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Varadkar, Leo

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Air Services Provision (Continued)

Enhanced air access to key business and tourism markets around the world has always been a key element of Ireland's aviation policy. A direct service between Ireland and Asia, particularly to and ...More Button

Under our agreement with China, it is open to any Irish, EU or Chinese airline to operate services between the two countries. The establishment of such a service, however, has to be market drive...More Button

While we do not yet have direct air links to Asia, Ireland has extensive one-stop connectivity with most major cities in Asia through established European hubs such as Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris ...More Button

As mentioned, aviation is a key enabler of economic growth. It is important, therefore, that there is a clear policy framework in place to facilitate its continued development and optimise the c...More Button

The importance of connectivity generally is highlighted in a number of the submissions and the importance of direct services to Asia is also raised. The Ireland China Association made a submissi...More Button

Deputy Doyle and I are in broad agreement on this matter. Direct services from Ireland to Asia, and China in particular, would be beneficial. One stop access is useful but not as good as direct s...More Button

Road Traffic Legislation

Was asked: if he is considering increasing the current penalties for a driver caught driving without insurance, such as introducing a minimum fine of €10,000, imposing automatic penalty points and the automat...More Button

Road Traffic legislation does not provide for minimum fines, as the level of a fine to be imposed following conviction must be at the discretion of the Judge hearing the case. More Button

Furthermore, the fine suggested by the Deputy would mean that such cases could no longer be dealt with summarily in the District Courts. At present, District Court Judges have the discretion to d...More Button

Tourism Industry Issues

Was asked: if there are proposals to re-open Thoor Ballylee, County Galway; if he will indicate the amount of money spent to date on improvements on this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy's Question to the agency for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide funding to develop a mountain bike centre in County Kerry.More Button

The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply.  Please contact my private office if a response is not rece...More Button

Question No. 1621 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: his views from the perspective of the impact on domestic tourism on the fact that pupils at primary and post primary level are now returning to school during the last week of August effectively shu...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, the rules governing the scheduling of the school holiday periods is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Education and Skills.  In this regard, I am informed th...More Button

While domestic tourism is really important, I do not believe that a child's education or the school year should be arranged to suit tourism.More Button

Vehicle Testing Centres

Was asked: the reason there is not a VTN or DOE vehicle testing centre in south Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The subject matter of this question is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority and I have forwarded it to them for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my Office if a reply has n...More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: if he will provide a full list of routes operated by Bus Éireann that are wheelchair friendly; the date on which each route was made wheelchair friendly; the routes they plan to upgrade to wheelcha...More Button

Driving Licence Issues

Was asked: if all categories of vehicles permitted to drive as per the back of the new plastic card driving licences should be contained in Section 9 on the front of the new cards issued by the Road Safety Au...More Button

All categories of vehicles a person may be permitted to drive as per the back of the new plastic card driving licences may not necessarily be contained in Section 9 on the front of the new plastic ...More Button

The display of categories on the front of a licence will not show all categories if, for example, the holder of a licence in one category is automatically entitled to a licence in another categor...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding negotiations with provincial Canadian authorities to make it easier for Irish citizens living abroad to have their driving licences recognised; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on any arrangements between Ireland and Quebec, Canada regarding driving licences; if he will detail the current arrangement between the two; if he will detail any prop...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1647 and 1650 together. More Button

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which is the body responsible for negotiating mutual exchange relationships on driving licences with other jurisdictions, is engaging with the provincial authorit...More Button

I understand from the RSA that they have provided the authorities in Ontario with comprehensive details of the driver licensing system in Ireland and that they have received details of the Ontari...More Button

In addition, the RSA has also engaged, with the help of the Irish Embassy, in a similar process with a number of other licensing authorities in Canada.  Although there has not yet been engagement...More Button

Was asked: if the Road Safety Authority has fully notified other Governments of the recent changeover of Irish driving licences from a paper to a new plastic format; if the RSA has notified global publishers ...More Button

The new format of plastic card licence is the standard EU format provided for under EU legislation and  it applies to all Member States as of 19 January 2013.  Both the EU and Irish legislation in ...More Button

Question No. 1674 answered with Question No. 1608.More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the cost of a driving licence; if he will address the questions raised therein, namely why new driver licence photographs are required at ea...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) formally became the national driver licensing authority in January 2013.  From November next, the RSA will assume full responsibility fo...More Button

