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Donohoe, Paschal

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Business of Dáil (Continued)

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Water Services Bill 2014: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

National Car Test (Continued)

I thank Deputy Dooley for raising this matter. He is correct that the entire objective of the session is to raise topical issues. The original issue raised related to the national car test, NCT, ...More Button

First, I wish to refer to changes to the penalty points regime which came into effect yesterday, and the particular change to which Deputy Dooley referred with regard to the NCT system and the ne...More Button

In response to the Deputy's point about current waiting times for NCT tests, I have been in constant contact with the Road Safety Authority, RSA, on the matter, and it has informed me that the be...More Button

The most up-to-date statistics indicate that for the week commencing 24 November, a total of approximately 25,000 NCT tests were carried out. Of those, 9,000 were late or very late - meaning the...More Button

I will continue to monitor the situation. The average waiting time for tests currently is 11 days nationally. I am looking at how it stacks up per centre to address the very point to which Deputy...More Button

On the earlier point regarding the concerns aired today on the operation of the penalty points system - the Deputy also asked me questions on the matter at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Tra...More Button

Cycling Facilities Funding

Was asked: the reason he did not adhere to the independent assessment team's recommendations for the funding of greenways; the objective criteria he used in choosing the projects which received funding; and i...More Button

My Department held a funding call in respect of the Local Authority National Cycle Network Funding Programme 2014 to 2016 in September 2013.  The first phase of the assessment process involved the ...More Button

Road Safety

Was asked: the speed limits that apply to residential areas that have not yet been taken in charge by the relevant local authority; if there are mechanisms in place to modify these speed limits using local by...More Button

Was asked: if the recently announced pilot programme for the reduction of speed limits to 30 km/hr in residential areas applies to all residential areas and estates in a local authority area, including those ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 469 and 470 together.  More Button

In mid-October last, my Department issued a Circular to all local authorities requesting them to undertake a review of speed limits in housing estates so that they and the Elected Members could d...More Button

Among the recommendations contained in the Circular to local authorities is that the latter should, as part of the measures to improve safety, go through the process of adopting bye-laws for the ...More Button

The taking in charge of housing estate roads by local authorities is provided for under section 11 of the Roads Act, 1993. Where there is an undue delay by a road authority in taking a road in c...More Button

National Roads Authority Projects

Was asked: the reason a placename continues to appear incorrectly on official documents (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I was glad to be able to inform the public that the National Roads Authority will be progressing a programme of minor road improvement works across the country next year - the project list attached...More Button

Roads Maintenance

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the success of the street repairs app used in Britain and Northern Ireland; and his views on modernising the process of reporting local maintenance issues via loc...More Button

I very much support the modernisation of reporting local maintenance issues. Indeed, internet facilities and apps such as fixmystreet are already available in Ireland. Improved information can as...More Button

In addition, my Department has been working with local authorities towards the development of a pavement management system for Ireland using the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) MapRoad ...More Button

Coast Guard Services

Was asked: regarding the radio station on Valentia Island, the position regarding the night shift at the radio station; if there is no threat to the cover that is being provided at night and if the station wi...More Button

In response to the publication of a Value for Money Report into the operation of the Irish Coast Guard in 2012, an examination of the future operation of the 3 Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centres (...More Button

I can confirm that I have no plans to reduce the services at Valentia MRSC and that it is being maintained on a 24 hour basis.  The staff in the Coast Guard are continuing to develop the services...More Button

The Coast Guard is currently recruiting Watch Officers to bring the staffing complement of Watch Officers in the three centres up to 40, as provided in the Action Plan.  It is expected that some ...More Button

Rail Services

Was asked: the reason Iarnród Éireann has an excessively severe restriction policy (details supplied) regarding refunds; and if this is in breach of normal customer charters and best practice.More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.      

  Please advise m...More Button

Was asked: the definition of a commuter route as defined by Iarnród Éireann; if a customer who commutes to a city to work and purchases a yearly ticket should be classed as a commuter and if the route is clas...More Button

The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.

 &...More Button

Was asked: if he will direct Iarnród Éireann to change its punctuality targets for Intercity and commuter peak services from ten minutes to five minutes; and his views on the punctuality targets for comparabl...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.

 &n...More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the amount in the multi-annual capital plan allocated for the development of long distance walking and cycling routes for the years 2015 to 2017, inclusive; the amount spent in each year for the pa...More Button

Under the National Cycle Network Funding (NCN) Programme 2012-2013 my Department awarded funding of €7 million to local authorities for the delivery of 16 cycleway/greenway projects of varying scal...More Button

State Bodies Abolition

Was asked: his views on the planned dissolution of the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, and the transfer of its staff to the National Roads Authority, NRA; if the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Emplo...More Button

I understand the proposed dissolution of RPA and the movement of its staff and functions into NRA would constitute a “Transfer” for purposes of the EU TUPE Directive.

