Bus Eireann confirm Limerick cuts

 

BUS EIREANN has confirmed that 27 buses are to be cut from its fleet at Limerick as part of the cutbacks due to take effect next month.

Although still under negociation with the unions, a spokesman for the company has confirmed to the Limerick leader the scale of the proposed fleet cutback in the city.

See full Limerick Leader article for details

Dempsey – new bus licencing legislation in 2009

 

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has said that legislation to reform bus licencing throughout the Republic of Ireland will be brought forward in 2009.

Responding to a Dail question by Sean McEntee, suggesting the reform be brought forward to allow private operators access to the market in order to reduce the CIE group subsidy, Mr Dempsey said that the existing system under the 1932 Act would continue to facilitate licence applications until new legislation was introduced.

AllAboutBuses.com)

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey (photo: AllAboutBuses.com)

Noel Dempsey Dail Reply


“The Agreed Programme for Government includes a commitment to improving bus services under Transport 21 by reforming the bus licensing provisions of the Road Transport Act 1932, to facilitate the optimum provision of services by providing a level playing field for all market participants, both public and private. 

The legislative framework to support the authorisation and provision of improved public bus services in the Greater Dublin Area has already been updated through the passage of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008, which establishes a new contractual structure relating to the provision of subvented bus services in the Greater Dublin Area.

It is my intention that proposals for a new bus licensing regime will be contained in a Public Transport Regulation Bill which will deal with the replacement of the Road Transport Act 1932 and the provisions of the Transport Act 1958 that relate to the provision of bus services by the State bus companies. It is envisaged that the new licensing structure will apply in respect of all commercial bus services, including those provided by Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, and will encompass provisions relating to the subvented bus market outside the Greater Dublin Area in a manner consistent with EU Regulation No. 1370/2007 on public service obligations and similar to the contractual framework used in the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008.

Until the proposed legislation is enacted, applications for new bus licences and notifications from State bus operators will continue to be processed under the provisions of the Road Transport Act 1932, as amended, and the notification system with reference to the Transport Act 1958, as appropriate.  

The Government has committed to examining the need for a National Transport Regulator in the context of the overall review of the economic regulatory environment.  As part of the public transport regulatory reform programme, consideration is being given to the establishment of a national transport authority.  

The Public Transport Regulation Bill is included in the Government Legislative Programme in the list of Bills that have yet to be approved by Government.  It is my intention to seek Government approval to a General Scheme of the Bill before the end of the year with a view to publication in 2009″.

ONE IN TWELVE – The Faces

Some of the faces photographed for AllAboutBuses over the years.

Jimmy Hendricks, always top of my list.

Jimmy Hendricks, always top of my list.

Jimmy Hendricks is a man to whom I owe a lot. The Maint. Controller of Donnybrook 2 through the 1970s and 1980s, it was Jimmy who gave me, as a 12 year old schoolboy, my first ever invitation to come inside a bus depot. Jimmy had seen me hanging around outside peering in at the buses, and over the next 23 years up to his retirement in 1999 he welcomed me on hundreds of occasions, as I photographed and questioned and generally made a pest of myself.

Jimmy retired in the summer of 1999, and this photo was taken by me on his last day at work, posed with the newest bus in the fleet which had been delivered just hours earlier.

Joe Collins & Alan Westwell

Joe Collins & Alan Westwell

Joe Collins (left) was the PR man for Dublin Bus for many years, and a great friend of this site, championing us to the Dublin Bus management, and providing access to a lot of information and help. Joe was also very involved in organising the final KD run with us in January 2000, making sure that the chairman of CIE attended, along with John Browne the former head of Dublin City Services in CIE days and a man associated with the launch of the type. Joe’s retirement was a great loss to the company, though his immediate replacement, Christy Dorman was also very helpful and served the company well.

