Dempsey, Noel

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 687 No. 5

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Order of Business.

Deputy Durkan should be careful; he might get what he is asking for.More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. b1 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 1 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

It is a health and safety issue.More Button

They have to move because of the construction.More Button

Does the Deputy want them to fall in on us?More Button

I am sure they will send it to him.More Button

The issue will be considered.More Button

In a mature democracy, the Government would be allowed to consider the report in the first instance.More Button

In a mature democracy, the Government considers matters in the first instance. The report will be published but not before the Government has dealt with it.More Button

Deputy Shatter is ignoring the Chair.More Button

Deputy Shatter is doing his best to make himself irrelevant.More Button

We were waiting for Deputy P. J. Sheehan to return from the forest.More Button

The Deputy was not too kind to me either.More Button

Priority Questions - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the potential and planned spending cuts across his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Planned expenditure levels for my Department will be considered as part of the Estimates and budgetary process for 2010. This will include consideration of the report of the Special Group on Public S...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that we did not make any proposals. We were asked questions about the various programmes. We gave an outline of those programmes and it is up to Mr. McCarthy to make up his ...More Button

The Deputy seems to be under some misapprehension as to the process in regard to an bord snip nua. I did not talk to an bord snip nua. I had no contact with it. I was not asked to have any contact ...More Button

Priority Questions - Taxi Regulations.

Was asked: if he will report on recent meetings with taxi workers and their representatives; his views on a moratorium and major reform of the taxi regulatory system; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Officials of my Department recently met representatives of several different organisations representing taxi interests. They set out the concerns of their members relating to the taxi industry includ...More Button

It would be helpful if the Deputy knew the structure for the control and regulation of the taxi industry. It would make answering some of his questions a little easier. In addition to that, matters ...More Button

As the Deputy should be well aware, both the Garda and the transport officers are involved, and we have approximately 14,000 gardaí in the country. On the economic review, the Deputy has selectively q...More Button

It is an increase. Demand has grown by 25%. The number of cabs has increased from almost 3,000 in 2000 to almost 27,500 in 2008. The current status of the industry, according to the Goodbody report,...More Button

I am aware of the work of the CTR. I am also aware of the work done by the Joint Committee on Transport. A process of consultation is under way and the fair and reasonable approach is to wait until ...More Button

Priority Questions - Public Transport.

Was asked: the progress that has been made in the implementation of the Deloitte report on efficiency reforms in Dublin Bus; the timetable for the implementation of set objectives; his plans to restructure othe...More Button

I understand from Dublin Bus that it has commenced implementation of the recommendations of the Deloitte report. The implementation process includes the application of the principles identified in the...More Button

The total cost of integrated ticketing will be €54 million. The amount spent so far is €19 million.More Button

Yes, to the stage it is now at. The estimated total cost was in the region of €49 or €50 million. When tenders came in that was revised up to €54 million. That is the figure we are looking at. I hop...More Button

I accept the Deputy’s basic point. I am sure Bus Átha Cliath will take note of the fact that there are areas where there are no services. I have seen some maps which illustrate this lack. There is ...More Button

No, it does not. More Button

There have been difficulties in the past. The 1932 Act is slow and cumbersome and is not fit for current purpose.More Button

Was asked: the indicative completion dates of all planned public transport capital projects; the delays that are currently being experienced by these projects; the status of other public transport capital proje...More Button

Significant progress has been made in the delivery of the ambitious programme of works to upgrade our public transport system set out in Transport 21. A number of public transport projects have alre...More Button

Like the Deputy, I have been reading consistently negative comments in newspapers about metro north for as long as I have been in my Department and even prior to that time. Metro north is some people...More Button

However, the project’s situation has not changed one iota. It is one of Transport 21’s two key public projects. As the Deputy is aware from newspaper reports, it is being delayed in the planning pro...More Button

The two preferred tenderers are in place. As soon as the planning and tendering processes have concluded, the cost-benefit appraisal will be carried out. Once it proves positive, which I am certain ...More Button

Its next stage, the railway order, is under consideration. No final decision will be made on the project until we get that order.More Button

Priority Questions - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he will outline the progress to date in reducing the legal blood alcohol level to 0.5 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood; the introduction of compulsory testing of alcohol at road traffic acc...More Button

A road traffic Bill that, inter alia, provides for a reduction in the blood alcohol concentration levels for drivers is nearing completion. The preparation of legislation takes time and I am sure Dep...More Button

The sooner the better. My most recent information in this regard is that, unlike the breathalyser and so on, there is no effective roadside test for drugs. However, drugs can show up in blood and ur...More Button

I agree with the Deputy and I join him in appealing to those going to the concert to drive safely.More Button

Other Questions - State Airports.