As the correspondent acknowledges, there is no renewal fee for for driver licences for those over 70.  There may, however, be costs associated with the required medical examination for certificat...More Button

With regard to the correspondent's objection to producing an up to date photo every three years, I can advise that under the new licensing regime, photographs will be captured digitally as part o...More Button

Was asked: the guidelines in place for a vehicle towing a trailer; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The driver licensing regulations provide that those wishing to drive a car, truck, minibus or bus with a trailer must have an additional licence category besides that required to drive the vehicle ...More Button

Noise Pollution Issues

Was asked: if the National Roads Authority are aware of an area (details supplied) in County Wicklow where noise pollution from the N11 has increased considerably; if the levels of noise pollution can be test...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual ...More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Rail Network

Was asked: the steps being taken by Córas Iompar Éireann to control the spread of Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica, along the railbed system, particularly in Phibsborough where is seems to have become est...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) as ownership of certain property in the area referred to by the Deputy is in the process of  transfer to it from Irish Rail in ...More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made on the reported upgrade and opening of the rail line linking Heuston Station to Connolly Station, Dublin, via a tunnel beneath the Phoenix Park; if it is intended th...More Button

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (NTA...More Button

Traffic Regulations

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the maximum height of vehicles.More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding HGVs More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1602 and 1616 together.

The derogation contained in Statutory Instrument 366 of 2008 - Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulati...More Button

Road Projects Expenditure

Was asked: the amount of grant aid allocated to each county in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 for road strengthening and improvement works for roads of all categories; and if he will make a ...More Button

Details of the regional and local road grant allocations for the years in question can be found in the regional and local road grant allocation booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.
...More Button

Was asked: the amount of money that has been allocated to date by his Department and separately the amount of those funds drawn down to date for a new road project (details supplied) in County Cork and if he ...More Button

Cork County Council have been allocated €600,000 towards the Carrigaline Western Relief Road in 2013 with a total of €26,845 drawn down to date.  Details of allocations and final payments towards t...More Button

Departmental Agencies Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the steps that Iarnród Éireann has taken to ensure the process for recruiting 20 new revenue protection officers is done in a clear and transparent manner; if he will provide a full job description...More Button

This is an operational matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within t...More Button

Rail Services

Was asked: when a ticket machine will be put in place at a train station (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (...More Button

Noting this I have referred the Deputies question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: if Iarnrod Eireann is in breach of any data, privacy or other laws by requiring that all customers purchasing a ticket on-line register an on-line account with the company which holds personal info...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have passed the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten wo...More Button

Was asked: if he has prepared costings on the amount needed to reopen the Navan, County Meath, to Drogheda, County Louth, rail line for commuters, alongside its current use for Tara Mines; and if he will make...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority ...More Button

Noting this, I have referred the Deputies question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: his plans to reopen Killucan Train Station, County Westmeath.More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Irish Rail, in conjunction with the National Transport Authority, and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my priv...More Button

Aviation Issues

Was asked: the implications the European Commission’s proposed Single European Sky will have for all Irish airports and the Irish Aviation Authority; the number of submissions and the number of comments his D...More Button

The Single European Sky (SES) is a policy initiative agreed in 2004 with the central objective of reforming and improving the performance of air traffic management in Europe. The Commission's curre...More Button

My Department circulated these proposals to a wide range of stakeholders in the Irish aviation sector. The technical nature of the proposals warranted a targeted approach to those stakeholders pr...More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to date regarding a new national aviation policy; the number of submissions received during the consultation phase; the next steps before the new policy is published; and if ...More Button

The aviation industry is a key enabler of economic growth so it is important that there is a clear policy framework in place to facilitate its continued development and to optimise the contribution...More Button

Taking account of the issues that that were raised at the conference, an Issues Paper was published on my Department's website in February 2013. The paper poses a number of questions and covers e...More Button

A total of 74 submissions were received in response to the consultation, from a wide range of stakeholders. The number and quality of the submissions received is very encouraging and demonstrates...More Button

The submissions are currently being reviewed and the intention is that a draft National Aviation Policy Statement will be issued before the end of the year, which will provide further opportunity...More Button