Dr Alan Westwell (right) was Managing Director of the company through a period of great expansion, and a very experienced transport manager. He was not afraid to stand up for the company, criticising the government at the official opening of Harristown Depot, and his unexpected retirement shortly afterwards was regretted by many.

Joe Collins with Christy Dorman at the AV launch on 9th November 2000

Joe Collins with Christy Dorman at the AV launch on 9th November 2000

Christy Dorman replaced Joe in the PR team, and was a friendly and approachable face for both enthusiasts and press for a number of years. He now works on other projects within the company.

Mary O'Rourke at the launch of the AV class

Mary O'Rourke at the launch of the AV class at the Point Depot in November 2000

Joe Collins and Mary O'Rourke share a few words at the AV launch

Joe Collins and Mary O'Rourke

Mary O’Rourke was Transport Minister for several years up to the 2002 election, and was responsible for obtaining the extra funding for all of the “euro” buses delivered in 1999 and 2000. I spoke to her at a number of functions covered by the site, and she had a rare gift for making you feel like you were the only person in the room when she was talking to you. No shiftily looking around to see if there was someone more important to talk to, as other Ministers do!

Martin Cullen, Paul Kavanagh & J J Kavanagh

Martin Cullen, Paul Kavanagh & J J Kavanagh

Transport Minister in 2005, Martin Cullen seen here at the launch of a new fleet of coaches in 2005, with the operators Paul and J J Kavanagh.

J J Kavanagh is one of the most successful private operators in Ireland, a very direct and no-nonsense businessman. I’ve always found him easy to deal with when approaching him as an enthusiast or journalist.

Brian Cowen & Martin Cullen at the Transport 21 launch

Brian Cowen & Martin Cullen at the Transport 21 launch

Bertie Aherne and a very bald journalist at the LUAS test run to Stephens Green. Unfortunately Seamus Brennan is mostly hidden in the left of the shot.

Bertie Aherne and a very bald cameraman at the LUAS test run to Stephens Green. Unfortunately Seamus Brennan is mostly hidden in the left of the shot.

Political Launches often make for poor photo ops for the genuine transport journalists as the mainstream press with little interest in the launch crowd forward to ask about the lastest scandal or topic of the day.

I was lucky enough to get a front row seat at the Transport 21 launch and some good shots, but the LUAS arrival at Stephens Green was a total scrum!

The staff of Mangan Tours, friendliest operator in the country!

Joe Mangan (third from left) and the staff of Mangan Tours, friendliest operator in the country!

Mangans Tours are a small but very successful operator in Co. Donegal, and one of the most welcoming of the many private operators I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over the years.

Locals protest against plans to axe the 48A in 2005

Locals protest against plans to axe the 48A in 2005

Nellie & Michael Corcoran on the 50th anniversary of the preservation of R1

Nellie & Michael Corcoran on the 50th anniversary of the preservation of R1

Saving the best for last, the grandfather of the preservation movement in Ireland and founder of the National Transport Museum, Michael Corcoran, with his wife Nellie, on October 1st 2006, the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of R1 from service.

Minister Dempsey on 2009 Transport Spending

AllAboutBuses.com)

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey (photo: AllAboutBuses.com)

GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE
Ministers announce €3.6 billion for Transport (Budget 2009)
  • €1.27 billion on improved Public Transport
  • €2.1 billion on National, Regional and Local Roads
  • €40 million on Road Safety
  • €35m for Aviation Sector and development of Regional Airports
  • €48 million for improved activities of Coast Guard and Maritime Safety
Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, today outlined plans for a €3.6 billion investment package in transport for the coming year following the publication of Budget 2009.
Speaking today Minister Dempsey said; “The €3.6 billion in this year’s transport budget underlines the Government’s continued commitment to investing in key transport infrastructure projects. A word class transport infrastructure is critical to our economy’s competitiveness. This funding will allow me to continue rolling out Transport 21 projects such as Metro North and the new Dart Interconnector, both of which will provide the backbone of an integrated public transport system for Dublin.

