To ask the Minister for Transport if he will provide extra funding to the disabled Drivers association and the Irish wheelchair association to meet the large administrative costs of processing and issuing disabled person's car-parking permits; and if he will make a statement on the matter
Answered by Minister for Transport Séamus Brennan T.D.
The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations, 1997, which came into force on 1 October 1997, introduced a number of significant changes in relation to the application of parking laws to disabled persons in Ireland and provided for a new type of disabled persons parking permit. The regulations empower local authorities, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association, to grant disabled persons parking permits to a disabled person who is suffering from a disability that prevents that person from walking or causes undue hardship to the person in walking.
This area previously came under the remit of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and in 1998 his Department agreed to make once-off payments of £5,000 to the Disabled Drivers Association and the Irish Wheelchair Association towards the set-up costs for the issue of the new permits.
Requests for additional funding for this service were subsequently made by the two Associations. My Department has no funds at its direct disposal for this purpose.