Question No. 1616 answered with Question No. 1602.More Button

Was asked: the arrangements that have been put in place for diversionary and unscheduled landings of Airbus A380 aircraft in Irish airports, in view of Ireland's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; if he will pr...More Button

The question of airport capability of accepting an A380 is a matter for each individual airport, in terms of operations and the Irish Aviation Authority in respect of aviation safety oversight. I h...More Button

Was asked: if there is any change or changes to condition 7 of the aircraft licence 2003 at Weston Aerodrome, Lucan, County Dublin; and, if so, what is the current reference field length, wingspan and approac...More Button

The issue raised by the Deputy, the licensing conditions of aerodromes, is a matter for the Irish Aviation Authority, an agency within my remit. The Irish Aviation Authority is not a public body ...More Button

Road Safety Issues

Was asked: if it has been brought to his attention that speed bumps installed on a particular road (details supplied) in County Wicklow that were installed using funding from the National Transport Authority ...More Button

Was asked: if a safety audit was ever conducted by the National Transport Authority as part of the funding it provided to the local authority regarding new cycle lanes and a footpath (details supplied) in Cou...More Button

Was asked: if the National Transport Authority has been involved in the installation of a pedestrian crossing at a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1608, 1674 and 1691 together.More Button

 As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority...More Button

Noting this I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the nationwide review of speed limits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2012, I established a Group to carry out a review of speed limits. That Group, which is chaired by my Department, includes representatives of the local authorities, the Automobile Association, A...More Button

Was asked: the impact the nationwide review of speed limits will have in a county (details supplied); if he will detail the roads, if any, that will have their speed limit adjusted; if he will outline in tabu...More Button

The Road Traffic Act 2004 established default speed limits that apply to defined categories of roads and which can only be changed by local authorities through the making of special speed limit bye...More Button

As part of a Direction given by the then Minister in January 2011, all local authorities were requested to undertake an assessment of Special Speed Limits in their functional areas. I do not beli...More Button

My Department formed a stakeholder group to progress this Review and the Automobile Association, An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority, the National Roads Authority, representatives of loc...More Button

It is, therefore, premature to speculate on the impact which the Group's recommendations might have on individual counties.More Button

Was asked: the parameters of the discussions held to date between his Department, the Road Safety Authority and the Garda regarding wearable glasses with technological advancements and smart technology for pe...More Button

Any device that poses a distraction or impairs the act of driving is a cause for concern. Accordingly, I have asked the Road Safety Authority to examine and monitor the development of such technolo...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the review of speed limits nationally; the date on which new guidelines on road signage and speed limits will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The Road Traffic Act 2004 established default speed limits that apply to defined categories of roads and which can only be changed by local authorities through the making of special speed limit bye...More Button

Statutory responsibility for setting Special Speed Limits is vested in the Elected Members of county and city councils. To assist in setting these limits, my Department issued Guidelines for the ...More Button

As part of a Direction given by the then Minister in January 2011, all local authorities were requested to undertake an assessment of Special Speed Limits in their functional areas. I do not beli...More Button

My Department formed a stakeholder group to progress this Review and the Automobile Association, An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority, the National Roads Authority, representatives of loc...More Button

Was asked: if he will call in the National Speed Limit Review Group with a view to progressing changes to speed limits on roads around the country; if he appreciates that there are extremely dangerous situati...More Button

The Road Traffic Act 2004 established default speed limits that apply to defined categories of roads and which can only be changed by local authorities through the making of special speed limit bye...More Button

As part of a Direction given by the then Minister in January 2011, all local authorities were requested to undertake an assessment of Special Speed Limits in their functional areas. I do not beli...More Button

My Department formed a stakeholder group to progress this Review and the Automobile Association, An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority, the National Roads Authority, representatives of loc...More Button

I anticipate that the Group will report to me shortly, and while I will give careful consideration to any recommendations contained in their Report, it would be premature for me to speculate at t...More Button

Was asked: his views on EU proposals to put speed limiters in cars; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Earlier this year, a study was carried out on behalf of the European Commission into the implementation of Directive 92/6/EEC (as amended by directive 2002/85/EC) on speed limitation devices and re...More Button

I understand that the European Commission is currently collating the findings of this study and that no resulting impact analysis or formal proposal has yet been issued.More Button

