty points have been imposed; and if he ...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the implementation of the penalty points system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122, 150 and 152 together.More Button

The penalty points system was introduced on 31 October 2002. Penalty points will be applied to those convicted of speeding offences in the courts, and to those who pay a fixed charge to the Garda i...More Button

The recording of convictions for offences is a matter for the Courts Service. In addition, the compilation of data relating to payments of fixed charges where the relevant notices are issued by th...More Button

Where a person is convicted of the commission of a penalty point offence, the Courts Service will advise the Department of the Environment and Local Government so that the appropriate entry can be ...More Button

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Question No. 124 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a study carried out for Dublin City Council which indicated that there has been a significant reduction in the number of pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motor cyc...More Button

Statistics relating to road accidents, based on information provided by the Garda Síochána, are published by the National Roads Authority in their annual road accident facts reports. ...More Button

The number of pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists killed on Dublin roads, comprising of Dublin county borough, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and south Dublin, arising from road acciden...More Button

These figures reveal that in the period referred to, significant reductions in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have been realised, but that a similar trend is not evident in respect of motor cycl...More Button

I am not aware of the studies to which the Deputy refers.More Button

Was asked: if he will give consideration to the use of flexible speed limits which could be indicated by electronic information panels on roads and motorways and which could be adjusted to take account of con...More Button

Speed limits are applied at specific locations identified by the road authorities in by-laws made under the Road Traffic Acts. The speed limits that road authorities may apply are set out in either...More Button

In view of the existing statutory requirements, it is not considered appropriate to apply speed limits in a flexible manner.More Button

Was asked: the positive effect of the revised road signs programme which he initiated in the city; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision of traffic signs in any area is the responsibility of the local authority. In carrying out that responsibility local authorities must have regard to the traffic signs manual or direct...More Button

Dublin City Council recently devised signage proposals for the purpose of the determination of orbital routes in the city. The initial proposals were not in compliance with the provisions of the tr...More Button

Subject to compliance with the general parameters that will be set in such directions, the content of the signs provided by any local authority will be a matter for their determination.More Button

Question No. 405 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Question No. 406 answered with Question No. 108.More Button

Written Answers. - Road Tolling.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the NRA's current tolling programme; if he has sought meetings, reports, audits or evaluations of the NRA's tolling plans; and if he has issued directions for a c...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to concerns expressed that new toll roads will operate a cash only queuing system that will lead to long delays at the booths; if he has discussed this issue with th...More Button

Was asked: the NRA projects which will be under consideration for toll bridges; and the way in which he expects this to affect the implementation of the national development plan.More Button

Was asked: the Government's policy in regard to the tolling of roads and motorways; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the NRA's estimate for raising ?700 million of private finance for the 11 toll projects identified by it for public private partnership road contracts is realistic and achievab...More Button

Was asked: if he has plans to direct the National Roads Authority to look at a number of issues (details supplied).More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 74, 97, 107, 121, 389 and 393 together.More Button

As provided for in the national development plan, a number of major road improvement projects will be undertaken by the National Roads Authority as public private partnerships, based on user tolls....More Button

The NRA's current PPP programme comprises 11 high quality projects spread throughout the country. The position at present in relation to these projects is that one, the second Westlink bridge on th...More Button

It is estimated that these projects will involve a total private sector investment of approximately €1.27 billion, which is in line with the monetary target set in the NDP. The exact figure wi...More Button

This level of private sector finance is of critical importance for the funding of the national roads development programme. It will ensure the earlier provision of much needed higher quality roads ...More Button

The roads involved will remain in public ownership. The private sector will design, build, part-finance and operate the schemes for a 30 year concession period after which they will return for oper...More Button

Each PPP project is subject, in accordance with Department of Finance guidelines, to rigorous assessment and evaluation by the NRA and engineering, financial and legal consultants which it has enga...More Button

The statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll by-laws, and to enter into toll agreements with private investors is vested in the National Roads Authority under Part V of the Roa...More Button

As regards the system of tolling to be used, I have already publicly stated that my policy is one of using a method that utilises the most up-to-date electronic technology to ensure that there is a...More Button

I am confident that the modest level of the tolls to be charged, combined with the high quality of the new roads and the greatly improved transport service they will provide, will ensure that the r...More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Congestion.