Was asked: his views on airport security following recent proposals by an airline (details supplied) to request all passengers to carry their own luggage directly on to the aircraft; his views on whether such a...More Button

While I am aware of recent press articles about suggestions by the airline concerned that it plans to stop passengers checking in any baggage from next year, my Department has not received any proposa...More Button

I do not know why the Deputy would seek a cost-benefit analysis that he knows does not exist. I am not quite sure about his logic.More Button

I will provide the Deputy with a very quick cost-benefit analysis, not even on the back of an envelope. The tax is €10 per passenger and the benefit will be €95 million this year and €156 million pot...More Button

Is the Deputy proposing to sell it?More Button

Perhaps the Deputy will suggest disbanding the Army? Has he any other proposal?More Button

On a serious point, I heard the suggestion about standing on airplanes some days ago. I had not been aware of it and all I could do was laugh. I am still laughing. With regard to security, there ar...More Button

It is not the practice to comment on specific security measures that are in place or which might be implemented at any of the State’s airports. As I stated to Deputy Broughan, passengers are not perm...More Button

Other Questions - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when he expects to introduce a lower drink driving blood alcohol limit; the reason for not meeting the deadline as set out in the road safety strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when legislation will come into effect to reduce the drink driving limit. More Button

Was asked: if he will reduce the legal blood alcohol level from 80 mg per 100 ml to 50 mg per 100 ml; if this measure will be provided for in the new road traffic Bill; when this Bill will be published; and if ...More Button

Was asked: the reason he has not published the new road traffic (amendment) Bill; if he will include a provision for the mandatory testing of all drivers involved in a road collision in the legislation; the oth...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 7, 24, 35 and 64 together. In my reply to Question No. 5, I outlined the provisions on blood alcohol concentration and mandatory testing that will be included in the r...More Button

The Deputy is referring to administrative penalties. We stated on another occasion that the provisions in section 5, although in law, have never been commenced.More Button

The administrative penalties come under section 5. The Garda, the Courts Service and various others have a strong desire to ensure section 5 would become operational because it would free up signific...More Button

The Bill will take account of the blood alcohol concentration levels that the RSA proposed last year. I cannot anticipate Government decisions on this. When a few issues about fixed penalties are sor...More Button

Section 5 of the 2006 Act provides that if a person whose blood alcohol concentration is found to be between 80 mg and 100 mg accepts that fact and takes the fixed penalty he will be fined €300 — I th...More Button

We have to make a change to the Road Traffic Bill to make it feasible because there was a difficulty about the five——More Button

It will be ready sometime in the autumn. More Button

This is the subject of a later question but the Deputy will be delighted to know, because he usually celebrates all our successes, all the actions listed for 2007 have been completed. A total of 24 a...More Button

Other Questions - Appointments to State Boards.

Was asked: when the chief executive officer, CEO, for the Dublin Transport Authority, DTA, will be appointed; the estimated salary for the new, CEO of the DTA; the person he plans to appoint to the board of the...More Button

My Department is proceeding with preparations for the establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority during 2009. A key part of those preparations is the recruitment of a CEO. The necessary recruit...More Button

It was difficult to keep up. With regard to the composition of the authority, I do not anticipate the need to change the criteria for people who will go on the DTA when it changes to a national trans...More Button

We hope to have the Commission for Taxi Regulation absorbed into the national transport authority as quickly as possible. There are considerations regarding transfers of staff and so on that will hav...More Button

It is expected to have it completely rolled out at the end of 2010 and early 2011.More Button

If the Deputy had given me some notice I could have informed him on that issue. I have had similar complaints from Bus Éireann in Deputy Broughan’s area and from other Deputies. Nearly every time I ...More Button

I agree with the Deputy’s other points. We had a discussion on the DTA Bill and I wanted to get the DTA element through at the time. The Deputy rightly pointed out that we would return to this issue...More Button

Other Questions - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: his proposals to improve the fixed charge processing system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Some 36 fixed charge offences under the Road Traffic Acts are covered by the Garda fixed charge processing system. If a person makes a payment of up to €80 within 26 days, or a higher payment of up t...More Button

The Deputy raised this matter on previous occasions and has pursued it quite vigorously in the interim. As a result of issues he raised on a previous Question Time, I asked the officials of my Depart...More Button

Other Questions - Public Transport.