Driving Licence Applications

Was asked: the way he intends to bridge the discrepancy between licence renewals taking up to four to six weeks although one is required to produce a licence in a Garda station within ten days of being stoppe...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, we are currently in a transition period in the operation of driver licensing.   The Road Safety Authority (RSA) formally became the national driver licensing authority i...More Button

Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: his views on whether fixed charge notices for cyclists to be introduced in line with the road safety strategy is suitable for most rural areas; if he is considering ensuring that the measures to be...More Button

Action 92 of the Road Safety Strategy 2013 - 2020 provides that we will 'legislate for the extension of fixed charge notices to other offences including those related to cyclists and drivers' hours...More Button

Museum Projects

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the setting up of an Irish museum of sport; if such a facility would be attached to a museum already in existence or set up as an entirely independent and separate e...More Button

Vehicle Clamping

Was asked: his plans to clamp down on private operators clamping vehicles parked on private lands (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While Section 101B of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, regulates the clamping and/or towing of vehicles by local authorities or their agents on public roads or local authority car parks, there is curren...More Button

Tourist Accommodation

Was asked: the guidelines in place for motor home campsites, which incorporate price, value for money, on site facilities, distance to amenities and suitable terrain or landscape; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Under the Tourist Traffic Acts 1939-2011, Fáilte Ireland has specific functions in relation to the mandatory registration and grading of certain types of tourist accommodation, however, there is no...More Button

Motor Tax Collection

Was asked: if he will replace the current commercial motor tax regime with a pay-as-you-go road user charge to ensure Irish hauliers pay tax in line with vehicle utilisation. More Button

Was asked: if he will levy all non-Irish hauliers with a daily charge Eurovignette of €10 per day which will generate up to €13.5 million for the Exchequer. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1618 and 1619 together.More Button

There are no plans at present to introduce a pay-as-you-go road user charge for HGVs in Ireland. Such a decision would have cross-Governmental implications and could only be taken after extensive...More Button

Road Improvement Schemes

Was asked: when funding will be provided to carry out remedial works at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual ...More Button

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: if he will bring the case of Listry Bridge, on the R563, Killarney to Dingle Road, County Kerry, to the attention of the Road Safety Authority in view of concerns expressed (details supplied) about...More Button

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on ...More Button

In July last year local authorities were invited to submit applications for consideration for funding in 2013 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme.  Kerry County Council applied for fundi...More Button

The Specific Improvement Grants Scheme is scheduled to be discontinued from 2014 onward in order to maximise the funding available for repair and strengthening work.  In lieu of the Specific Impr...More Button

It is also important to re-iterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement Councils like Kerry County Council in their own resources spending in this area....More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the roads 2013 community involvement scheme for road works; if he will set out in tabular form, on a county basis, the amount of funding applied for; the amount of f...More Button

Details of the Community Involvement Scheme as requested by the Deputy are outlined in the table below.

More Button

Was asked: when a section of roadway (details supplied) in County Kerry will be resurfaced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.  More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Roadside Memorials

Was asked: if he has ever set out a policy for gravestones or memorials to be located on roadsides here; the guidance given to local authorities for getting permission to put these memorials on the different ...More Button

Under Section 13 (10) (a) (iv) (i) of the Roads Act 1993, a person may not place or deposit any material or thing on a public road without lawful authority or the consent of the road authority.  Th...More Button

Public Transport Issues

Was asked: when current contracts for routes that Dublin Bus operates will be coming to an end; if he has satisfied himself that commuters and regional areas in the commuter belt and greater Dublin area will ...More Button

The objective of Government is to ensure a system of public transport throughout the country that is as efficient and as widespread as possible. In relation to the award of Public Service Obligatio...More Button

Where the NTA proposes to enter into a further direct award contract or contracts for bus services it is obliged to carry out a statutory consultation under section 52 of the Dublin Transport Aut...More Button

The NTA is conducting its work in accordance with the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 and statutory consultations in relation to the matter commenced on 11th September and will conclude on 11th...More Button

It should be noted that it will be open to Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to tender for any routes or bundles of routes that are tendered. The contract will go to the best competent tenderer who can ...More Button

Was asked: if he will request all providers of public transport, mainly Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, through his Department and the National Transport Authority, to have the correct spelling of Kilpedder, Coun...More Button