Was asked: if he has received the report commissioned by the Government, Evaluation of Public Transport Policy; if the report finds that car congestion in Dublin is as bad as it was four years ago; if he inte...More Button

The evaluation of the public transport priority of the national development plan economic and social infrastructure operational programme was prepared for the NDP-CSF evaluation unit, which is unde...More Button

The report recognised the significant progress made in recent years in the expansion of public transport capacity, especially in the greater Dublin area. However, it noted that the modal shares of ...More Button

The report makes a series of recommendations on improving and expanding quality bus corridors, the delivery of rail projects and the manage ment of public transport investment. My Department has al...More Button

Was asked: if he has evaluated the chaos in store for traffic access to and from Dublin Airport if it is permitted to grow from 18 million passengers to a forecast of over 40 million per annum should the Aer ...More Button

The issues which the Deputy has raised will continue to be kept under review in my Department. At present, however, I am of the view that provided current plans for major public transport infrastru...More Button

Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Questions Nos. 80 and 81 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Written Answers. - Light Rail Project.

Was asked: the contractual completion date for the three Luas lines; if it is expected that these dates will be met; if all the funding is in place to allow the lines to commence operation when completed; and...More Button

Was asked: when Luas will be up and running for services to the public.More Button

Was asked: his views on when the Luas light rail line B, the Harcourt Street line, will start taking paying passengers.More Button

Was asked: the progress to date on Luas.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77, 106, 109 and 114 together.More Button

I understand from the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, the State body responsible for the development of Luas, that the infrastructure contractors have indicated a delay of four months on the origi...More Button

The RPA is monitoring closely developments in the construction schedule and is in regular contact with the contractors to review developments to ensure the earliest possible completion dates.More Button

Significant progress has been made to date on the construction of the system. Enabling and utilities diversion works are almost completed, the property acquisition programme is well advanced, const...More Button

The RPA awarded the operating franchise for all three lines to Connex Transport Limited. The required budget for the capital and current costs of the project, sourced from EU funds, Exchequer funds...More Button

Written Answers. - Restructuring of CIE.

Was asked: the implications, including cost, for the abolition of CIE; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his proposals for splitting CIE into three separate independent companies; the discussions he has had with trade unions representing CIE workers on these proposals; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 96 together.More Button

On 7 November 2002 I made a statement to the public transport partnership forum in which I outlined in detail my proposals for the restructuring of the CIE group. I have no plans to privatise any o...More Button

In my statement I also indicated that I am anxious to deal with these issues on a partnership basis but that it was also important that we made speedy progress. The restructuring proposals will be ...More Button

A technical report on the financial and other implications of restructuring CIE has been prepared by consultants for my Department. I will be briefing the CIE board and the trade unions shortly on ...More Button

I also intend to establish a restructuring implementation group, reporting to me and including representatives of the Departments of Transport and Finance, CIE and its three operating subsidiaries ...More Button

Implementation of the CIE restructuring proposals will take account of the provisions of Section 14 of the Transport (Re-organisation of CIE) Act, 1986, which provides for the transfer back to CIE ...More Button

The financial implications of the restructuring of CIE will be addressed in the course of the detailed preparatory work which is being undertaken by my Department and CIE. However, given the constr...More Button

Question No. 83 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

More Button

Written Answers. - National Airspace.

Was asked: the number of commercial or private flights and military flights that passed through Irish airspace during 2001 and 2002 to date; the total revenue raised by the Irish Aviation Authority in respect...More Button

The Irish Aviation Authority provides air traffic control and communications services to aircraft which pass through Irish controlled airspace –en route –and aircraft landing an...More Button

According to the Irish Aviation Authority, a total of 465,204 en route civil and 6,895 en route military aircraft flights flew through total Irish-controlled airspace in 2001. The fig...More Button

Under a Eurocontrol – European organisation for the safety of air navigation – multilateral agreement to which Ireland is a party, various categories of flights – flights under vi...More Button

Ireland also exempts military aircraft flights from payment of the communications charge and the IAA costs for those charges are also met from my Department's Vote. Efforts to collect this charge i...More Button

Regarding the terminal charge for air traffic control services for military aircraft, this is a matter for the Irish Aviation Authority.More Button

Question No. 85 answered with Question No. 58.More Button

Written Answers. - National Development Plan.