Was asked: if he has explored interest with domestic and international private bus operators to enter the market here to compensate for reduced and lost bus transport systems; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

In recent years, private bus operators have shown a much stronger interest in the provision of bus services and are now well established in parts of the national bus market. They compete with Bus Éir...More Button

I am not aware of any such approaches being made. However, there are a couple of companies which operate in Ireland, the parent companies of which are located abroad. One of the latter has its headq...More Button

Approximately 600 licences are on issue in respect of public bus passenger services being provided by private bus operators throughout the country. In the first half of this year there has been an in...More Button

Yes. In addition, difficulties continue to arise in cases where State bus companies or private operators make prior applications. In such circumstances, one application must be processed before the ...More Button

The matter to which the Deputy refers is extremely specific in nature. If he tables a parliamentary question in respect of it, I will endeavour to obtain the information he requires. If it took two ...More Button

Yes, I am sure there is one or more.More Button

The Deputy should drop a note to me and I will try to give him any information I can.More Button

Was asked: if he will make future funding to CIE contingent on the company producing a strategy for ensuring a more sustainable fleet and for progress in implementing the Deloitte report on bus efficiency; and ...More Button

Public service contracts with the CIE companies are due to be in place by early December. My Department will consider the inclusion in those contracts of provisions relating to emission standards to ...More Button

My Department has asked CIE to have a blend of at least 5%.More Button

Yes, that is what was originally proposed in the programme for Government. CIE purchases fuel for all three companies and its supplier has confirmed that in many cases, a 5% blend is applied by the f...More Button

It is quite to the contrary. The fact that Dublin Bus now operates with fewer buses than it used to recently——More Button

The average age of the fleet has been improved——More Button

——and the company now has buses that are much more fuel-efficient. I will make one point in this regard. Costs must be taken into account and the cost of bio-fuel increased by 46% last year. This fa...More Button

Local Government (Charges) Bill 2009 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages.

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: the action he will take on the further cuts proposed to Bus Éireann. More Button

Service changes are a day-to-day operational matter for Bus Éireann and not one in which I have any function. I have been briefed by Bus Éireann management on the deterioration in its financial positi...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: the reason he has not implemented a number of key actions in the road safety strategy 2007 to 2012, including an administrative disqualification system for drink drivers, a risk register for heavy ve...More Button

Was asked: the number of recommendations of the road safety strategy 2007 to 2012 which have been implemented to date; and the status of the remaining recommendations. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 62 together. The Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012 was prepared by the Road Safety Authority, approved by the Government and launched in October 2007. Its overall ...More Button

Written Answers - Airport Preclearance Facility.

Was asked: when legislation giving effect to the preclearance facility at Shannon Airport will be published; when the facility will be up and running; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the roll-out of the preclearance facilities at Shannon and Dublin Airports; when preclearance facilities will be fully operational at Shannon and Dublin Airports; if Aer Lingus w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 43 together. As Deputies will be aware the Aviation (Preclearance) Bill 2009 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas last week as is due to be signed into l...More Button

Written Answers - Renewable Energy.

Was asked: the action he has taken to compel CIE to implement the 2007 direction to use 5% biodiesel in its fleets and 30% for newly acquired vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to encourage greater use of renewable energy in public transport fleets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 and 18 together. A number of initiatives have taken place in relation to Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to ensure more sustainable fleets in these orga...More Button

Written Answers - Integrated Ticketing.

Was asked: the reason Bus Éireann is behind other CIÉ companies in rolling out an integrated ticketing system; his views on whether ten years for the rollout of this project could be considered a success; and i...More Button

The integrated ticketing system in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) is being introduced on a phased basis, based on smartcard technology. A progressive approach is being adopted to allow customers to fam...More Button

Written Answers - State Airports.

Was asked: the status of the six hangars of a company (details supplied) at Dublin Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The status of the six hangars of SR Technics at Dublin Airport is an operational matter for the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and as such I have no function in the matter. I understand that the DAA a...More Button

Written Answers - Bus Licensing.