With this funding I aim to progress a variety of Transport 21 projects particularly in the area of public transport. Next year I also intend to continue rolling out our major interurban motorways which are now nearing completion.”
Speaking today, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Mr. Noel Ahern TD said; “A total of almost €40 million is being provided by this Government for road safety initiatives in 2009. This level of funding for the Road Safety Authority and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety will solidify the key role these organisations play in implementing the Road Safety Strategy. During the period 1997-2007 for example, we have seen deaths of our roads drop by 30% so this funding will help to augment this welcome downward trend.
The allocation of €48 million to maritime transport and safety will allow us to improve and modernise the Irish Coast Guard and continue to invest in maritime safety.”
The main transport programmes that Budget ‘09 provides for are as follows:
Public Transport – €1.27 billion
This will enable progress on a wide range of projects, including:
  • Luas extensions to Cherrywood, Docklands and Citywest;
  • Planning and enabling works on Metro North;
  • Planning works for the DART Interconnector.
  • Improved bus priority measures in Dublin and the regional cities;
  • The completion of the Middleton rail line
  • Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor from Ennis to Athenry;
  • The construction of the Kildare Route project
  • Phase 1 of the Navan rail line;
  • The continuation of Iarnród Éireann’s railway safety programme;
  • The start of the Dublin city centre rail re-signalling programme;
  • Continued roll-out of new railcars on the intercity routes;
Other notable projects that will be continued into 2009 are:
  • The Rural Transport Programme (now operating in every county and will provide more than million passenger journeys in 2009)
  • The Green Schools Programme (targeting 140,000 school kids by providing walking/cycling/public transport alternatives to get to school).
Roads – €2.1 billion
Key national routes will be progressed as planned, specifically:
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Waterford
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Galway
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Limerick
  • The major inter urban motorway connecting Dublin with Cork
  • A dual carriageway road within Northern Ireland transforming access to the North West of the Island.
  • The Atlantic Road corridor
  • The M50 upgrade will be completed.
Over €600 million is being made available to local authorities throughout the country for the upgrade and maintenance of regional and local roads.
Road Safety – €40 million
This funding will be aimed at maintaining the downward trend in road deaths. Deaths on Irish roads have dropped by 30 per cent in the period from 1997 to 2007.
Maritime Transport and Safety – €48 million
This allocation will allow us to improve and modernise the Irish Coast Guard and maritime safety to meet the needs of a 21st century maritime nation.
Regional Airports/Aviation Sector – € 35 million
The Department has made provisions to meet contractual commitments on the various regional airport projects and our share of the cost of the City of Derry Airport development.

Budget 2009 – Transport Spending

Figures released by the irish Government relating to transport spending in 2009.

TRANSPORT

Gross Expenditure for the Department of Transport in 2009 is €3,613 million, a decrease of €160 million (€6 million Current and €154 million Capital) relative to the 2008 forecast outturn. The key policy measures and adjustments associated with these resources in 2009 and later years are as follows:-

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

· capital expenditure of over €900 million is allocated to fund public transport infrastructure. This is about €70 million less than the amount made available in 2008, but it is sufficient for progress on a wide range of projects, including:

Luas extensions to Cherrywood, Docklands and Citywest

improved bus priority measures in Dublin and the regional cities

the completion of the Midleton rail line and phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor from Ennis to Athenry

the construction of the Kildare Route project and phase 1 of the Navan rail line

the continuation of Iarnród Éireann’s railway safety programme

the start of the Dublin city centre rail re-signalling programme

continued roll-out of new railcars on the intercity routes

planning and enabling works on Metro North, and

planning works for the DART Interconnector;

· in addition, €338 million of current expenditure is provided for the operation of public transport services throughout the country. This is €6 million more than the 2008 provision.