Was asked: the impact of the 2003 Estimates on the national development plan.More Button

Was asked: the projects which will be delivered on time and within budget in the NDP.More Button

Was asked: the strategy for the implementation of the NDP.More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the NDP.More Button

Was asked: the projects under the national development plan which will not be completed by the end of the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the projects in the NDP which will be implemented on the targeted timescale.More Button

Was asked: the number of projects which will be implemented within the NDP budget specified at the time of publication; and if he will give details in this regard.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 86, 105, 126, 132, 140, 142 and 145 together.More Button

As the Deputies are aware from my reply to Question No. 82 on 16 October last, it is expected that all the projects in the rail, road and aviation sectors funded under the national development plan...More Button

The 2003 Estimates for my Department show the significant investment being made in the provision of transport infrastructure and clearly demonstrates the Government's strong ongoing commitment to t...More Button

I refer the Deputies to my reply to Question No. 383 on 19 November last, where I dealt in detail with the original and revised costs of the NDP programme.More Button

Written Answers. - Roads Projects.

Was asked: the road projects which will be delivered on time within the national development plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the implications for the road building programme under the national development plan of the Estimates for his Department for 2003; the road projects likely to be delayed as a result of the Estimate...More Button

Was asked: the amount of the present budgeted capital funding for roads over the next five years which will be consumed by live or commenced road projects in each year, starting with 2002; and the amount of t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87, 128 and 151 together.More Button

The provision in the Estimates of just over €1 billion for national roads in 2003 will maintain investment in the national roads programme at a high level. Investment in the programme has grow...More Button

The 2003 provision will fund construction on major projects throughout the country, such as the Dublin Port tunnel, the south-eastern motorway, major schemes on the M1 and N11, the Kildare bypass, ...More Button

This level of funding will maintain good progress in the implementation of the national roads programme set out in the national development plan, which provides for investment of €6.75 billion...More Button

This has funded the completion of 23 major schemes, including such major projects as the Dunleer/Dundalk route, M1, the southern cross route, M50, the Croom bypass, N20, the Kilmacthomas bypass, N2...More Button

Good progress has also been made in the roll-out of the NRA's PPP programme. The current position on PPP projects is as follows: the second Westlink bridge on the M50 is under construction and is e...More Button

Increases in the cost of the roads programme and the changed economic and budgetary circumstances mean that some projects will take longer to implement than originally planned. However, it is hoped...More Button

The detailed programming of the work involved in the implementation of the NDP national roads programme, including the allocation of funding for individual projects, is a matter for the NRA within ...More Button

The position on the overall capital funding levels for the national roads programme beyond 2003 is that my Department and the Department of Finance are considering the adoption of a multi-annual fu...More Button

As will be evident from the provision of €1 billion for 2003, the Government is committed to maintaining investment in the national roads programme at a high level and to upgrading the nationa...More Button

Question No. 88 answered with Question No. 56.More Button

Question No. 89 answered with Question No. 76.More Button

Was asked: his views on a recent evaluation of the cost overruns of the NDP roads programme which found that the average overrun in capital costs of road projects from the estimated cost at initial decision t...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the contents of the recent Fitzpatrick Associates report of the NDP roads investment cost escalations; if the cost escalation of the 1999 NDP roads investment pro...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 and 390 together.More Button

The report by Fitzpatrick Associates on behalf of the NDP-CSF evaluation unit of the Department of Finance reviews the implementation to date of the national roads programme provided for in the NDP...More Button

The increased cost of the programme is due to some underestimation in 1999 costs which were based on updating national road needs study data; construction cost inflation in the period 1999 to 2001 ...More Button

In relation to the difference between the estimated cost of projects at outline design stage and tender stage, the report noted that a range of increase from 5% to 95% was observed in the case of f...More Button

The report also noted that it is understandable that the initial indicative estimate of cost may differ from the cost at tender stage as a project moves through the various planning stages and more...More Button

The increased cost of the programme – combined with the changed economic and budgetary conditions – will impact on the pace of its implementation. Some projects will, of necessity, take...More Button

Nevertheless, the strategic framework set out in the NDP for the upgrading of the national road network is generally recognised as urgently necessary to ensure that we have a road network that is c...More Button

I do not propose, therefore, to carry out an audit or review of the programme as suggested by the Deputy. However, I will be seeking, with the NRA, to ensure that we get maximum value for money for...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to review the national secondary road network with a view to upgrading a number of strategic national secondary roads, including the N69 from Limerick to Tralee; and if he will make a...More Button

Improvements to the national secondary road network, including the N69 from Tralee to Limerick, are a matter for the National Roads Authority, in co-operation with the relevant local authorities, w...More Button

Question No. 131 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Question No. 132 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Written Answers. - Reform of Aer Rianta.