Was asked: when he expects the Dublin Transport Authority to be fully operational in view of the fact that legislation establishing the body was signed in 2008; the effect this delay will have on restricting co...More Button

My Department is proceeding with preparations for the establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority (DTA) during 2009. A key part of those preparations is the recruitment of a Chief Executive Office...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Projects.

Was asked: his views on whether all aspects of the Transport 21 plan will be completed by the 2015 deadline; his further views on whether capital transport investment projects are a means to restore lost econom...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the capital spending programme for his Department is expected to alter in each of the next three years with particular reference to the targets he identified when he launched Tran...More Button

Was asked: if he has made submissions to the Department of Finance and the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes regarding capital funding for critical Transport 21 projects in budg...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20, 36 and 56 together. Transport 21 continues to provide the strategic framework guiding Government investment in transport up to 2015. To date, over 60% of the major...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: if he will undertake a review of public bus services for commuters in view of the recent significant changes to Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus routes and services through programmes of cutbacks; if he is...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether CIE is capable in providing adequate bus services at a reasonable cost to the Exchequer in view of the recent cutbacks in services; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 21 and 22 together. In January last I published a cost and efficiency review of Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services. The review concluded that, while both companies ar...More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: if he will reallocate the reduced funding for local and regional road maintenance to local authorities to address long-standing dangerous roads; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There was no reduction in the April Supplementary Budget in the State road grant provision for maintenance works on regional and local roads in 2009 and grants totalling €125.977 million were allocate...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Review.

Was asked: the recommendations the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes has made in relation to transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I have not as yet received the final report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, I cannot comment on its recommendations.More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: the amount of money allocated to road maintenance and improvement projects here in 2007, 2008 and 2009; if funding for capital spending on road building and maintenance projects including up to 80 pr...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The construction, improvement and maintenance of in...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: the reason he has not published the national pedestrian strategy; the proposed key objectives and headings of the strategy; if home zone residential estates will be included; if the strategy will res...More Button

Under the National Road Safety Strategy, the RSA is committed to publishing a pedestrian safety strategy and they are at consultation phase with this project. The question may refer to the commitment ...More Button

Written Answers - Acht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre.

Was asked: cén fáth nach bhfuil sé i gceist aige an tAcht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1961, Alt 95, a leasú chun cead a thabhairt athrú a chur ar chruth dátheangach na gcomharthaí tráchta chun idirdhealú follasach é...More Button

Tá na socruithe maidir le téacs a thaispeáint ar chomharthaí bóthair leagtha amach ins an Acht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1961 (Alt 95). Tá na prionsabail maidir le téacs a thaispeáint ar chomharthaí bót...More Button

Written Answers - Light Rail Project.

Was asked: if he will report on the tendering process for metro north; if he will confirm the two bidders who have been chosen to go forward to the next round of metro north; when the winning tenderer will be s...More Button

On 30 June, the Railway Procurement Agency announced that it had short-listed two bidding groups, Celtic Metro Group and Metro Express, to proceed to the final stage of the Metro North PPP procurement...More Button

Written Answers - Sustainable Transport.

Was asked: the amount of funding allocated specifically to meet objectives and targets in the sustainable travel and cycling documents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that the cost of implementing the national cycle policy framework will be €2.3 billion; the timeframe for the allocation of the €2.3 billion; the number of years it will take to fu...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 30 together. Smarter Travel, A Sustainable Transport for Ireland, sets out a range of actions across all areas of Government to deliver a sustainable transport ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he will amend the Harbours Act 1996 through the mechanism of the Merchant Shipping Bill to increase the mandatory retirement age for maritime pilots from 60 to 65; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

As I have indicated in both the Committee and Report Stage debates on the Harbours (Amendment) Bill 2008, my officials are examining the issue of section 69 of the Harbours Act 1996 in consultation wi...More Button

Written Answers - Driving Tests.

Was asked: when he will publish his plans for green driving tests and enhanced eco-driving education; if he will report on the key headings and objectives of the proposed green driving tests and eco-driving pla...More Button

Smarter Travel, the Government policy on Sustainable Transport, proposes a number of initiatives relating to eco-driving and driver behaviour. I have established a joint working group between the Road...More Button

Written Answers - Light Rail Project.

Was asked: the position regarding all preparation works for the big dig and the upcoming major infrastructural works in Dublin for metro north, the Luas link-up and the Dublin rail interconnector; when the publ...More Button

I have previously advised the House that traffic management in Dublin City centre, including public information campaigns relating to traffic management, is a matter for Dublin City Council. As the De...More Button

Written Answers - Haulage Licences.