This is a matter for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann in conjunction with the National Transport Authority. I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the companies for direct reply.  Please advise my pri...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether Busáras, the central bus and coach station in the capital, should be opened up to private sector operators to create more competition in the transport sector; and if he will ma...More Button

Section 62 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 provides that the National Transport Authority (NTA) may designate a bus station in the Greater Dublin Area to be a shared facility. I have ref...More Button

Was asked: if Bus Éireann publishes a profit and loss account; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Bus Éireann's Annual Report and Accounts for 2012 were published in May and are available on the company's website. More Button

Coast Guard Services

Was asked: if an approach has been made by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration regarding the Irish Coast Guard regarding search and rescue requirements in Irish coastal waters when the US resume...More Button

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States of America have been in contact this year with the Irish Coast Guard. This contact was initiated by NASA with a view to...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown on a year-by-year basis of the number of call-outs of each of the coast guard units that serve the County Wicklow coastline from 2005 to present; the average coast gu...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy comprises data covering a nine-year period which will require to be collated. The data in respect of Coast Guard callouts  in County Wicklow will require to be ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 287 of 17 July 2013, the steps that have been taken to fill the two outstanding vacancies among radio officers within the Coast Guard Service; if candidates ha...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the number of radio officers employed in the rescue co-ordination stations at present and the number that were employed in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1656 and 1657 together.

The number of Station Officer and Radio Officer Grade III employed in the Irish Coast Guard for the years from 2009 to date are a...More Button

National Transport Authority

Was asked: if he will provide costings for the National Transport Authority's Draft Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 for the Greater Dublin Area; if he will provide a breakdown of the costings of each...More Button

Was asked: the number of submissions the National Transport Authority received for its consultation on the Draft Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 for the Greater Dublin Area; the number of these submi...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider requesting the National Transport Authority to extend the deadline for submissions on the consultation on the Draft Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 for the Greater Dubl...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1628, 1678 and 1679 together.More Button

The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I do not propose to ask the NTA to extend the deadline for submissions to the consultation on the Draft Integrated Imp...More Button

Was asked: the reason Irish Rail's contract with the National Transport Authority only specifies the number of trains it has to run, as opposed to a minimum capacity level; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have referred the Deputy's question to it for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a rep...More Button

Road Safety Authority Staff

Was asked: the process that will be used to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer of the Road Safety Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The new Chief Executive Officer of the Road Safety Authority will be appointed following a Public Appointments Service competition under Section 17 (4) of the Road Safety Authority Act 2006.More Button

Dublin Bus Staff

Was asked: the employment terms of all the different categories of employees within Dublin Bus; the grades and salaries within the organisation, including all overtime, expenses, allowances and other related ...More Button

This is an operational matter for Dublin Bus and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten wo...More Button

Air Services Provision

Was asked: the effects on the Irish aviation market if the merger of American Airlines and US Airways goes ahead in the United States; if he believes that current competition law and or an anti-trust case tak...More Button

The air transport market between Ireland and North America is a highly liberalised and competitive market. The fact that all four of the big US international carriers currently fly into Ireland is ...More Button

The proposed merger was notified to the European Commission for clearance under the Mergers Regulation. Before clearing the merger the Commission closely examined the transatlantic air services m...More Button

The Commission found only one route from Heathrow to Philadelphia where a merger of the two airlines would be potentially problematic, and the merger was cleared by the Commission following commi...More Button

The matter is now for the US authorities to determine. I understand the US Department of Justice case focuses largely on concerns regarding the US domestic market, rather than the international m...More Button

Airport Development Projects

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the provision of an additional runway at Dublin Airport; the amount that has been allocated by his Department for the runways to date over the past number of years; ...More Button

The matter raised by the Deputy in relation to the provision of an additional runway at Dublin Airport falls within the operational responsibilities of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and I have...More Button

It should be noted that DAA operates under a clear commercial mandate and its operations are entirely funded from its own resources and it receives no Government funding.More Button

Integrated Ticketing

Was asked: his views on whether the introduction of the new public services card may be integrated into the existing Leap card technology on public transport services; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility to develop, procure, implement, operate and maintain the integrated ticketing Leap card system.