Was asked: his plans to reform Aer Rianta.More Button

Was asked: if he intends to reform Aer Rianta.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 and 104 together.More Button

As provided in the programme for Government, we will seek to secure a viable long-term future for all our State companies without any ideological preconceptions. The issue of the most appropriate f...More Button

In the case of Aer Rianta, the programme for Government also sets out two initiatives regarding the State airports which are relevant to the structure of the company going forward. These are the co...More Button

In the case of Shannon and Cork airports, I have already made it clear that the issue of greater autonomy is being considered solely in the context of continued State ownership of those airports. I...More Button

Written Answers. - Spending Estimates.

Was asked: his views on the 2003 Estimates.More Button

The 2003 Estimates for my Department show the significant investment that is being made in the provision of transport infrastructure and in the support for services. The Estimate provides for expen...More Button

Question No. 94 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Written Answers. - Air Services.

Was asked: the matters discussed at his recent meeting with the board of Aer Lingus; the Government's proposals for the future ownership structure of the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At my meeting with the board of Aer Lingus on 31 October I commended the directors, management and staff of the airline for the turnaround in the company's finances which is a reflection of the cle...More Button

I acknowledged the continued focus on efficiency improvements and cost control and I endorsed the strong focus of management and staff on putting in place a new culture in the airline which has led...More Button

With regard to the future of Aer Lingus, I recalled to the board the previous Government's decision in October 2001 to facilitate private sector and staff investment in the company to support its f...More Button

My officials will be consulting with the company on this matter over the coming weeks and I expect to be in a position to bring a proposal to Government.More Button

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 82.More Button

Question No. 97 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to foster expansion and competition on air routes in and out of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is Government policy to encourage as wide a range as possible of reliable, regular and competitive air services to and from Ireland. Efficient and competitive networks of air links are vitally i...More Button

My Department has taken a proactive stance over the years in the deregulation of the intra-European Union air transport market. Under the current regime, all Community air carriers are free to oper...More Button

Regarding the airports at Dublin, Shannon and Cork, the policy is to focus on the planning and funding of adequate and cost effective airport infrastructure in line with the projected traffic deman...More Button

A number of initiatives are currently being pursued under the Programme for Government with the aim of further boosting tourism and expansion on international air routes.More Button

In the short term, and subject to planning permission, a new temporary pier to facilitate the rapid turnaround of aircraft will be provided by Aer Rianta by May 2003. The company recently secured p...More Button

On this latter issue, my Department advertised in August of this year for expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in the concept of providing an independent or competing termin...More Button

The work of the panel, which I expect to be completed on 17 January, will assist me in progressing the commitment in the Programme for Government to examine proposals for a new independent terminal...More Button

Significant investment has been made by Aer Rianta at Shannon Airport in recent years in developing facilities for passengers and cargo. With the completion of the terminal extension two years ago,...More Button

It is recognised by Aer Rianta that Cork Airport needs significant investment as a result of the growth in traffic through the airport in recent years and the company is well advanced with its pla...More Button

This latter initiative is also contained in the Programme for Government which provides that, as part of the process of continuing to transform Aer Rianta, the Government will ensure that Shannon a...More Button

A debate has now been stimulated by me within the Shannon and Cork regions and at a national level on the best ownership structure for these two airports going forward. Indeed I have visited both S...More Button

There is a genuine sense of goodwill towards the airports in the two regions on the part of local tourism and business interests, and views may differ on the best way forward. However, I will liste...More Button

The six regional airports also operate as important access gateways to the regions. My Department will continue the support which it provides for marketing, safety and security measures at the six ...More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Regulations.

