Dáil Éireann - Volume 618 - 03 May, 2006

Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Transport when he intends to increase bus licensing fees in view of the fact that the administrative costs to his Department amount to approximately €850,000 each year but his Department receives approximately €5,000 in fees and in view of the fact that many fees have not been increased for 51 years; and his views on whether under the 1932 Act he may make regulations increasing the fees before the passing of further primary legislation. [16311/06]

  Mr. Cullen:The current level of fees for licences issued in accordance with the Road Transport Act 1932 does not meet the true cost of administering and enforcing the bus licensing system. This is but one aspect of the acknowledged limitations of the 1932 Act and it reinforces the need for reform and modernisation of this legislation.

Proposals for a major reform of the public transport market, involving independent regulation, and including the introduction of a new legislative basis for the award of bus route licences that will be applied in respect of all operators are being progressed. The new legislation will incorporate a modern structure for the application of fees for licences.

As the legislative proposals will present a comprehensive framework for the future of all bus licensing, I do not propose at this stage to pursue a change in the regulations that established the current level of fees. However I will keep this matter under review in the light of the advancement of the overall reform agenda for access to the bus market.