Header Item Written Answers Nos. 222-241
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Data
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Beef Quality Assurance Scheme
 Header Item GLAS Payments
 Header Item TAMS Payments
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Protected Disclosures
 Header Item Waste Management Regulations
 Header Item Waste Disposal
 Header Item Transport Policy
 Header Item Air Navigation Orders
 Header Item National Transport Authority
 Header Item Cycling Policy
 Header Item Sports Organisations
 Header Item Road Projects Status

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 957 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 70 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 222-241

Agriculture Scheme Data

 222. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the number of participants in the sustainable lamb assurance scheme, by county, in tabular form; and the costs the Exchequer incurs for this scheme annually. [31941/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The Quality Assurance Schemes operated by Bord Bia have been developed over a period of years and extend beyond the farm gate as vertical industry integrated schemes. They are voluntary in nature. The Beef Quality Assurance Scheme commenced in 2004, and a Lamb Scheme commenced in 2007. A combined Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme commenced in January 2011. Both beef and lamb feature in the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme launched in April 2017. An amount of €6 million has been provided in 2017 for independent on farm inspection and certification. The scheme is run by Bord Bia. I have asked Bord Bia to provide the Deputy with the information requested.

Agriculture Scheme Expenditure

 223. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the estimated additional cost that would accrue to the Exchequer on an annual basis if all animals irrespective of grade from a quality assured farm were eligible for a bonus under the beef and lamb assurance schemes. [31942/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The payment for cattle and sheep slaughtered in Ireland is a commercial matter between meat processors and farmers.

The operation of a quality assurance bonus including the eligibility criteria for such a bonus is also entirely a commercial matter between meat processors and farmers. The payments of bonuses to cattle and sheep under quality assurance schemes is not or never has been funded by the exchequer therefore there would be no additional cost accruing to the exchequer in the scenario outlined by the deputy. Any additional payments would be a matter between meat processors and farmers.

Beef Quality Assurance Scheme

 224. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Parliamentary Question No. 1671 of 20 June 2017, the breakdown of the €6 million allocation for the beef quality assurance scheme. [31943/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The sum of €6m allocated in Vote 30 - Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Bord Bia Agency Statement) for the beef quality assurance scheme for 2017 is to cover the costs of independent on-farm inspections and associated Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) certification. The scheme is run by Bord Bia.

GLAS Payments

 225. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive their outstanding GLAS payment for 2016. [31944/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named was approved into GLAS 1 with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015 and has been paid in full in respect of the 2015 scheme year.

  The 85% payment for 2016 has been processed and payment has issued to the person named.

  Payment of the balancing 15% in respect of 2016 will commence shortly to all participants who pass the required pre-payment checks and who have submitted a nutrient management plan.

TAMS Payments

 226. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed when approval will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Cork regarding a specific scheme. [31950/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The approval letter to commence investments under the Young Farmer Capital investment Scheme of TAMS II issued to the applicant in this case on 4 July 2017.

Fishing Industry

 227. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if there will be clear and definite derogations for certain situations regarding mussel seed fishing (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31955/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The situation the Deputy refers to relates to the judgment by the Supreme Court on 26 October 2016 in a case taken by a number of mussel seed fishermen.  In the judgment, the Supreme Court found that fishing by Northern Ireland boats within the 0 to 6 nautical mile zone of the territorial waters of the State is not permitted by law. 

  The background to this issue is arrangements which have long been in existence to provide access for fishing.  The Voisinage Arrangements are long-standing reciprocal arrangements which allow fishing boats from Northern Ireland access to fish within the 0 to 6 nautical mile zone of the territorial waters of the State and vice versa.

  It is important to note that the Supreme Court upheld the High Court finding that the Voisinage Arrangements are not invalid but that, as it stands, there is insufficient provision for them in domestic law.  The Supreme Court in fact noted that the arrangements were a sensible recognition at official level of practice and tradition, where fishing boats traditionally fished neighbouring waters. 