  Ha...More Button

National Car Test

Was asked: if he will postpone the introduction of penalty points for failure to display a valid national car test certificate pending a clearing of the current test backlog; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the national car test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on increasing the notification period for national car testing from 90 days to 120 days in recognition of the exorbitant time it takes to secure an appointment; and his views on improving...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 477, 489 and 497 together.More Button

Changes to the penalty points regime which came into effect yesterday, 8 December, were legislated for under the Road Traffic Act 2014. These changes relate to a range of measures, including the...More Button

It has, for some years, been an offence to use a vehicle on public roads without a valid NCT certificate. Prior to yesterday’s change, this offence involved a direct summons to court and the assi...More Button

Enforcement of the relevant legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána.  If a person’s NCT test date is imminent, it will be a matter for the Gardai to use their discretion. However, responsi...More Button

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) informs me that it is able to deal with current demand and has also run a campaign to get people to book early, as the test may be undertaken up to 90 days in adva...More Button

The RSA also advise me that the vast majority of car owners, including those who require an early test, will receive an NCT appointment within 28 days.  The average waiting time for a full test i...More Button

The recent changes to the penalty points system represent a further important contribution to making our roads safer for all users.More Button

Issues with road traffic legislation arose last week which have revealed that technical legislative amendments may be required in relation to the operation of penalty points. I am awaiting advic...More Button

Road Network

Was asked: if he will report on those instances nationally where two national primary routes meet or intersect at a crossroads; the special measures taken to manage traffic volumes where such intersections oc...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and  funding in relation to the national roads programme.

  The construction, improvement and maintenance of i...More Button

Was asked: if the National Roads Authority will examine a stretch of highly dangerous road (details supplied) in County Kerry; if a resolution plan will be prepared to make this section of road safer; and if ...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, such as the N70 is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act. ...More Button

Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Was asked: if he will seek an immediate EU derogation for Tipperary County Council to begin to realign a series of dangerous bends on the R-498 Nenagh-Thurles road at Latteragh, County Tipperary; the steps hi...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

Under Section 51 of the Roads Act 1993, a road authority is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in respect of a proposed road development which is not exempt from the Envi...More Button

Where An Bord Plenála considers that a proposed road development is likely to have significant effects on the environment it can direct the road authority to prepare an EIS and if a road authorit...More Button

Rail Passengers Data

Was asked: the average number of commuters who used Howth Junction-Donaghmede DART station on a weekly basis in the years 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The issue raised is a 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 recei...More Button

Bus Éireann Fleet

Was asked: the current strength of the Bus Éireann fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Bus 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...More Button

Taxi Regulations

Was asked: in order to increase the supply of wheelchair accessible vehicles, WAVS, if he will intervene to extend the deadline for taxi drivers wishing to avail of the WAV grant from the National Transport A...More Button

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, including responsibil...More Button

Was asked: his views on the declining number of wheelchair-accessible taxis within the State.More Button

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, including responsibil...More Button

Regional Airports

Was asked: the annual cost to the Exchequer of the regional air services public service obligation for the Donegal to Dublin route; the number of passengers that utilise the service per annum in the past five...More Button

Was asked: the annual cost to the Exchequer of the regional air services public service obligation for the Kerry to Dublin route; the number of passengers that utilised the service per annum in the past five ...More Button

Was asked: the amount of State aid paid to each regional airport in the years 2009 to 2013, inclusive, and to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 483 to 485, inclusive, together.

  Under the current Regional Airports Programme, Exchequer support is provided to Donegal, Waterford, Kerry and ...More Button

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Was asked: if he will arrange to make available a copy of the compulsory purchase order for the Dingle-Tralee railway line with regard to land acquired in the townland of Camp Upper, Tralee, County Kerry, whi...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to CIÉ for direct reply.

  Please advise my private office if you do not r...More Button

  Question No. 489 answered with Question No. 477.More Button

Smarter Transport

Was asked: if he has any long term targets for the continued expansion of the pedometer challenge and the ten minute cycle challenge as part of the smarter travel workplace and smarter travel campus programme.More Button

The operation of the pedometer challenge and the ten minute cycle challenge is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) which delivers the smarter travel workplace and campus programme.<...More Button

Departmental Programmes

Was asked: his plans for greater national participation in the green-schools travel programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The delivery of the Green Schools Travel Programme is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with An Taisce.