Was asked: his response to the Garda Ombudsman who claimed that the gardaí had provided sufficient information to his Department to make an appropriate judgment on whether to issue a haulier licence to a person...More Button

I have not yet received the Report in question. It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment on this matter until the Report has been received and examined.More Button

Written Answers - Employment Rights.

Was asked: if he will report on the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention and the way it will benefit maritime workers; his views on increasing the number of marine surveyors and inspectors operating...More Button

Ireland has been an active supporter of negotiations on the International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention in its efforts to promote global labour standards for seafarers. The Conventi...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Sector.

Was asked: his views on the recent OECD report that competitiveness would be restored through stronger competition; his plans to increase business competition in the transport sector; and if he will make a stat...More Button

The Agreed Programme for Government includes commitments to reform bus licensing to facilitate the optimum provision of services by providing a level playing field for all market participants, and to ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: when technical improvements which were recommended in the Deloitte report, including the early introduction of integrated ticketing, real time information, and AVL systems will be introduced for publ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Priority Question No. 3 of today.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: the reason he has not appointed a new chairman for the Dublin Port Company; when the appointment will be made for this job in view of the challenges facing Dublin and all of the national ports at pre...More Button

Section 30 of the Harbours Act 1996 provides for consultation with a number of bodies before appointments to port company boards are made. Various bodies including the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland,...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: his views on the recent European Transport Safety Council statement which indicates that Ireland will be one of the states which will not hit the target of reducing road deaths by 50% between 2001 an...More Button

Was asked: his views on the number of road deaths and collisions over the past few months including the loss of 32 lives on roads here in May 2009 compared with 19 deaths on the roads in May 2008; the measures,...More Button

I propose to take Questions 48 and 41 together. Road safety is a key priority for Government, and this commitment is underpinned by the Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012. We are still on target to meet ...More Button

Was asked: the amount of funding which has been allocated to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety specifically to target drug driving for these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The number of specimens tested for the presence of a drug or drugs by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety for the years 2005 to 2008 is as follows: Figures for 2009 are not available at this time. While...More Button

Written Answers - Driving Tests.

Was asked: if he will report on the new EU road safety regulations including the requirement for a driver certificate of professional competence which will come into force on 10 September 2009; if the Road Safe...More Button

Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has responsibility for these matters. In 2008 I introduced legislati...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he has received, from the Department of Finance, a copy of the cost benefit analysis of the new €10 air travel tax; if he has undertaken an investigation of the impact of the air travel tax on air...More Button

The airline industry, along with other industries within the transport sector and beyond, continues to go through a difficult trading period. However, the Government does not accept that the decline i...More Button

Written Answers - Airport Development Projects.

Was asked: his plans for the future status and development of Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the status of the State Airports Act 2004; if he will repeal the legislation; if so, the timeframe for the repeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 46 together. In December last, following the recommendations of the boards of the three State Airport Authorities, I announced the deferral until 2011 of a deci...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Costs.

Was asked: if he has made comparisons between transport costs here and those applicable in other jurisdictions; the degree to which the main features of extra costs here have been identified; the action he will...More Button

Comparative data on transport costs are not readily available from respected international statistical sources such as Eurostat and the International Transport Forum. Cost competitiveness is a key con...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Transport Services.

Was asked: his policy in relation to the development of public transport links in rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the need to have a comprehensive public transport system in rural areas here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will review rural transport policy with the obligation of existing services to new areas or regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52, 50 and 447 together. The provision of public transport services in rural areas is being progressed in the context of my Department’s Rural Transport Programme and ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: if he has considered the recommendations of the rural transport report recently published by an organisation (details supplied); if he will implement any of the proposals outlined in this report; and...More Button

I presume that the Deputy is referring to the research study Towards A Sustainable Rural Transport Policy relating to the challenges of developing more sustainable travel patterns for persons living i...More Button

Written Answers - Air Services.

Was asked: his views on a new aviation white paper on Ireland’s national strategic air connectivity; his further views on recent proposals by Aer Lingus to end flights between Shannon and New York and Chicago d...More Button

Was asked: the initiatives he is considering to address all of the major issues in the aviation sector including the loss of aviation jobs at airline operators and in the aviation maintenance and engineering in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 57 together. The aviation sector and particularly the airline sector is extremely cyclical in nature. The airline sector is being badly affected by the current...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief.

