Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Transport Policy

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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344. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to encourage active travel modes to and from work in his Department and public bodies and agencies that operate under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17378/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department has a number of initiatives in place to encourage and facilitate employees to use active travel to commute to work. Such initiatives include:

Cycle to Work scheme:The Cycle to Work scheme is a tax incentive scheme to encourage staff to cycle to work and is in operation in my Department.

Travel pass scheme:The travel pass scheme for public transport is also available to Department staff. It allows staff to purchase an annual travel pass for bus, train, DART and Luas by tax free salary deductions.

Business travel policy:My Department's policy in relation to the claiming of travel and subsistence expenses specifies that all travel should be by the shortest practicable routes and by the cheapest practicable mode of transport. Officers are encouraged to use public transport whenever practicable, with private transport to be used only in limited circumstances.

Health and Wellbeing

The Human Resources (HR) Unit of the Department circulates information on events/webinars/initiatives that encourage all types of physical activity, including walking where possible. Bicycle racks, lockers and shower facilities are available for staff who walk, cycle or jog to commute to work.

In addition, my Department promotes the annual European Mobility week which take place in September each year and focuses on a particular topic related to sustainable mobility. The Department also supports the car-free day, as part of that week, by encouraging staff who regularly drive to leave their cars at home.

The information in respect of state bodies, within the scope of the Deputy’s question, is not held by my Department. Contact details for these bodies are set out in the attached document should the Deputy wish to contact them directly with this query.

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