  The application of the judgment is to all fishing by Northern Irish fishing vessels in the 0 to 6 nautical mile zone relying on the Voisinage Arrangements.  Fishing activities that have a legal basis are not affected, such as those reliant on the access arrangements to Ireland's 6 to 12 nautical mile zone set out in Regulation (EU) No. 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

  The Government approved the publication of the Sea-Fisheries (Amendment) Bill to address issues raised by the Supreme Court judgment of 27 October 2016.  If enacted and commenced, the Bill will give the Voisinage Arrangements a proper legal footing.  The Bill was published in February 2017 and is available on the Oireachtas website.  The Bill has been debated in the Seanad and now is at Committee Stage there.  

  While the Bill proposes to restore access to Northern Ireland boats to fish, under the terms of the Voisinage Arrangements, boats that make use of this access are subject to the same rules and conditions that apply to Irish sea-fishing boats.  The Bill itself does not apply the specific conditions.  Therefore, other parallel associated measures will be required to ensure that rules and conditions in place for Irish sea-fishing boats are appropriately applied to Northern Ireland boats fishing under the Voisinage Arrangements. 

  The process of identifying which conditions may need to be applied is under way.  The conditions will include such restrictions as currently apply to Irish sea-fishing boats.  When the necessary measures have been identified, the most appropriate mechanisms for applying them to Northern Ireland boats will be determined.  The objective will be for these measures to come into effect at the same time as a commencement order for the Bill.

  Together, the Bill and the associated measures will re-establish the status quo for fishing access that existed under the Voisinage Arrangements before the Supreme Court's judgment on 27 October 2016.  The only difference will be that the Voisinage Arrangements will be provided for within a legislative framework. 

Fishing Industry

 228. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the fishery limits in place for Irish fishing boats with respect to nautical miles off the Irish coast, Northern Irish coast, the British coast and other member states coastlines under agreements (details supplied); the fishery limits applying to boats from other EU countries accessing Irish fishing waters; and the limits applying to Northern Irish fishing boats and British boats in accessing Irish waters as operating under these agreements in tabular form. [32009/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The London Fisheries Convention deals primarily with the right of a number of countries to fish in each other's 6 to 12 mile fishing zones based on historic fishing activity. Most of these rights were later incorporated into the Common Fisheries Policy.

  The Convention allowed that each Coastal State could assert exclusive fishing rights within 6 nautical miles from its baselines (Article 2) but also provided for Voisinage or neighbourhood arrangements (Article 9). 

  One such arrangement allowed reciprocal access for vessels from North and South each other’s 6 nautical mile limit.   The Common Fisheries Policy (Article 5 of Regulation 1380/2013) provides for the continuation of such neighbourhood arrangements. 

  In light of the Supreme Court judgment, fishing by Northern Ireland vessels in Irish territorial waters is not currently provided for in domestic law. The application of the judgment is to all fishing by Northern Irish fishing vessels in the 0-6nm zone relying on the Voisinage Arrangements; fishing activities which have a legal basis (reliant on access arrangements to Ireland’s 6-12nm zone in the EU Regulation 1380/2013) are not affected. 

  The Supreme Court upheld the High Court finding that the Voisinage arrangements are not invalid but that, as it stands, there is insufficient provision in domestic law for them. 