Was asked: the legislation he intends to introduce to restrict the height of HGVs.More Button

Was asked: the measures he intends to take to regulate the height of HGVs.More Button

Was asked: the details of his recently announced intention to introduce height restrictions for heavy goods vehicles; the timetable in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98, 129 and 153 together.More Button

Arising from diverse concerns, including those on road and rail safety and the future access to Dublin Port, my Department is drawing up proposals to regulate for the maximum height of vehicles. It...More Button

Written Answers. - Transport Infrastructure.

Was asked: his plans to resolve the ever-increasing traffic congestion; the impact of his actions to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Within the framework of the national development plan a wide range of initiatives has been taken to upgrade transport infrastructure and services and reduce congestion. The plan sets out a strategi...More Button

In the greater Dublin area, the NDP provides for investment of approximately €2 billion in public transport and traffic management. Since 1997, demonstrable improvements in public transport ar...More Button

Some 76 new diesel rail cars will further expand capacity on the outer suburban network around Dublin from next year. Capacity improvements will flow from the improved signalling and track work on ...More Button

Major road projects to a total value of approx. €1.4 billion are under construction in the Dublin city and county area, including the Dublin port tunnel, the south-eastern motorway, and the se...More Button

These measures in public transport, traffic management and road infrastructure will have a major beneficial impact on traffic flows in Dublin in the short to medium term. They are also part of the ...More Button

The National Roads Authority has made good progress with the roll-out of the national roads programme, including the development of bypasses, which have helped to alleviate congestion in many towns...More Button

The Government has been proactive in responding to the challenge of traffic congestion and has demonstrated its commitment to transforming our transport infrastructure by providing unprecedented le...More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Transport Initiative.

Was asked: his plans to introduce new rural transport initiatives.More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to implement the commitment in the programme for Government that every county has a comprehensive rural transport initiative in place; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 155 together.More Button

The rural transport initiative, RTI, was introduced by my predecessor in 2001 to provide funding for voluntary and community organisations and community partnerships to address the particular trans...More Button

Eight of the applicant community transport groups under the initiative were considered by ADM to be sufficiently well developed in their business plans at the time of their initial appraisal to be ...More Button

Rural transport proposals from a further 24 community groups went through an initial pre-development funding phase and they have recently been approved for operational funding. The groups selected ...More Button

The operational phase of the rural transport initiative was formally launched last Friday, 22 November, during a two day training event organised by ADM for the successful community transport group...More Button

An interdepartmental committee under the chairmanship of my Department was established in 2001 with the remit of bringing forward options for the development of rural public transport policy. The c...More Button

Written Answers. - Dublin Traffic Management.

Was asked: the measures he intends to take to relieve congestion in Dublin city centre during the Christmas period.More Button

Was asked: his plans to relieve the city's traffic problems in the run up to Christmas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 and 406 together.More Button

The Government has undertaken substantial investment in public transport, roads infrastructure and traffic management programmes in order to meet the transport needs of the greater Dublin area. One...More Button

Specific traffic management measures such as those intended to deal with seasonal congestion problems are a matter for the relevant local authorities, the CIE companies and the Dublin Transportatio...More Button

The initiative has been planned under the auspices of the Dublin Transportation Office in close co-operation with the Garda Síochána, the office of the director of traffic in Dublin C...More Button

The majority of disruptive Luas works in the greater Dublin area will cease for the duration of the operation. No new road works will commence after 25 November 2002 and, where feasible, existing r...More Button

An additional 110 Garda probationers will be re-deployed to the Dublin region to boost existing traffic resources and the Garda pedal cycle unit will also be deployed in the city centre to assist w...More Button

A public information campaign spearheaded by the DTO and involving all relevant authorities and transport providers will be complemented by a new information website www.freeflow.ie where up to dat...More Button

Question No. 109 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Was asked: his plans to reduce transport costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to reduce travel times in the greater Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 and 402 together.More Button

Within the framework of the national development plan a wide range of initiatives have been taken to upgrade Dublin's transport infrastructure and services and reduce congestion and associated cost...More Button

Since 1997, demonstrable improvements in public transport arrangements and services have been implemented. Dublin Bus has purchased over 600 new buses. Bus Éireann has increased its capacity...More Button

By the end of 2003, all construction work on the Luas lines will be completed. This will allow commencement of passenger services in early 2004. Capacity on the outer suburban network around Dubli...More Button

Major road projects to a total value of approximately €1.4 billion are currently under construction in the Dublin city and county area, including the Dublin Port tunnel, the south-eastern moto...More Button

These measures in public transport, traffic management and road infrastructure will have a major beneficial impact on traffic flows and transport costs in Dublin in the short to medium term. They a...More Button

Question No. 121 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Written Answers. - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: the number of vacancies on the board of Aer Rianta; when these vacancies will be filled; if he is planning other changes in the membership of the board; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are currently two vacancies on the board of Aer Rianta and I am giving urgent consideration to filling these as soon as possible. I have no plans at present to make any other changes in the m...More Button

Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Written Answers. - Taxi Regulations.