Was asked: the level of funding which will be made available in order to alleviate the damage caused by flooding in County Donegal in June 2009. More Button

In September 2004 the Government confirmed the Office of Public Works (OPW) as the State’s lead agency in flooding, to be tasked with delivering an integrated, multifaceted programme aimed at mitigati...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Policy.

Was asked: if he has had contacts with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on the planned national electric car roll-out programme; the number of businesses which have taken up the op...More Button

I have been in contact with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on the plans for electric cars. In February I launched Smarter Travel, Ireland’s new sustainable transport po...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of staff working in his Department at various grade levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The following table provides the information requested by the Deputy. More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: if he will report on the graduated driving licence scheme; when he will publish the legislation necessary to implement the full GDLS; the reason there has been a delay in rolling out this road safety...More Button

The Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012 outlines a range of measures to be considered in relation to a Graduated Driver Licensing System (GDLS). The driver licensing regulations, which were made in Octobe...More Button

Written Answers - Air Services.

Was asked: his views on the recent €1 increase in airport charges from €7.39 per person to €8.35 beginning in January 2010 that was sanctioned by the Commission on Aviation Regulation; if he expects airport cha...More Button

I have no role in determining the per passenger charges at Dublin airport. The Commission for Aviation Regulation is the independent regulatory body responsible for setting maximum passenger charges ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the reason bus licensing legislation to replace the Road Transport Act 1932 has not been introduced; the reason for the ongoing delay in publishing this legislation; the proposed publication date for...More Button

In January 2009, the Government approved the General Scheme of the Public Transport Regulation Bill which contains proposals for a new bus licensing regime which will replace the Road Transport Act 19...More Button

Written Answers - Penalty Points System.

Was asked: the action he will take on the submission by an organisation (details supplied) on shadow licences to address the abuse of the penalty points system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have not received a submission from the organisation on the matter referred to. However a number of amendments to the fixed charge system are included in the forthcoming Road Traffic Bill.More Button

Written Answers - Regional Airports.

Was asked: the financial contributions made to Derry City Airport in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009 in tabular form; the numbers of Republic of Ireland citizens who used the airpor...More Button

Financial contributions made by my Department to City of Derry Airport during the period in question are outlined in the following table. No payments were made from 2002 to 2007 inclusive. The paymen...More Button

Written Answers - Harbours and Piers.

Was asked: the number of non-tidal ports in Counties Donegal and Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Dáil Question No. 313 on the same issue given to the Deputy on 7 July 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of staff employed by his Department in County Louth by location; if such staff are permanent, temporary, part time or on fixed contracts and so on; the accommodation used by such staff and...More Button

There are no staff in my Department based in County Louth. More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Review.

Was asked: if his Department made submissions to the McCarthy Group on potential savings in his Department; the contents of the submissions made; if the McCarthy group made proposals to his Department; the cont...More Button

I can confirm that my Department, in response to a request from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, submitted a briefing document to the Group outlining the scope a...More Button

Written Answers - Taxi Regulations.

Was asked: if he has reviewed the conclusions of the recent economic study on the taxi sector by the Taxi Regulator; his views on the fact that an over supply has emerged in the sector; the policy options that ...More Button

The Commission for Taxi Regulation is preparing proposals for the further development and the improved regulation of the sector taking account of the response to the public consultation on the economi...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: the timeframe for the establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority; the timeframe for the appointment of a chief executive officer; the organisational structures which will be put in place; the st...More Button

The Dublin Transport Authority (DTA) will be established later this year. A competition for the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate has been concluded and the outcome will be anno...More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies.

Was asked: if he has issued any policy directives to agencies under his control requiring them to contain increases in any licence fees to no more than increases in the cost of living; and to set any increase i...More Button

I have not issued any policy directives to the agencies under my control with regard to increases in licence fees.More Button

Written Answers - Integrated Ticketing.

Was asked: the status of the plans for integrated ticketing; when this facility will be rolled out throughout the public transport system; the estimated cost of the project; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The integrated ticketing system in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) is being introduced on a phased basis, based on smartcard technology. A progressive approach is being adopted to allow customers to fam...More Button

Written Answers - Capital Projects.

Was asked: if all transport agencies and companies will be able to complete all committed projects to date without having to raise more private debt of direct Government funding; if he has received representati...More Button

Existing contractual committed infrastructure projects under Transport 21 for the Railway Procurement Agency, CIE and the National Roads Authority can progress to completion without resource to raisin...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Staff.