ROADS

· capital expenditure of over €1.4 billion is being made available to the National Roads Authority. This allocation is €157 million less than in 2008, and while progress on some projects will necessarily have to slow down, key national routes will be delivered as planned, specifically:

the major inter urban roads connecting Dublin with the regional cities of Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Cork by end-2010;

the M50 upgrade;

there will also be progress on other key national routes, including the Atlantic Road

Corridor;

· over €600 million is being made available to local authorities throughout the country for the upgrade and maintenance of regional and local roads;

· capital expenditure of €10 million is provided for additional carbon reduction measures to target climate change initiatives in the transport sector;

· as a start to the Government’s commitment to part-fund a dual carriageway road within Northern Ireland transforming access to the North West of the island, a capital provision of €13.5 million is being made available in 2009 towards the planning works for this project;

OTHER

· provision for Regional Airports is reduced by €13 million to €11 million in 2009. Annual provision for capital investment in the regional airports is decided according to estimates of likely drawdowns in the year for specific projects. This can vary from year to year;

· overall, the reduced capital allocation for transport will require some rescheduling of projects. Such decisions will be taken by the Department of Transport and its agencies on a project-by-project basis, taking account of their assessment of priorities within the revised expenditure envelope;

· the impact of the reduced current allocation is being spread across a number of areas and principally involves reduced expenditure on road maintenance.

Minister disputes Patton Flyer claims

Comments in Dail by Transport Minister claim operator applied for licence in 2007, not 2006

Patton Flyer links Dalkey to Dublin Airport

Patton Flyer links Dalkey to Dublin Airport

Further interesting information has emerged in the long-running saga of the Patton Flyer coach service in Dublin, which the Department of Transport says is being run without a licence.

The service, which links Dalkey and Blackrock to Dublin Airport via the Eastlink and the Port Tunnel runs hourly and is seen to be carrying healthy loadings. DoT officials say they reported the operator to the Gardai in August 2007 for operating without a licence, though what action has been taken as a result is unclear.

Back in March, we reported on claims that a very long delay in dealing with a licence application had forced the coach company to start the service without a licence. According to the operator, they had submitted an application in 2006, without reply.

Now recent comments on the record of the Dail (Irish parliment) by Transport Minister Noel Dempsey seem to dispute this version of events, as according to the Minister the operator only applied for the licence in early 2007.

Below is the full text of the minister’s Dail response when questioned.

Apart from the date of the application, this answer is interesting in that it confirms that the reason for the licence not being granted is, as long suspected, the prior application for a licence by Aircoach, whose Greystone to Dublin Airport service only meets the Patton Flyer along part of the route.

 23. Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Transport  if he will grant a licence to a bus service (details supplied) to operate a scheduled bus service between Dalkey and intermediary points such as Glasthule, Dún Laoghaire and Monkstown with Dublin Airport which are not served by an alternative bus operator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32450/08]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey): My Department received an application on the 20 February 2007 from the operator to whom the Deputy refers, for a licence to operate bus passenger services between Dalkey and Dublin Airport. At that time, my Department had on hands a prior application for bus services on a similar route, and in accordance with administrative procedures, applications were dealt with in date order. That prior application was finalised in December 2007 and a licence has issued to that operator for the provision of bus passenger services between Greystones and Dublin Airport.

In the case of the service referred to by the Deputy, on the 16 July 2007 my Department was made aware that the operator concerned had commenced the operation of an unlicensed bus passenger service between Dalkey and Dublin Airport. My Department immediately contacted that company and advised that failure to cease the operation of the service in respect of which a licence had not been issued under the Road Transport Act 1932, is an offence under section 7 of that Act. It is also a prerequisite before the making of an offer of a licence that in accordance with road traffic and safety legislation the applicant provides my Department with Garda approvals for all proposed bus stops along the route and holds a Road Passenger transport Operations Licence.

While there is a strong passenger demand for a service between Dalkey and Dublin Airport, my Department would only be prepared to make an offer of a licence to Patton Flyer if that company demonstrates that it would be prepared to operate in conformity with the law.