I understand that the NTA is worki...More Button

Official Engagements

Was asked: if he will provide a list of engagements that the Minister of State with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport had on his August 2013 visit to the USA; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: the parameters of the discussions held with ministerial colleagues at the informal meeting of Ministers for Transport in Vilnius, Lithuania from 15 to 16 September 2013; if he will detail any agree...More Button

Owing to a prior commitment, I was unable to attend this meeting but Ireland was represented at official level. The Council discussions on this issue on Monday the 16th of September 2013 were of an...More Button

In relation to further discussions on these proposals in the short-term, the position in this respect remains to be clarified as the Lithuanian EU Presidency already has a comprehensive programme...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: his views on the deficit in the Irish Aviation Authority pension scheme; if he understands this scheme to be a defined contribution scheme or a defined benefit scheme; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I am satisfied that the Irish Aviation  Authority (IAA) is taking the appropriate steps to addresss the deficit in its  pension fund. Following an extensive consultation process between the IAA and...More Button

The IAA currently operates four superannuation schemes all of which are defined benefit schemes apart from its most recent hybrid pension scheme, which comprises both defined benefit and defined ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the deficit in the Córas Iompair Éireann pension scheme; if he understands this scheme to be a defined contribution scheme or the defined benefit scheme; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The CIÉ Group operates two defined benefit pension schemes, the Executive scheme and the Regular Wages scheme. The total deficit in the schemes at 31st December 2012, as reported in the 2012 publis...More Button

Was asked: his views on the deficit in the Dublin Airport Authority pension scheme; if he understands this scheme to be a defined contribution scheme or the defined benefit scheme; and if he will make a state...More Button

The Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme (IASS) is a multi-employer scheme involving the employees of Aer Lingus, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Shannon Airport Authority (SAA)...More Button

Pension entitlements and pensions in payment under this scheme are primarily matters for the Trustees, the members and the companies participating in the scheme and I have no operational responsi...More Button

Under the IASS, fixed contributions are payable by the employers and members regardless of the funding position of the IASS. Both the benefits and the contributions are defined within the scheme ...More Button

I understand that the Trustees of the IASS have advised the participating employers and membership that the  results of the March 2011 actuarial valuation of the scheme indicates a significant de...More Button

Resolution of the funding difficulties in the scheme is a matter for the Trustees, the companies participating in the scheme, the members and for the Pensions Board.  The parties have participate...More Button

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Was asked: the total cost of all media advertising to his Department for each of the past five years; the efforts his Department is making to ensure that local media, both print and radio, are being supported...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is available from my Department's website at the following link http://www.dtta...More Button

Ministerial Appointments

Was asked: if he will provide a list of all bodies, boards or committees under the remit of his Department to which ministerial appointments are made; the statutory provision providing for the making of such ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the boards, bodies or committees under the remit of his Department where there is currently a vacancy to be filled by ministerial appointment; if so, if the vacancy rel...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the bodies, boards or committees under the remit of his Department where it is anticipated there will be a vacancy within the next six months to be filled by ministeria...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1641 to 1643, inclusive, together.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to Board appointments and vacancies is available on my Department's ...More Button

Coastal Protection

Was asked: if a ship (details supplied) that ran aground off the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in August 2013 posed a threat to the coastline in terms of pollution; if the sandbanks near the Kisk Bank will pos...More Button

I have been informed by the Coast Guard that at about 0800 on 20 August 2013, the vessel concerned went aground on the Bray Bank (an extension of the Kish Bank) off the Dublin/Wicklow coastline.  T...More Button

These Banks are clearly marked on Navigation Charts and appropriate Buoyage is in place to warn shipping.More Button

State Airports

Was asked: who is responsible for ensuring that the weighing scales at Dublin Airport are accurate; the number of times they are checked to ensure this accuracy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The matter raised by the Deputy in relation to weighing scales at Dublin Airport falls within the operational responsibilities of the Dublin Airport Authority and I have no function in the matter. ...More Button

Question No. 1650 answered with Question No. 1647.More Button

Was asked: the terms of reference for the Ireland West Airport Knock study group; the membership of the group and the method of selection of same; the number of meetings held to date of the group; the discuss...More Button

The Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) Study Group was established, under the Chairmanship of Deputy John O'Mahony, following a meeting of the Airport Board with the Taoiseach,  Minister of State Ri...More Button