Was asked: the role of the proposed taxi regulator's office; when it is expected that the office will be established; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Pending the drawing up of legislative proposals which will be brought to Government early in the new year, it is proposed that the office of the national taxi regulator will be established on a non...More Button

It is envisaged that the office of the national taxi regulator will have a national focus and will have full effective control over the promotion of a professional, efficient and customer-friendly ...More Button

Question No. 126 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Question No. 127 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Question No. 128 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

Question No. 129 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Was asked: the main findings of the report of the Taxi Hardship Panel; if it is intended to publish the report; if he intends to implement the recommendations made in the report; if money has been allocated f...More Button

As stated in an Agreed Programme for Government, the Government is committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Hardship Panel. I have received the report of the Taxi Hardship...More Button

Question No. 134 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Was asked: if a person who has a taxi licence and pays the licence fee in January, has to make a further payment of such licence fee if they purchase a new car during the year in which the original licence is...More Button

I refer to the reply to Question No. 374 of 12 November 2002.More Button

A person who is granted a taxi licence in January and pays their taxi licence fee of €6,300 for the grant of the licence, and who subsequently decides to apply to transfer the taxi licence to ...More Button

Written Answers. - Rail Network.

Was asked: if his consent was sought for the decision of Irish Rail to cancel the tendering process for improvements to the signalling system on the DART lines which are required to allow more frequent servic...More Button

Was asked: his policy regarding upgrading of signalling especially between Connolly and Pearse Stations which has now been deferred by Iarnród Éireann ending the prospect of a 33.3% increase in ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 and 392 together.More Button

The DTO strategy, A Platform for Change, identifies the need to upgrade the DART as a critical project in addressing the public transport requirement of the greater Dublin area. I am informed by Ia...More Button

I recently approved the allocation of approximately €145 million in Exchequer funding to allow the commencement of works to provide for eight-car DART operation. This phase of the project is p...More Button

I am informed by Iarnród Éireann that because of its internal resource constraints, the scale of the work to be undertaken on the line during the first phase and the need to minimise ...More Button

Question Nos. 137 and 138 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Question No. 139 answered with Question No. 71.More Button

Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Was asked: if the feasibility study on railway infrastructure in Cork has been completed; his views and plans on the proposed re-opening of the rail link to Midleton; the estimated cost for same; and if he wi...More Button

I am informed by Iarnród Éireann that the study the company commissioned on the feasibility of proposals for the development of commuter rail services from Blarney to Cobh and Midleto...More Button

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 122.More Button

Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

Question No. 152 answered with Question No. 122.More Button

Question No. 153 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Question No. 154 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Question No. 155 answered with Question No. 100.More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if there are plans to provide funding to grant aid multi-storey underground car parks beside planned pedestrian zones in major towns.More Button

I have no plans to provide grants for multi-storey underground car parks beside planned pedestrian zones in major towns.More Button

Tax incentives for park and ride facilities are provided for in the Finance Acts, 1999 and 2001, and the qualifying period for the incentives was extended to June 2004 in the Finance Act, 2002. My ...More Button

I understand that tax incentives are also available for the construction or refurbishment of qualifying multi-storey car parks in certain areas of Dublin and Cork; guidelines and further informatio...More Button

Question No. 142 answered with Question No. 86.More Button

Written Answers. - Official Engagements.

Was asked: the number of meetings and the agendas of such meetings held with Dublin City Council officials.More Button

I have had one meeting with officials of Dublin City Council. This meeting took place on Wednesday, 4 September last and we discussed the new Dublin City Council traffic plan and signage.More Button

Written Answers. - Airport Security.