  Access for Vessels to the Irish 6 to 12 nautical mile zone

Country Geographical AreaSpecies
France Erris Head north-west

Sybil Point west
Demersal

Nephrops
Mizen Head south Stags south Demersal

Nephrops

Mackerel
 
Stags south

Cork south
Demersal

Nephrops

Mackerel

Herring
 
Cork south,

Carnsore Point south
All species 
Carnsore Point south, Haulbowline south-eastAll species except shellfish 
United Kingdom Mine Head south

Hook Point
Demersal

Herring

Mackerel
Hook Point

Carlingford Lough
Demersal

Herring

Mackerel

Nephrops

Scallops
 
The Netherlands Stags south

Carnsore Point south
Herring

Mackerel
Germany Old Head of Kinsale south

Carnsore Point south
Herring
Cork south

Carnsore Point south
Mackerel  
Belgium Cork south

Carnsore Point south
Demersal
Wicklow Head east Carlingford Lough south-east Demersal  
Access for Ireland to the UK 6-12nm zone 
Geographical area Species
Point Lynas north Mull of Galloway southDemersal

Nephrops
Mull of Oa west Barra Head westDemersal

Nephrops
Port Stewart South Cranfield Point NorthAll species
Jurby Head

Chicken Rock
Herring
Point of Ayre

Chicken Rock
Demersal

Nephrops

Fishing Industry

 229. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the exclusive economic zone in operation for EU fishing waters; the figures for each member state that has an exclusive economic zone for fishing; if he will provide each member state's fishing waters out of total EU fishing waters on a percentage basis; and the percentage of total EU fishing waters each member state would comprise if the UK were to leave the EU and the common fisheries policy at a future date, in tabular form. [32010/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The complete data sought by the Deputy is complex and will take some time to compile. My Department, in consultation with the Marine Institute, will provide a comprehensive reply directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

  The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Protected Disclosures

 230. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten if the ESB has a formal protected disclosure policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32011/17]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten I understand that ESB has a formal protected disclosures policy in place, in line with the provisions of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014. In accordance with section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014, the ESB publishes a report each year in its Annual Report setting out the number of protected disclosures made to it during the preceding year and the action (if any) taken in response to those protected disclosures.

Waste Management Regulations

 231. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten the proposed new charging structures for waste management companies; the restrictions and limits he has placed on these companies' charging regimes; the steps he is taking to protect customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32016/17]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten The amount of waste being sent to landfill has increased in the last two years. Last year, local authorities had to exercise emergency powers on two occasions to make additional landfill capacity available. We must act to encourage further waste reduction in order to avert a return to an over dependence on landfill. The introduction of an incentivised pricing structure for household waste collection will be an important measure in this regard.

Flat rate fees for household waste collection will be phased out over the period autumn 2017 to autumn 2018 as customers renew or enter new contracts. It is worth noting that the measure is not ‘new’ for the more than half of kerbside household waste customers who are already on an incentivised pricing plan, i.e., a plan which contains a per lift or weight based charge.

The charges offered by waste management companies are a matter between those companies and their customers, subject to compliance with all applicable environmental and other relevant legislation, including contract and consumer legislation. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s role includes the enforcement of competition and consumer protection law, the promotion of consumer and economic welfare, as well as investigating and challenging practices that are damaging to consumers and/or the wider economy and bringing anti-competitive behaviour and practices that are harmful to consumers to an end, where necessary by court actions.

In addition, I will put in place pricing monitoring arrangements to provide monthly reports on pricing developments and will ask the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission to report on the operation of the household waste collection market. This will inform the future development of national waste management policy before year end, which will provide an evidence base to establish a regulator to prevent price gouging. I have also indicated a support of €75 per person per annum for persons with long term or lifelong medical incontinence availing of a kerbside household waste collection service to meet the estimated disposal cost of incontinence products.

Waste Disposal

 232. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten the steps he has taken to ensure diversity in the waste collection market; the basis on which it can be established that there are no restrictive practices in operation in view of the fact that all companies operating in the Irish market are registered off shore for tax purposes; his views on same; and his plans to require such companies to register here in order to ensure the consumer is protected. [32017/17]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten The amount of waste being sent to landfill has increased in the last two years. Last year, local authorities had to exercise emergency powers on two occasions to make additional landfill capacity available. We must act to encourage further waste reduction in order to avert a return to an over dependence on landfill. The introduction of an incentivised pricing structure for household waste collection will be an important measure in this regard.