  Accordingly, I have forwarded your requ...More Button

Rail Network

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the number of DART expansion projects under the Transport 21 programme which were deferred; when the assessment of these capital investment projects for 2015 will be co...More Button

The DART Underground Programme, as envisaged under Transport 21, is made up of 2 elements:More Button

(1) The development of an underground tunnel (the DU project) between Docklands and Inchicore which will serve a number of key locations in the city centre with underground stations More Button

(2) A series of associated sub-projects including the City Centre Resignalling project, a new Centralised Traffic Control Centre (CTC), Resignalling and Elimination of level-crossings on the Maynoo...More Button

When the Tunnel element was postponed under the current capital plan there was a commitment to reconsider it in advance of the next capital plan. In that regard, the Business Case is now being re...More Button

Following receipt and assessment of the reports I will then consider the options and priorities for addressing key public transport deficits in the GDA having regard to the costs and benefits and...More Button

Some of the DART Underground associated sub-projects which have benefits in and of themselves are either underway already, such as the City Centre Resignalling project, or preliminary studies hav...More Button

Driver Licences

Was asked: if he will address a matter (details supplied) raised in correspondence regarding the driving licence system.More Button

The position regarding people returning or coming to live in Ireland with US driving licences is one of which I am well aware, and which has arisen a number of times.More Button

The starting point is that the purpose of a driver licensing system is to ensure basic standards of driving on our roads. Ireland operates within a framework of EU driver licensing law, and on th...More Button

In addition, we have bilateral agreements with a number of non-EU states, where detailed study has shown that their licensing regimes and ours are compatible.More Button

We do not have such an agreement with the USA. This is because American driver licensing operates at State level, with widely varying systems and standards of licensing. Even if we were to recogn...More Button

As a result, regrettably, people moving here with a US licence may drive only for a period up to a year on a visitor basis, but must then acquire an Irish licence. While they are required to unde...More Button

An Fhoireann Rannach

Is oth liom a rá leis an Teachta Dála nach bhfuil na staitisticí sin le fáil againn sa Roinn. Tá 429 oifigeach ina mbaill san fhoireann na Ranna. De réir shuíomh ghréasáin inmheánaigh na Ranna, tá ...More Button

  Question No. 497 answered with Question No. 477.More Button

Tourism Data

Was asked: his views on the value of pedal bike passenger carriers and rickshaws for local tourism.More Button

I am not aware of any research or insights into the views of tourists with regard to pedal bike passenger carriers and rickshaws in Ireland. Accordingly, I am not in a position to comment on their...More Button

Road Safety Strategy

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 578 of 25 November 2014 if he will provide details on strategies in place to lower the number of rural pedestrians killed on our roads annually.More Button

The strategies outlined in the Road Safety Strategy include the implementation of specific educational measures aimed at vulnerable road users. These include the safe crossing of roads by pedestria...More Button

The Road Safety Authority has introduced road safety awareness campaigns that promote Personal Protection Equipment for vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists), and which support a modal...More Button

Was asked: his views on measures to exculpate penalty points for those who are willing to undergo a series of road safety classes at their own expense in order to improve their driving skills and safety aware...More Button

The introduction of driving awareness courses is something that my Department is willing to consider under the umbrella of alternative sentencing options.More Button

Action 107 of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 states that, subject to legal advice, my Department should, with the support of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Department of Justice and ...More Button

The RSA is developing proposals on this Action at present and I am awaiting the conclusions before considering what steps might then be taken.  The idea behind alternative sentencing is to explor...More Button

Cycling Policy

Was asked: his initiatives to help promote female cycling nationally; if his attention is drawn to the impact of the demographic to increase overall cycling participation; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

My Department  administers a number of smarter travel programmes, through funding provided to local authorities, which incorporate the promotion of cycling and walking.  These are the Active Travel...More Button

These programmes promote initiatives to enable greater access to public transport, car-sharing, safe continuous walking/cycling infrastructure and provide improved connectivity within and between...More Button

The core concept in Smarter Travel is to reduce congestion, improve travel mobility, accessibility, health and fitness and the overall quality of life for all and is not gender specific. More Button

Direct, specific and targeted participation of all groups are part of  the aims of the programmes.However, the programmes will invariably have a positive impact on facilitating and promoting the ...More Button

Was asked: if there will be a round of sustainable transport funding in 2015; and when projects will be considered for inclusion.More Button

All available funding for the delivery of works under the Smarter Travel Programme 2014 - 2016 and the Government Stimulus Package 2014/2015 is now fully committed. However, it is likely, given th...More Button

Community Involvement Scheme

Was asked: if he will report on the community involvement scheme; the uptake of the scheme, on a county basis, since its introduction; and his future plans for the scheme.More Button

Details of the regional and local road grant payments to local authorities, including under the Community Involvement Scheme (CIS), are outlined in the regional and local road grant payment booklet...More Button