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Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Rural Transport Programme Funding (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​I refer the Deputy to my answer of 09 March 2017 to her Question (ref no 12495/17, Proof 200). The position remains the same.

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Rural Transport Programme (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​My Department provides funding for the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) to the National Transport Authority (NTA) which has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the RTP. In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Greenways Development (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I propose to take Questions Nos. 193 to 195, inclusive, together. While there was no dedicated funding stream in place in 2011 for the development of greenways €10 million was allocated by my Department under the Special Jobs Initiative Programme to County Councils for the improvement of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and other sustainable transport measures in towns...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Road Tolls (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to roads.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly known as the NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority.  More specifically, the...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Public Service Vehicles (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​As part of the public transport investment programme, my Department provides funding to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for a rolling programme of bus replacement and refurbishment of the PSO fleet and a grant scheme to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis and hackneys in the small public service vehicle (SPSV) fleet. This has enabled 100% of the Dublin Bus...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Departmental Expenditure (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​Details of payments made to external service providers are published by my Department and are available on my Department's website at the following link: .

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Bus Éireann Services (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​As the Deputy is aware, bus services in counties Cavan and Monaghan, and indeed rural Ireland generally,comprise two distinct types of services. There are PSO services, which are socially necessary but financially unviable services, provided by operators under contract with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and which receive taxpayer funding. And then there are commercial bus...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Taxi Regulations (23 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: The regulation of the small public service vehicle industry, including issues pertaining to vehicle standards, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. I have therefore referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

Other Questions: Road Projects (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: The issue is simply that the detail is not known. I take the Deputies' point, however, because I know the Border counties are feeling the pinch already, particularly on trade and by small and medium enterprises to which both Deputies referred. This will obviously have a knock-on effect on infrastructure and roads. My Department has submitted its proposals for the current capital review....

Other Questions: Road Projects (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: ​I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 70 together. I will be as fast as I can. Deputy Griffin will be aware that I was meant to travel the road in question with him last week. Unfortunately, I had to postpone my visit, for which I apologise, as a result of events in County Mayo. I will visit the area in the next week or two or soon after Easter to see the route at first hand....

Other Questions: Road Projects (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I thank Deputies Brendan Griffin and Aindrias Moynihan for raising this issue which has been addressed many times previously. I assure them I will give the matter due and serious consideration in the capital review.

Other Questions: Bus Éireann (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: If the management puts figures of that sort into the public arena, I have to accept them and take them seriously. However, I will not announce profit or loss figures for a semi-State company before they are published. That would be absurd. The figures will be published in due course in the annual report. For me to pre-empt that would be absurd. Despite the fact the Opposition wants to...

Other Questions: Bus Éireann (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I am a shareholder that allows Bus Éireann to get on with its job and to reduce its figures. Do not ask me to pre-empt them before they are even audited. That would be utterly and totally irresponsible. I utterly accept what is being said at the moment as being an honest reflection of the figures that are anticipated for 2016 and 2017.

Other Questions: Road Projects (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 82 together. I have a rather long answer for the Deputy, but I will amalgamate the two questions. Forgive me if I take a few minutes to do it. As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in regard to the national roads programme. The construction, improvement and maintenance of individual national roads is a...

Other Questions: Road Projects (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I gave a commitment to Deputy Smith that I would do that and when I leave this evening I will find out the current position. The Deputy was seeking special EU cohesion funds for Border areas, which I consider a reasonable request. I do not know the current position. It was only a couple of weeks ago and I do not know if we have received a response at this stage. I will follow it up...

Other Questions: Bus Éireann (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: In recent months I have taken action on a number of fronts in order to address issues raised by stakeholders in Bus Éireann. I have increased the amount of public service obligation, PSO, funding so that in 2017 almost €263 million will be provided to the NTA to allocate to public transport operators. That figure represents an 11% increase on 2016, and I have publicly committed...

Other Questions: Bus Éireann (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: The figures for 2017 will be decided at a later date. In respect of the figures for 2016, a total of €9.4 million, we have not seen the accounts because they will not be published until such time as they are ready. The Deputy can be certain that the figures are very high, and completely and utterly unacceptable. As Deputy Troy said, the figures are verging on reckless trading....

Other Questions: Coast Guard Services (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I am a bit at a loss. What the Deputy has said leaves me unconvinced about legislating for a voluntary group. The tributes which we have all paid to the Coast Guard in the last few days have all been deserved and indicate the great respect in which it is held but the fact is the Coast Guard is working. The vast majority of the Coast Guard comprises volunteers, to whom we should all be...

Other Questions: Coast Guard Services (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: In response to what Deputies Troy and Munster have said, I am certainly not going to refuse to meet anybody. It is not in my nature. I think both of the Deputies will know that from being in this House. I will be delighted to meet anybody who requests a meeting on reasonable grounds. Certainly if there are representatives of the Coast Guard who are unhappy with their situation I would be...

Priority Questions: Aviation Issues (22 Mar 2017)

Shane Ross: I agree that the delay is far too long. The House will understand, however, that it would be worse to bring forward flawed legislation which could be challenged. Deputies Daly and Troy would be the first to say that such legislation had been rushed, so it is difficult. As regards bringing people into the consultation process on the noise factor, there is a constant difficulty when one...

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