Waste collectors are free to compete with each other in an open and competitive market within the constraints of environmental, company, consumer protection and all other applicable legislation.  The recent decision to phase out flat fees over the period autumn 2017 to autumn 2018  and provide flexibility to service providers to offer a suite of options facilitates the market participants continuing to compete and provide a number of service options for householders in terms of pricing plans.

Any requirements to publish financial accounts, including with respect to waste operators, is regulated under company law. I have no function in this matter. However, I understand that the Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 came into operation on 9 June 2017. As a result of this, companies described by the Deputy will be required to file financial statements with the Companies Registration Office in future. This new requirement will apply to financial statements for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

Transport Policy

 233. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the departmental planning or strategy groups that are in place to consider, plan and address the impact that autonomous self-driving transportation vehicles will have on the law here; his policy approach to these developments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31946/17]

 234. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the forward planning, departmental or strategy groups in place to consider, plan and address the public policy impact that autonomous, self-driving transportation vehicles will have here; his policy approach to these developments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31947/17]

 250. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the departmental planning or strategy groups that are in place to consider, plan and address the impact that autonomous self-driving transportation vehicles will have on road design, traffic management and road traffic law; his policy approach to these developments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31945/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I propose to take Questions Nos. 233, 234 and 250 together.

It is important to note at the outset that motor vehicles are not manufactured in Ireland. 

At the EU level, there is a concerted effort to prepare for the introduction of fully automated motor vehicles.  My Department is well aware of all the measures which the EU Commission, in conjunction with the automotive industry are working on.  Fully automated vehicles are being tested in some EU Member States.  However, at this stage all such prototypes have a driver on-board.  To my knowledge, no fully automated vehicle is offered for sale in any EU Member State.

From an Irish perspective there is an Intelligent Transport Systems representative association, "ITS Ireland" which my Department was involved in setting up.  It has been working in conjunction with my Department, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to raise awareness in relevant industry sectors, through a connected and automated vehicles (CAV) Forum.  This Forum met on 14 June last and a report is awaited of its deliberations.  The Road Safety Authority is also keeping a watching brief on all developments and proposals in this area.  My Department is also participating in a number of research projects in this area and is also working on an ITS strategy that will cover this area, amongst other things.

The EU wish to have fully autonomous motor vehicles circulating in the EU by 2019 is an ambitious target.  It is incumbent on Ireland as it is on all Member States of the EU to ensure that the promise of safety attributed to fully automated driving materialises.  All of the technology required for a fully autonomous motor vehicle will have to be fully tested.  I am not aware of any proposals from the automotive sector to test such vehicles in Ireland.

Air Navigation Orders

 235. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross further to Parliamentary Question No. 216 of 29 June 2017, the nature of the consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in respect of issues on applications from civil airlines for exemptions to carry munitions through Irish airspace under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order 1973; and his views on whether such consultation is in effect a rubber stamping exercise. [31829/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​As outlined in my reply to question number 261 to the Deputy of 29 June, my Department seeks the views of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to foreign policy issues and the Department of Justice in relation to security issues. If the munitions involved are also classified as 'dangerous goods' the views of the Irish Aviation Authority are sought in relation to aviation safety issues. Applications are also sent to Department of Defence.

Up to and including 30 June 2017 of this year,  I have refused 19 applications on the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade highlighting the fact that the consultation process is not merely "a rubber stamping exercise". Each application is considered with regard to foreign policy concerns by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and where it considers appropriate that Department will advise against the issuing of a permit.

National Transport Authority

 236. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his views on the fact that the NTA is not going to review the likely usage of Kishogue station until the end of 2017 or early 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31842/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) given the Authority's statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area.

  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.