Was asked: the number of staff in his Department, including all authorities, agencies or other institutions under the aegis of his Department, who have applied for the incentivised early retirement scheme and t...More Button

The following table provides details in relation to applications for the incentive schemes and also redundancies, as requested by the Deputy. *ISER — Incentivised Early Retirement SchemeMore Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: his views on the clause in the M3 toll road agreement which establishes guaranteed minimum traffic levels where the Irish Government will have to pay the concession company compensation if traffic fa...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The statutory power to levy tolls on national roads...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: if he will report on the recent industrial dispute at Dublin Port terminal; if he has had any contact with Dublin Port management or workers’ representatives on this matter; if all the industrial pro...More Button

I have no function in relation to industrial disputes.More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: if a decision has been made in respect of funding for a road project (details supplied) in County Kildare; if he will clarify if it is he or the National Roads Authority that it responsible for the p...More Button

The N78 is a national secondary route and, accordingly, any proposal to upgrade the road, or provide an alternative route, to relieve traffic congestion would be a matter for consideration by the Nati...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: his plans for an integrated transport policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I launched the Government’s plan for an integrated transport policy in February of this year. Smarter Travel, A Sustainable Transport Future for Ireland sets out a vision for travel, which aims to re...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Projects.

Was asked: the extent to which he expects all elements of his Transport 21 plan to proceed as announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to similar Parliamentary Questions Nos. 20, 36 and 56 of today’s date.More Button

Was asked: the full impact to which he expects Transport 21 to positively impact on commuter needs in the greater Dublin area in the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Transport 21 continues to provide the strategic framework guiding Government investment in transport up to 2015, for Ireland as a whole and in the Greater Dublin Area. The programme aims to expand the...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the public bus transport sector is adequately funded to meet full service on all routes. More Button

Over the period 2000–2008 a total of €800m has been paid to Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann in compensation for the public services obligation services, which they provide. In 2009, this will amount to €1...More Button

Written Answers - Transport Projects.

Was asked: if he will make new announcements in regard to extensions to public transport not contained in his Transport 21 policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Transport 21 is the capital investment framework under the National Development Plan through which the transport system in Ireland will be developed, over the period 2006 to 2015. This sets out a suit...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the Transport 21 capital costs may have reduced in the current economic climate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The transport implementing agencies have indicated to the Department that there has been a general downward trend in tender prices and in the cost of land purchases in recent times. However, these cha...More Button

Written Answers - Rail Services.

Was asked: the daily passenger throughput in respect of each rail station in County Kildare; the extent to which this is expected to increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have asked the company to update the information that was provided to the Deputy in July 2008.More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: his plans to reduce the blood alcohol level for driving; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A Road Traffic Bill, which, inter alia, provides for a reduction in the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels for drivers, is nearing completion. The Bill takes account of the BAC levels proposed ...More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 242 of 28 April 2009, the status of this proposal; the expected date by which the proposal will be fully completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I have recently approved proposals for the amalgamation of the Air Accident Investigation Unit of my Department, the Railway Accident Investigation Unit of the Railway Safety Commission and the Marine...More Button

Written Answers - Harbours and Piers.

Was asked: the position in relation to previous correspondence regarding harbour pilots and the current retirement age of 60 years for pilots; and his plans to bring forward a legislative amendment which will r...More Button

Arising out of representations received by my Office and as I have indicated at both the Committee and Report Stage debates on the Harbours (Amendment) Bill 2008, my officials are examining the issue ...More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: the amount allocated to each local authority in 2008 and 2009 for road restoration improvement grants. More Button

State road grants allocated under the Restoration Improvement Programme in 2008 and 2009 are set out in the following table.More Button

Written Answers - Rail Network.

Was asked: the planned improvements to the Maynooth suburban rail line in 2009, 2010 and 2011. More Button

The development of the Maynooth line is an essential element of the DART Underground Programme which, along with Metro North, are key projects in the provision of increased capacity on the public tran...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: the position regarding funding allocated towards the roll-out of certain green routes and quality bus corridors (details supplied) in Cork in 2009. More Button

Under Transport 21, my Department has been funding the development of a network of Green Routes in Cork, in line with proposals developed in the Cork Area Strategic Plan (CASP). One of the Green Rout...More Button

Written Answers - Ports Review.

