Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Public Transport Cost.

Wednesday, 24 November 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 257 No. 2

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17.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he has plans to reduce the cost of public transport to levels which would be competitive with public transport prices in Northern Ireland.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  Comparison between the levels of public transport costs in Northern Ireland and here cannot validly be made because they are not derived from the same bases.

CIE have been unable, in the rapid cost inflation in recent years, despite increased productivity, to meet rising costs and substantial financial assistance has had to be provided for the board by the Exchequer.

As the Deputy is aware, a Supplementary Estimate is being introduced today for payment of an additional £4.464 million to CIE to meet the board's excess deficit in the current financial year. This sum is in addition to the annual statutory subvention of £2.65 million payable to the board under the Transport Act, 1964.

It will be clear, therefore, that there [243] is no scope for a reduction in CIE charges.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Could the Minister tell me the average cost per mile of passenger services in CIE?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  Is the Deputy talking about total passenger cost?

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  The average cost per mile.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  It is 1.65p.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Per passenger mile?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  Yes: transport cost per mile.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Per seat mile or passenger mile?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  Per passenger mile.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is the Minister aware that the figure in Northern Ireland is roughly one new penny per mile?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  It is not quite that. It varies. For Northern Railway it is 1.53; for Ulster Bus, 1.79.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is it as high at that?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  Yes.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  May I ask the Minister can he explain why the service from Dungarvan, through Clonmel, to Dublin is averaging——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  That is a separate question.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  I may say that the position in the North is considerably facilitated by reason of the fact that they have hived off practically all their rail systems, in the process, creating considerable disemployment. We are concerned about the fact that of the 20,000 employees in CIE, 10,000 are employed on the railways.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Question No. 18. The Minister for Social Welfare.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  May I ask the Minister——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  The Deputy [244] has had three supplementaries. The Deputy may not ask the Minister.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I want to ask the Minister why he can provide a service from Dungarvan to Dublin costing seven-tenths of a penny per mile and the Donegal people have to pay over twopence.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  I have already pointed out to the Deputy that that question is not in order.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Why is there discrimination against Donegal people? I am talking about the passengers who go to Donegal by service bus. I am not talking about the former Minister.


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