Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 28 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Departmental Correspondence.
Mr. Gregory Mr. Gregory
123. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his response to the issues raised in correspondence (details supplied) arising from a consultation paper by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7252/02]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The purpose of the consultation paper RST 20/62 is to elicit comments and submissions from interested parties by 30 April 2002 on a range of issues with a view to the future development of further qualitative improvements in taxi services. The consultation paper has been prepared against the background of the liberalised regime of taxi licensing and the stated policy that, by end 2003, the process will commence of making all taxi vehicles wheelchair accessible.
It is proposed that my Department will be  assisted by other Departments in the examination, assessment and consideration of submissions received arising from this consultation process with a view to making recommendations for the future regulation of taxi services. This will include the method of implementing the stated wheelchair accessible taxi policy and, in this regard, the issues raised in the correspondence referred to will be noted for consideration.
With regard to the independent Taxi Hardship Panel, this panel has been asked to report in general terms on the nature and extent of extreme personal financial hardship which may have been experienced by individual taxi licence holders arising from loss of income as a direct result of the liberalisation of entry to the taxi industry on 21 November 2000. Persons who held a taxi licence on that date who consider that they have suffered extreme personal financial hardship arising from taxi liberalisation may now make submissions to the panel by 19 April 2002, including an indication as to how their claim of hardship can be substantiated. It is proposed that the report of the findings of the panel will be presented to Government.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. Departmental Correspondence.