27. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to fund the restoration of over 12,000 km of secondary roads deemed to be in severe structural distress by the National Oversight and Audit Commission, NOAC, and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17769/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Roads Maintenance)

Deputy Brendan Ryan: I am very interested in hearing the Minister’s plans to fund the restoration of over 12,000 km of secondary roads throughout the country deemed to be in severe structural distress by the NOAC. I raise this as a Deputy who represents Dublin Fingal, which, on the face of it, is close to Dublin but which has a massive network of primary and secondary roads, some of which are in atrocious condition and will not find their way into a works programme this year or possibly next ye...

33. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will reconsider the appointment of Fingal County Council as the noise regulator for Dublin Airport in view of the response from local residents and the reliance the council has on rate-based income and the perception that the regulator needs to be seen as an independent stakeholder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17768/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Airport Development Projects)

Deputy Brendan Ryan: There have been variations on this question today and on previous occasions, but I make no apology for raising it again. I want the Minister to reconsider this issue. It is my intention to remind him of the relationship that exists between Fingal and Dublin Airport. It is a commercial relationship and the decision should be reconsidered.
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65. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if elements of the MetroLink project such as the provision of park and ride areas in Swords will be fast tracked separately from the railway order in order to help ease the immediate crisis of traffic into Dublin city centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17766/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 45, 62 and 65 together.
As the Deputies are already aware the recently published National Development Plan (NDP), which was launched earlier this year by Government as part of Project Ireland 2040, brings together the Metro North and Metro South projects, as envisaged by the NTA’s GDA Strategy, into one project called MetroLink.
MetroLink will provide Dublin with a high capacity, high frequency cross-...

79. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the setting up of a forum for public transport as committed to in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17767/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Public Transport)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, following on from a commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government and as further committed to in the latter part of 2017, work is underway in the Department on reviewing public transport policy “to ensure services are sustainable into the future and are meeting the needs of a modern economy”. As part of this review, I as Minister am committed to convene and host a round-table policy discussion for...

294. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regular flight plan routes into Dublin Airport; if there are approach routes which travel over Lusk; if so, the altitude at which aircraft should fly if approaching over Lusk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13074/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Air Traffic Control Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issues raised are operational matters for the Irish Aviation Authority.   I have referred the Deputy’s question to them for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
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27. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the proposed DART extension to Balbriggan; the timeframes for this; the plans for 2018 to advance this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7511/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Transport Authority’s (NTA) “Transport Strategy for the GDA 2016-2035” proposes implementation of the overall DART Expansion Programme.  As the Deputy may be aware, the Government’s budgetary framework for capital investment, “Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021”, which was reviewed last year in the context of the Mid-Term Review of Capital priorities, delivery and funding, provided fund...

73. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rationale for appointing Fingal County Council as the official independent noise monitor for Dublin Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7543/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Noise Pollution)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 32, 73 and 77 together.
The Government has recently approved my proposal to designate Fingal County Council as the Noise Regulator for Dublin Airport in order that Ireland fully complies with EU Regulation 598/2014, which came into effect in 2016.  
As the Deputies will be aware, an earlier proposal was that the Irish Aviation Authority would be designated as the Noise Regulator for the purpose of EU ...

76. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when public consultation will begin for the new metro north; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7544/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 76 and 88 together.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsiblity for the development and implementation of public transport and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including new Metro North.
Funding of over €700 million has been allocated under the Government’s present Capital Plan 2016-2021 for planning, design and beginning construction of ...

1406. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the delays for driving tests in the Dublin city and county areas; his plans to reduce the waiting times in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55227/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Driver Test)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Driver Testing Service, provided by the Road Safety Authority, has seen an increase of almost 20% in the levels of driving test applications over the last four years. This, coupled with the retirements of driver tester staff, has meant that the waiting times for customers for driving tests have increased.
The Authority currently employs almost 100 driver testers. Since October 2016, my Department has sanctioned the recruitment o...

1419. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the allocations for regional and local roads in his Department in each of the years 2014 to 2018, by grant type and outturns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1161/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Roads Maintenance)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Details of the regional and local road grant allocations and payments to local authorities are outlined in the regional and local road grant booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.  
The tables included in the payment and allocation booklets outline expenditure by type of grant programme. For the Deputy’s information an explanation of the purpose of the main Regional and Local Road Grant Programmes is set out below:
 Rest...

53. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the international marketing campaign for 2018 to be delivered by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland with an emphasis on the positions of Dublin and the breath of fresh air campaign within those strategies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49424/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Tourism Promotion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Tourism Ireland is the agency responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a tourism destination. The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for Tourism Ireland. I have referred the Deputy’s Question to Tourism Ireland for direct reply, albeit I understand that they have not yet published marketing plans for 2018. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
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63. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there has been an outcome to the NTA review of additional car park facilities at Portmarnock Dart Station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49433/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Railway Stations Upgrade)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). 
In light of the NTA’s responsibility in this area, I have forwarded the Deputy’s questions to the NTA for direct reply on the issue raised. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
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64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide the timeframe on the delivery and implementation of the promised stakeholder forum for transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49344/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Public Transport Initiatives)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 64 together.
The Deputies will be aware that Iarnród Éireann workers are currently balloting on the recent Labour Court Recommendation and I do not wish to interfere in any way in that process. However, I would like to assure the Deputies that I look forward and remain committed to holding a dialogue with public transport stakeholders at an appropriate time and I hope that this can be shortly....

81. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the potential impact on the future of metro north of forced dezoning of residential lands in north County Dublin, in line with the new draft national planning framework; if he has discussed this matter with Transport Infrastructure Ireland; and his further views on the future of metro north. (Question 49345/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) - which is expected to be finalised and agreed by Government shortly - recognises the statutory arrangements for transport planning in the Greater Dublin Area under the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the transport planning policy set out in the NTA’s Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2016-2035. Indeed, the draft NPF includes a National Strategic Outcome to “Deliv...

87. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to establish a study on the use of the Dublin Port Tunnel with a view to encouraging more car traffic at peak times in order to reduce traffic jams on the M1 corridor, with particular emphasis on the pricing structure at peak times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49427/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Traffic Management)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & 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 under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority.  For regional and local roads it is a matter for each respective local authority.
More specifically, the statuto...

232. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an application for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme by a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48680/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The scheme referred to by the Deputy is run by the Revenue Commissioners in the form of tax relief on vehicles. A previous Parliamentary Question on this matter was answered by the Minister for Finance on the 7 November (PQ 46556 refers).  The Drivers/Passengers with Disabilities Scheme is not under the remit of my Department.
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1022. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the development of public transport infrastructure for the Donabate Portrane peninsula, County Dublin to support the growing population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46181/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Public Transport Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development and implementation of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area and the NTA’s ‘Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035’ provides the overarching framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the region over the next two decades.  
Noting this, I have forwarded the Dep...

488. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will instruct Irish Rail to provide a motorised buggy service to bring persons with limited mobility from the station hall down the platform at Heuston Station to the trains; if he will fund the provision of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43893/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Public Transport)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): In Budget 2018 I secured multi-annual funding of almost €30 million over the next four years to continue the programme of retro-fitting older, existing public transport facilities to improve their accessibility features. This effectively doubles the previously planned investment amount.  
Allocation of that funding is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA). I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct rep...

493. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will clarify reports that Bus Éireann is requiring passengers with disabilities to inform the company by 3 p.m. on the Friday before travel if they wish to travel on Saturday, Sunday or Monday; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43951/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Bus Éireann Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
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14. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will seek funding to invest in the development of the Fingal coastal cycleway to link Balbriggan to the Dublin coastal cycleway in Sutton; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42162/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Cycling Facilities Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I am pleased to have secured an increase in funding for cycling infrastructure and greenways as part of the mid term review of the Capital Plan. 
The awarding of funding to individual projects will be a matter for the National Transport Authority in the case of cycling infrastructure projects within the Greater Dublin Area and the Regional Cities of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. For projects that fall within the parameters o...

16. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the level of funding he requested in budget 2018 to move the metro north project forward; his views on the project; the progress to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42161/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Public Transport)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), including the new Metro North project.  Together with a number of other large scale projects included in the NTA’s Transport Strategy for the GDA 2016-2035, the new Metro North project will significantly improve capacity in the public transport network in ...

53. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to address the substantial price difference for persons travelling from Newbridge rail station compared to Sallins station just seven kilometres away; his further plans to reduce the fares for adults families or students in view of the need to encourage as many persons as possible to use public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42133/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Public Transport Fares)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
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56. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will approach the dispute between Irish Rail and its workers in a different and more engaged manner than he did previous disputes with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann with a view to resolving the dispute before industrial action is taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42159/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Rail Services Staff)

Deputy Joan Collins: I wish to ask the Minister his view on the potential pending strike by railway workers in Iarnród Éireann, who are currently balloting for strike action. I want the Minister’s view on this because it has been well-flagged that Iarnród Éireann has been under serious financial strain. Since 2014 the company has been down €160 million; last year there were problems again and it had to go looking for extra funding. The Minister has on his desk a report saying that Irish Rail ...

64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has requested increased funding to be included in budget 2018 in order to increase the subvention for public transport companies such as Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Bus Éireann in order to improve services and reduce costs for commuters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42160/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Public Service Obligation Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware the allocation for Public Service Obligation (PSO) public transport services is subject to the annual Budgetary process. I did of course engage regularly with Ministerial colleagues as Budget 2018 was developed and PSO subvention was one relevant area of expenditure which formed part of that engagement. 
Throughout the year I committed publicly, both here in the House and in the Joint Oireachtas Committee, to f...

1347. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to new bus services which will serve an estate (details supplied); the company providing this service; when this service will begin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35256/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
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