- examine how best the future of the Airport can be secured; More Button

- explore options for the survival and growth of the Airport in terms of increasing passenger numbers, growing the number of flights, and expanding international connectivityMore Button

- examine the means by which the Airport can best support industry and tourism in the catchment it serves, More Button

- set out how the airport can be further developed taking account of available funding and competition rules having regard to the implications for other regional airports; More Button

Six meetings of the Study Group have taken place to date and good progress continues to be made. The next  meeting of the Group will be held in October.  It is envisaged that a further meeting of...More Button

Ports Development

Was asked: if he will indicate if the Dublin Port Company has decided not to fill in the 52 acres of Dublin Bay.More Button

Dublin Port Company is the State's most important port and National Ports Policy designates it as a Port of National Significance (Tier 1). The continued commercial development of the Company is a ...More Button

Haulage Industry Cabotage Regulations

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding haulage companies from Germany, Holland, Scotland and Northern Ireland flouting European cabotage legislation which bans foreign hauliers fr...More Button

The enforcement of cabotage legislation is a matter for the Road Safety Authority and the Garda Síochána. I believe that the enforcement authorities have investigated this matter and have put in pl...More Button

Rural Transport Programme Issues

Was asked: if he will provide an assurance that in the reform of rural transport over the coming months any revised plan for County Kerry will ensure and guarantee that all existing routes that cater for the ...More Button

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for implementing the restructuring of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) announced by me on 9 July 2013.  The purpose of the restructuring...More Button

I am advised by the NTA that during the restructuring of the RTP, the priority is to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of existing RTP services, meeting the needs of those affected by social ...More Button

Search and Rescue Service

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 283 of 17 July 2013, if he has had any discussions or contacts with the RNLI in relation to the requirement for a D Class boat for the Clogherhead, County Lout...More Button

No discussions with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in relation to the requirement of Clogherhead Coast Guard Unit for a D Class Boat have taken place as the position pertaining to the  Sea...More Button

Air Traffic Control Services

Was asked: the position regarding air traffic control service levels at Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the provisions of the Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993, the IAA is empowered to decide the extent to which it should operate and manage terminal navigation services at any of the three State...More Button

Road Safety Strategy

Was asked: if he will report on progress being made by his Department to carry out policy reviews of drug driving legislation and speed limits under the road safety strategy; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The Road Safety Strategy 2013 - 2020 was introduced in March 2013. The Deputy's Question relates to Actions 75 and 90 of that Strategy. The completion date for both these Actions is the fourth quar...More Button

Cycling Schemes

Was asked: if an application has been made to his Department to commence work on the greenway from Glenbeigh to Renard greenway old railway line in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Capital Programme Expenditure

Was asked: if he will detail by name, location and cost the number of capital projects funded by his Department for each of the past five years to date in tabular form in an area (details supplied) in County ...More Button

Details of the relevant capital projects funded by my Department are as follows:

Sustainable Transport

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Sporting Events

Was asked: if he will provide an update on efforts to bring the Rugby World Cup to Ireland (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am fully supportive of the concept of hosting the Rugby World Cup in Ireland.  The IRFU has presented a feasibility study, which they commissioned, to my Department on the potential for hosting t...More Button

Road Projects Issues

Was asked: how improved road access to Kerry from Limerick via Adare and from Cork via Macroom can be progressed as quickly as possible; the plans to improve these two access corridors; and if he will make a ...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: if he will expedite the provision of a bypass in Adare as the delays and backlog of traffic are having a very negative impact on attracting jobs and industry to County Kerry and on tourism in the r...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.  More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding proposals to construct a bypass of Adare, County Limerick; if he is satisfied that the local authority have adequately engaged with the local landowners whose land has been l...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individ...More Button

Was asked: if funding will be provided in the 2014 road works allocations in respect of the proposed development of the East/West route from Cootehill to Shercock / Carrickmacross / Dundalk; and if he will ma...More Button

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on ...More Button

As regards State grants it has been decided that in order to focus the limited available funds on maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing road network, grants for new development projects ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide funding to Cavan County Council in respect of a project (details supplied) in County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on ...More Button

In July last year local authorities were invited to submit applications for consideration for funding in 2013 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme.  Cavan County Council applied for fundi...More Button

