Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
528. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the new DART carriages that have been ordered include wheelchair ramps that can be used by wheelchair users as needed and do not need to be booked ahead to have a ramp ready; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50289/19]
As the Deputy may be aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. This includes, in consultation with Iarnód Éireann, the procurement of additional rail fleet and the design requirements for same.
I would clarify for the Deputy that no new DART fleet has been ordered yet. Government recently approved the purchase of 41 additional InterCity Railcars (ICRs) and delviery is expected to commence in late 2021.
In relation to DART fleet, the NTA and Iarnród Éireann have commenced pre-qualifying in relation to the proposed purchase of a significant number of new DART carriages; however, a contract in relation to this purchase will not be placed until next year.
Noting the NTA's responsibility in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply regarding the specific issue raised. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.