  The referred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Cycling Policy

 237. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he has discussed increasing the level of participation of women in cycling; if he has raised the need for women to be represented on the board of an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31897/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards. This includes the allocation of funding across its various programmes, including the Women in Sport programme. As sports participation is a matter for Sport Ireland, I have referred the first part of the Deputy's Question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

I would also like to inform the Deputy that I have recently written to all National Governing Bodies of Sport, including Cycling Ireland, on the issue of Leadership of Women in Sport. Addressing the participation of women at all levels in sport, including in positions of leadership, is an important element of the ongoing work on the new sports policy document, which I expect to finalise in the autumn.

Sports Organisations

 238. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he has discussed the level of representation of women on national boards with the various sporting organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31898/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​On 16 December 2016, I held a meeting with representatives of approximately 50 National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) in relation to the issue of Women in Sport Leadership, particularly the representation of women on their boards.  There was a general consensus at this meeting that sports bodies should aim for increased gender balance on their boards, but that the introduction of mandatory gender quotas and punitive financial measures for non-compliance would not be feasible or appropriate.

Immediately prior to this meeting, Sport Ireland also wrote to all NGBs inviting submissions on the issue of Women in Sports Leadership. 47 submissions were received and these have been published on my Department's website. Overall, I consider that the meeting last December and the subsequent written engagement with the NGBs has generated a most useful debate in Irish sporting circles.

The issue of Women in Sports Leadership will be addressed in the upcoming National Sports Policy which I hope to publish in early autumn.

Road Projects Status

 239. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will ensure that a renewed focus is placed on national road projects in County Donegal; if additional funding can be allocated to same to address infrastructure deficits in the county, in view of the unique challenges the county will face with Brexit; his views on whether an improved transport network post -Brexit will be beneficial for the county in attracting and growing business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31918/17]

 240. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of a project (details supplied); and the total projected cost of the project. [31919/17]

 241. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the funding allocation for a project (details supplied) from the NRA and or TII in each of the years 2011 to 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form; the planned purpose for each allocation; if funds have been fully drawn down; if unspent funds are ring-fenced for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31920/17]

 246. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of a project (details supplied); the projected cost of the project; the date on which he expects works to begin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31925/17]

 247. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the funding allocated to a road project (details supplied) by the NRA and or TII in each of the years 2011 to 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form; the planned purpose of each allocation; if these allocations have been spent; if unspent funds will be ring-fenced for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31926/17]

 248. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will review the allocations given to a project (details supplied) to date in 2017 and ensure that an increased allocation is given in order to begin works, in view of the increased traffic in the area and the significant tailbacks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31927/17]

 249. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will meet with Dáil Éireann and local representatives in County Donegal regarding a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31928/17]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 to 241, inclusive, and Nos. 246 to 249, inclusive, together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual national road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Investment priorities for  the period to 2022 are set out in the Capital Plan published in September 2015. Decisions on the transport elements of the Capital Plan were framed by the conclusions reached in my Department's Strategic Investment Framework for Land Transport. Based on the findings in that report it is envisaged that maintenance and renewal of the road network will continue to be the main priority and the bulk of the roads capital budget, approximately €4.4 billion, is earmarked for such essential work with a further €600 million allocated for implementation of the PPP road programme which is already under way. Within the overall funding envelope there is, therefore, limited funding for road upgrade projects and it was not possible to include a range of projects including the projects mentioned by the Deputy.

As regards the possibility of funding as part of the Capital Plan Review, my Department is making a strong case for additional funding, including the further development of a project pipeline for national road schemes.  The final decisions on allocations are, however, matters for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Government as a whole.  As Minister I have to work within the budget available to my Department.

Notwithstanding funding constraints TII has been undertaking some preparatory planning work with Donegal County Council in relation to the TEN-T network in the County.  While details of the national road allocations to local authorities for the years 2011-2017 (including to Donegal County Council) are available from the Dail library, actual expenditure is a matter for TII.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's questions to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

I have received a request for a meeting relating to road infrastructure in Letterkenny  and I am open to such a meeting subject to diary commitments. 


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