Was asked: if additional security measures have been put in place at Shannon Airport following the spray painting of a US warplane at Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In accordance with established procedures, it is not the practice on security grounds to disclose the nature of any security measures that have been or will be put in place at aerodromes. I have ho...More Button

In relation to national civil aviation security which falls within my area of responsibility, the National Civil Aviation Security Committee (NCASC) which is chaired by a senior official from my De...More Button

I understand that legal proceedings are being taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions under the Air Navigation and Transport Acts against those involved with the incident mentioned by the Depu...More Button

Questions Nos. 147 and 148 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the status of the former civil servants previously employed in the driver testing section of the Department of Environment and Local Government in Ballina, County Mayo; the pensions rights applicab...More Button

There has been no change in the status or pension rights of civil servants employed in the driver testing section of the Department of Environment and Local Government who transferred to the Depart...More Button

A review of the driver testing service was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Government decided on 18 July 2001 to accept the recommendation of the PwC report that a public sector agency ...More Button

Consultation with staff representatives about the establishment of the agency has already taken place and will continue as the process of establishing the agency proceeds.More Button

Written Answers. - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: if the Taoiseach, Ministers and Ministers of State are exempt from the penalty points system; and if their drivers are exempt when driving State vehicles.More Button

Was asked: if State cars are exempt from the penalty points system.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 and 387 together.More Button

Penalty points apply to speeding offences since 31 October 2002. Where a driver is convicted of an offence of exceeding the speed limit or pays a fixed charge, the appropriate number of penalty poi...More Button

Regulations made under the Road Traffic Acts relating to speed limits, provide that vehicles being used by members of the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties as such mem...More Button

Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, also provides that the prohibition on driving a vehicle without a driving licence does not apply to a member of the Garda Síochána driving a ...More Button

That Act also provides that penalty points will apply to certain offences which have been specifically created under regulations relating to the control of traffic. Those regulations provide that d...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Relations.

Was asked: the meetings which were held by his predecessor with representatives of taxi drivers in the 12 months prior to his predecessor leaving office; the dates on which such meetings occurred; the organis...More Button

From the information available to my Department, I am advised that my predecessor, former Minister of State, Mr. Robert Molloy, met representatives of taxi drivers on three occasions in the 12 mont...More Button

Question No. 389 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Question No. 390 answered with Question No. 92.More Button

Written Answers. - Regional Airports.

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer of each PSO payment per air passenger between regional airports and Dublin Airport and to and from overseas airports; the overall cost of these PSO payments in the course ...More Button

Our current PSO regime comprises six routes which link the regional airports in Kerry, Galway, Sligo, Knock, Donegal and Derry with Dublin.More Button

In respect of the first five of these routes, my Department conducted a public tender competition earlier this year, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant EU Council Regulation (2408/92...More Button

Having regard to the projections for passenger numbers and the Exchequer subvention levels contained in EuroCeltic's and Aer Arann's submissions in the public tender competition earlier this year, ...More Button

On the Derry-Dublin PSO route which is operated by Loganair, the average Exchequer subvention for the first full year of operation was approximately €118 per passenger, per one-way trip.More Button

The overall Exchequer cost of the PSO programme over the past three years, 1999-2001 inclusive, was approximately €23.55 million. In 1999 and 2000 there were four PSO routes, three of which we...More Button

These PSO air services provide very important links between the regional airports and the Dublin hub. Having regard, however, to the significant subvention per passenger, my Department will be unde...More Button

Questions Nos. 395 and 396 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the percentage of his Department's telecommunications budget for telephone bills, which is allocated to his Department's largest telephone supplier.More Button

Since January 2002, the Department of Transport, formerly the Department of Public Enterprise, has incurred 67% of total expenditure on telephone bills in relation to the Department's largest telep...More Button

Written Answers. - Rail Safety.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that adequate safety standards apply on all commuter trains operating out of rail stations in north Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Iarnród Éireann has a statutory responsibility to manage its railway safely. The company has assured me that all railway services on its network operate to strict standards, which are...More Button

This Government places the highest priority on the safety of our railways and is carrying forward two very important railway safety initiatives started by the previous administration. These initiat...More Button

The first of these initiatives is the railway safety programme which was approved by Government in March 1999. This safety investment programme involves investment of €546 million over the fiv...More Button

I also intend in the near future to re-convene the railway safety task force to make recommendations for a new five year railway safety investment programme to commence in 2004. The second of these...More Button

Question No. 400 answered with Question No. 398.More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Management.