Was asked: his views on the need to ensure that the Government commissioned report on the future of all ports here is completed and available to An Bord Pleanála prior to them taking a decision on the current a...More Button

I have recently received a final report of the Dublin Port National Development Plan Study for my consideration and it is my intention to publish the findings of this report in the near future. I am n...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: when the roll out of a new single brand for all public transport services in the greater Dublin area will begin; the figure that this new branding plan will cost; if the Dublin Transport Authority wi...More Button

In accordance with section 57 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 it will be a matter for the new Authority, when established, to develop and secure the implementation of a single brand to be u...More Button

Written Answers - Air Services.

Was asked: if he will liaise with the Commission on Aviation Regulation, the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority to investigate the escalating series of extra charges being imposed on airline...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 66 answered on 26th May 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Motor Vehicle Registration.

Was asked: if he will publish the report into the presence of Irish and foreign registered car write-offs on roads here; the number of car write-offs that have been found of roads here; the contacts he has had ...More Button

As I indicated in replies to previous similar questions, voluntary arrangements with insurers have been put in place whereby my Department receives regular notifications of write-off instances. This a...More Button

Written Answers - Congestion Charges.

Was asked: if he has ruled out the introduction of a congestion charge within the Dublin area within three years in view of the ongoing public transport deficit in the greater Dublin area; and if he will make a...More Button

I will not rule in or out the potential fiscal measures needed to reduce congestion in the Greater Dublin Area. Although I expressed an opinion that congestion charges might ultimately be needed to he...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: if his Department’s study of Dublin Port has been completed; when it will be published; his plans to bring forward a green paper on Dublin Port; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have received a final report of the Dublin Port National Development Plan Study for consideration and it is my intention to publish its findings in the near future. The report will provide an import...More Button

Written Answers - Rail Services.

Was asked: his plans to increase rail freight within the transport system; his further plans to introduce a rail freight subsidy on a per tonne basis for materials that are transferred from existing road freigh...More Button

There is substantial ongoing current and capital Exchequer investment in the development and operation of the Irish railway network. Total Exchequer funding allocated to Iarnród Éireann for 2008 amou...More Button

Was asked: the estimated commencement of works and completion date for metro west; the estimated commencement or works and completion date for Lucan Luas line F; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the commencement of works and completion date for Luas line BS and Luas line D; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 464 and 465 together. The start and completion dates for projects which have not yet commenced construction, including Metro West, the Lucan Luas Line F and the Luas c...More Button

Was asked: the estimated completion dates for the full Navan rail line and western rail corridor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under Transport 21 the Western Rail Corridor is to be reinstated on a phased basis. Phase 1 will see the reinstatement of the line from Ennis to Athenry and is due for completion later this year. Phas...More Button

Was asked: the status of proposals for Luas or light rail systems for Cork, Galway and Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, the local authorities in Cork, Galway and Limerick are carrying out studies into the feasibility of light rail systems and also, at my reques...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a full report on the Dublin rail interconnector; the stage that planning for the Rail Interconnector is at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The provision of increased capacity is a key consideration in determining investment priorities for public transport. Given their potential to greatly increase capacity on the public transport networ...More Button

Written Answers - Dublin Port Tunnel.

Was asked: the final cost for the construction of the Dublin Port tunnel; if further plans for the payment will be made to a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in respect of the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The implementation of individual national road proje...More Button

Written Answers - Road Network.

Was asked: the status of the Leinster Outer Orbital route and the Dublin eastern bypass; if he will publish the National Roads Authority report on the Leinster outer orbital route; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The construction, improvement and maintenance of in...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Contracts.

Was asked: the companies which have been successful in tendering for contracts for his Department in the past 20 years; the other companies which tendered for the same contracts; the tender prices for these con...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available and would involve an inordinate amount of time and resources to compile.More Button

Was asked: if he contracted a company (details supplied) to build facilities on behalf of the State; if he is satisfied that sub-contractors were paid for works carried out; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

No contracts have been awarded by the Department of Transport to the company in question.More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: if he has been briefed by management and workers’ representatives in Bus Éireann on proposals to cut 162 buses and 320 jobs from the company which will have an impact on the national bus network and ...More Button

I have been briefed by Bus Éireann management on the deterioration in its financial position due in the main to declining demand and revenue and increased costs, and on the measures necessary to maint...More Button


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