The Specific Improvement Grants Scheme is scheduled to be discontinued from 2014 onward in order to maximise the funding available for repair and strengthening work.  In lieu of the Specific Impr...More Button

It is also important to re-iterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement Councils like Cavan County Council in their own resources spending in this area....More Button

Road Signage

Was asked: if he will provide details of the requirement to have new signs placed on motorways at 0.5km intervals detailing the route number, direction and distances travelled; the number of signs which have ...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: his plans for legislation regarding signs and signage based on lands adjacent to different categories of roads throughout Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While the provision of traffic signs on roads is a matter for the relevant road authority, signs and signage on lands adjacent to roads would be covered under the Planning and Development Act 2000 ...More Button

Tourism Projects Funding

Was asked: if there are any supports available for a private enterprise that wishes to establish a sports/tourism facility for commercial purposes, which will have a beneficial impact as a tourist attraction;...More Button

The matter raised is an operational one for Fáilte Ireland and accordingly I have referred the question to the agency for direct reply.  Please contact my private office if a response is not receiv...More Button

Low Carbon Roadmap

Was asked: the progress to date made by his Department in the creation of a low-carbon roadmap as sought under the Our Sustainable Future policy framework and which is necessary to enable the transition to a ...More Button

As the Deputy refers, Departments with responsibility for key sectors in the transition to a low-carbon economy have been tasked with the preparation of individual low-carbon roadmaps that will del...More Button

Transport is a key sector in this context and my Department will be required to frame this low-carbon vision and undertake all necessary evaluation so that a robust and cost-effective policy plat...More Button

  Subsequent to the receipt of submissions and feedback from the Issues Paper, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will be liaising with the other relevant Departments on the various ...More Button

Traffic Management

Was asked: if his Department has ever considered the ideas of the Dutch road planner, Hans Monderman, in the management of traffic in urban areas; if he will provide details of same; if he will consider a pil...More Button

 I understand that Mr. Monderman promoted the concept of a ‘Shared Space’ approach to urban design, a type of approach which has gained increased momentum in Ireland in recent years.

The i...More Button

Air Accident Investigations

Was asked: the role of the Air Accident Investigation Unit's Inspector on Call; the response time for the position in attending scenes of air accidents for each county; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of my Department is subject to the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Regulation (EU) No. 996/2010 and S.I. 460 of ...More Button

Questions Nos. 1678 and 1679 answered with Question No. 1628.More Button

Vehicle Test Centres

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is currently no commercial vehicle testing centre in South Kerry; that owners of commercial vehicles in South Kerry have to travel up to two a...More Button

The subject matter of this question is a matter for the Road Safety Authority and consequently I have referred this question to them for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my Office if...More Button

National Car Test

Was asked: the best available figure or estimate of the number of cars on the road without an NCT; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is not possible to provide an estimated figure of the number of cars on the road without an NCT as statistics of this nature are not maintained. The RSA retain records of vehicles that previousl...More Button

Traffic Surveys

Was asked: if he will provide the latest traffic counts that have been carried out on national roads at locations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Question No. 1691 answered with Question No. 1608.More Button

School Transport Provision

Was asked: if his Department know whether Bus Éireann makes a profit from school transport. More Button

Was asked: if he ever acknowledged to anybody that Bus Eireann make a profit from school transportMore Button

Was asked: the reason he did not meet with Student Transport Scheme Limited and the consortium participants who are a US school bus manufacturer and school transport operators when they requested a meeting in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1695 to 1697, inclusive, together.   More Button

Responsibility for the school transport scheme lies with my colleague, Ciarán Cannon, T.D., Minister for Training and Skills. Both my Secretary General and I have responded to correspondence fr...More Button

I have not acceded to requests for a meeting from Student Transport Scheme Limited as I have no role in relation to the scheme and the issue remains a matter of proceedings before the courts. More Button

Dublin Bus Services

Was asked: the actions he has taken to address the negative social and economic impacts of the withdrawal of the 19 and 13 bus routes by Dublin Bus which has reduced the local service by up to two thirds.More Button

The scheduling and timetabling of services are matters for Dublin Bus, in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA), and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for dire...More Button

Sports Capital Programme

Was asked: when the next sports capital programme will be launched; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button


 

 

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