Dáil Éireann - Volume 625 - 10 October, 2006

Written Answers. - Road Safety.

Mr. Deenihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when will the contract for the operation of speed cameras in the state be awarded; when it will be operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31892/06]

  Mr. McDowell: Following the receipt of recommendations from a working group, consisting of representatives of my Department, the Department of Transport, the Garda Síochána and the National Roads Authority, the Government approved proposals by my colleague the Minister for Transport and me on what elements of the provision and operation of speed cameras might be outsourced by the Garda Síochána, how this might be done and what legislative changes would be necessary. Because of the characteristics of the State’s road network, mobile cameras offer the most effective solution, although the use of fixed cameras may be relevant at a small number of locations.

Following the enactment of the Road Traffic Act 2006 there is now a legislative basis for outsourcing elements of the provision and operation of speed cameras.

Work has commenced on the necessary procurement process. Given the complexity of the process and in order to ensure adherence to EU [224] and national procurement regulations, including the prescribed time periods, procurement support services required to facilitate the outsourcing process have been engaged and are working with my Department, the Garda Síochána, the Department of Transport and the National Roads Authority in moving this process forward with all possible speed.

Work is well advanced on the preparation of a call to the market for expressions of interest in tendering for the project. Following the call for expressions of interest, a number of candidates will be awarded pre-qualification status and short-listed to proceed to the next stage. A request for tenders will be made to the short-listed candidates, and the successful candidate will be selected on the basis of the tenders received.

In parallel with this process, work is ongoing with the Garda Síochána and the National Roads Authority on identifying locations that either have a speed related collision history or are of a type where a higher than expected frequency of collisions may be expected to occur. Monitoring of driver speeds by the outsourced service provider will focus on these locations.

I can assure the Deputy that I attach a very high priority to outsourcing and expanding the speed camera network and to ensuring there will be no undue delay in the procurement process. I expect that, subject to negotiations, the contract for safety cameras will be awarded and the start up phase commence in the first half of 2007.