Transport | Ensuring best practice and safety throughout the road, rail, and bus network
To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which he and his Department continue to ensure best practice and safety throughout the road, rail and bus network; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The safety and security of both public transport passengers and staff is of the utmost importance, and arrangements to deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour on public transport are matters which first and foremost must be managed by each public transport company, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána where appropriate. Decisions regarding a transport police unit, for example, and the allocation of Garda resources, are matters for the Minister of Justice and the Garda Commissioner. On an operational level, the National Transport Authority (NTA) is further engaged with public transport operators regarding the issue of anti-social behaviour.
As the Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to roads and public transport; however, I am not involved in the day-to-day operation, provision, and maintenance of the public transport and roads network.
That said, my Department has been engaging directly with the NTA and the PSO operators on the issue of anti-social behaviour and ensuring the safety of passengers and staff. In their responses, operators stressed their strong and close working relationships with An Garda Síochána in relation to these issues. Furthermore, the railway sector in Ireland is subject to a considerable body of national and EU safety legislation. Primary responsibility for safe rail operations lies with the relevant rail operator, and is overseen by and subject to the regulatory framework of the Commission for Railway Regulation (CRR), which is the independent, statutory national railway safety regulatory authority for this country.
As such, the issue of safety raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the respective individual transport operators and regulators and I have therefore forwarded the question to the Commission for Railway Regulation, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (who manages the contract with Transdev – the operator of the LUAS) for more detailed reply.
Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
In relation to Road Safety, in December 2021, the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority launched the Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030. This is the blueprint for making the roads safer for all during this decade and has a particular focus on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The first annual review of the Road Safety Strategy was held on February 2nd, 2023 with the aim of setting priorities for 2023, focusing on reversing the trend in fatalities seen in 2022. Speed and the review of speed limits was particularly targeted.
Leave a Reply