Dáil Éireann - Volume 563 - 11 March, 2003
Written Answers - Private Bus Operators.
Mr. Stagg Mr. Stagg
 145. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Transport the systems in place to ensure safety and quality standards in the private bus operator sector. [7133/03]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): My Department is responsible for the licensing of private passenger bus operators and for the granting of passenger route licences where these are required. The conditions imposed on these licences include compliance with the rules on admission to the occupation of private bus operator and the legal requirements on road safety as far as the standards for drivers and vehicles are concerned.
In order to operate a bus service for hire or reward an operator must hold a road passenger transport operator licence. One of the criteria for obtaining such a licence is possession of a certificate of professional competence in road passenger operations. This certificate is obtained through attendance at a course and passing an examination set by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Ireland. It certifies that the operator or designated transport manager has reached a recognised competency to continuously and effectively manage a road transport business.
In relation to vehicles, any vehicle used in the operation of bus services authorised under a licence must undergo an annual roadworthiness test by an authorised tester designated by the relevant local authority.
In addition, large public service vehicle licences are issued by the Garda to operators in respect of vehicles carrying in excess of eight passengers. This involves an examination of the vehicle by the Garda and is independent of the roadworthiness tests carried out on behalf of my Department.
My Department is also responsible for the enforcement of EU regulations governing drivers' hours, breaks and rest periods for commercial drivers, including bus drivers.
The above measures are in place and enforced to promote the safety of drivers, passengers and other road users. They help to maintain quality of standards of bus operators in the sector.
Dáil Éireann 563 Written Answers Private Bus Operators.