Was asked: the extent to which he has investigated or encouraged possible co-ordination of traffic management in Dublin city, with particular reference to vehicular traffic to the docks and city-wide deliveri...More Button

A local authority-DTO regional traffic management steering group has been established to provide a strong regional focus for traffic management in the greater Dublin area and to provide a forum to ...More Button

The DTO policy document, A Platform for Change, sets out a comprehensive integrated strategy to respond to the transportation needs of the greater Dublin area in the period to 2016. In this context...More Button

The application of traffic management measures at any location is a matter for local authorities in consultation with the Garda Commissioner. I understand that Dublin City Council is in ongoing con...More Button

Written Answers. - Consultancy Contracts.

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

The Department of Transport engaged Airports Co-ordination Limited in October 2000, to co-ordinate the monitoring and allocation of slots at Dublin Airport. This is ongoing work, the responsibility...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

Arthur Andersen/Steer Davies Gleave were commissioned by my Department in 1999 to examine the feasibility of following a public private partnership PPP approach to the Dublin light rail project. Th...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

The role of Currie & Brown in association with Ernst & Young consultancy was to review existing arrangements within the Department for monitoring and reviewing investment in public transport projec...More Button

The key recommendations of the report were: the establishment of a dedicated investment monitoring unit, IMU; the creation of a project monitoring process; and the establishment of a formal report...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

My Department was required under EU legislation to carry out an audit to verify that operations financed by the EU, under the community support framework for Ireland (operational programme for tran...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

Dr. Reynolds-Feighan carried out a study entitled “Comparison of Subvention Levels for Public Transport Systems in European Cities” for the then Department of Public Enterprise in 2000. The final r...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

Sherry Fitzgerald were appointed by the Departments of Public Enterprise and Finance in 1999 to carry out a valuation of the CIE property portfolio. The final report was submitted in December 1999 ...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 413 and 419 together.More Button

On 15 September 2000, the then Department of Public Enterprise appointed a consortium of consultants to assist it in developing a policy framework for public private partnerships, PPP, in the rail ...More Button

The consultancy was completed earlier this year and provides a policy framework across a wide range of technical, commercial, procurement and legal issues to guide PPP projects in the rail sector a...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 414 and 418 together.More Button

Following a series of worrying incidents on the Iarnród Éireann railway, culminating in the Knockcroghery derailment in 1997, the Minister commissioned an independent review of all as...More Button

In 1999, IRMS was commissioned to carry out an implementation review of progress being made by Iarnród Éireann against the recommendations made in the 1998 report. The report of the r...More Button

The Minister was concerned that the delay could lead to further deterioration of these routes and commissioned the consultants to prepare a short supplementary report on this issue. The supplementa...More Button

The consultants concluded that overall the results of the sample audit gave confidence that Iarnród Éireann is adequately controlling risks on the mini-CTC lines through the infrastr...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

The role of the consultant, who was appointed by my Department during the period of office of my predecessor, was to review the economic position of the six regional airports in Kerry, Waterford, G...More Button

The consultant's report was submitted to the Department in late September and officials of my Department are currently examining it in detail. I will be apprising my Cabinet colleagues in due cours...More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

I have no direct function in relation to this matter as this is a matter more appropriate to the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

The Department of Transport, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment and Local Government, has commissioned consultants to make recommendations for public safety zones in the vicinity...More Button

ERM were engaged at the beginning of 2001, and the costs of the consultancy to date is €203,000. When the report is completed following the public consultation, it will be considered by the Go...More Button

Question No. 418 answered with Question No. 414.More Button

Question No. 419 answered with Question No. 413.More Button

Question No. 420 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Was asked: the role of consultants (details supplied) appointed by his Department; if the project is ongoing; the conclusions drawn from this work; the cost of the consultancy to date; and if he will make a s...More Button

In July 2001 consultants were appointed by my Department to examine the financial and other technical issues which would arise in the context of a restructuring of the CIE group of companies. This ...More Button

This was a technical study to advise on the options for dealing with issues such as assets, debt, pensions and the range of services provided centrally by CIE to its three operating companies in th...More Button

I recently put forward proposals for a restructuring of CIE in my statement to the public transport forum on 7 November 2002. I propose to dissolve CIE and establish Bus Átha Cliath, Bus &Ea...More Button