A unique conference which will discuss Sustainable Transport Solutions for Donegal and across Ireland takes place tomorrow.
The aim of the conference, which takes place in the Mill Park Hotel in Donegal Town, will be to consider ‘cleaner, greener transport.
There are a number of purposes of the conference.
• To present the results of a pilot project with Letterkenny University Hospital Renal Dialysis transport providers, Sustainable transport vehicle manufacturers and the SEAI.
• To present information on sustainable transport opportunities and supports both national and local (e.g. Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids)
• To provide an opportunity for information sharing on all grants and supports available
• To provide an opportunity for transport providers to explore the application of these models and identify any issues that need to be addressed.
Among those targeted by the conference include:
• Taxi and Hackney providers
• People and organisations who book and use Small Public Service Vehicles.
• Other interested parties locally or nationally
The conference, which features a number of key speakers, has been organised by SITT/LocalLink Donegal & Letterkenny University Hospital in association with the SEAI, The NTA and Department of Transport Tourism and Sport Climate Change Unit.
Background to the hosting of the conference
SITT/Locallink Donegal are coordinating and managing the daily transport needs for patients attending for Renal Dialysis at Letterkenny University Hospital.
This transport is taking patients from all over Donegal, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year. The average yearly km is running over 1.3million.
This service is delivered by private taxi and Hackney operators who over the years have been exemplary and diligent in their delivery of this service. Back in 2016, while attending a transport conference, Declan Meally from the SEAI presented on the future trend of transport, the world of EVs and the potential they offered.
Not long after, SITT/LocalLink met with the SEAI and started the conversation on the possibility of working a pilot on our Renal Dialysis transport.
Through 2017, SITT/LocalLink met with a number of potential stakeholders who all readily came on board and worked with us to get this pilot ready to launch
· Letterkenny University Hospital
· SITT/LocalLink Donegal
· Private Operators SPSV – Taxi/Hackney Operators
1. Jackie Holmes, Inishowen, Co. Donegal
2. Ryan Dorrian, Ballybofey, Co.Donegal
3. John O Donnell, Annagry, Co.Donegal
4. Derek Vial, Killybegs, Co.Donegal
5. Donal Cullen, Mevagh, Co.Donegal
6. Charlie Gildea – Letterkenny Cabs, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
7. Liam Conneely, Killybegs, Co. Donegal
• Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI)
• NTA – Taxi Regulation.
• Dept of Transport, Climate change Unit
• ESB Ecars
The group is now coming near the end of a pilot which took place over the months of February and into March 2018 where we replaced 6 of our current vehicles for a mix of 7 sustainable vehicles –
2 x Electric Vehicles,
3 x Plug in Hybrids and
Through an integrated approach, work to move Renal Dialysis transport from being a service delivered by traditional taxis and hackneys, fuelled by diesel, to a sustainable transport provision which will be more cost-effective while significantly reducing the carbon footprint.
At the end of the pilot, all the information and data collected will pass to the SEAI, the Climate Change Unit and the Vehicle Manufacturers who in turn will have results and findings ready for tomorrow’s conference.
It is our expectation, through an open tendering process, all work requiring taxis & hackneys, and in particular, for renal dialysis and hospital discharge nationally, will score sustainable transport the highest where possible.
It is envisaged that within a reasonable time frame, all SPSV working for LocalLink nationally will be sustainable in line with the Government targets.
Eileen Magnier is an extremely well-regarded correspondent for RTE in Ireland and has worked across radio and television. She is a regional correspondent with a lot of experience in covering regional affairs for national broadcasting and has extensive journalistic and broadcasting experience.
Eileen has been with news since the late 1980’s and worked first in Dublin on 2fm news and television news. She has been north west correspondent since late 1989 and has developed a huge knowledge of the region and fine-tuned her broadcasting skills.
Eileen has a keen interested in doing more documentary-style programming and feature writing.
Specialties: Television and radio reporting on a wide variety of subjects. News and feature stories from the north west of Ireland. Scripting, editing, interviewing and organisational skills. She has worked in several areas of RTE beginning with television and radio programmes departments and moving to the news division.
Kevin Brady is the Principal Officer leading the Heat & Transport Energy Policy division. His responsibilities include the development of renewable heat in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors. In the transport sector, he is co-chair of the Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce and is responsible for energy policies promoting renewable energy in transport and the growth in low and zero emission vehicles. These polices include the Biofuels Obligation Scheme and support measures for EVs – such as the purchase grant and the new home charger grant.
Laura Behan is Head of the Climate Change Unit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Previous roles in the Department have included Head of the Strategic Research and Analysis Unit, sustainable transport, freight and logistics policy, road safety and road financing. She has also worked in the Departments of Finance, Environment and Local Government and Foreign Affairs. She currently leads the preparation and implementation of transport climate mitigation and adaptation policy. She is also Co-Chair of the Government’s Low Emitting Vehicles Task Force.
Dr Brian Caulfield
Dr Brian Caulfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. He has done extensive research in the field of the environmental impacts of transport and methods to achieve behavioural change in the transport sector. He is currently leading a large research project called Greening Transport – funded by the EPA. He sits on many national and international research and policy development committees. Dr Caulfield has published extensively in this field with over 60 journal articles and he is an editor on the highest impact factor journal in this field “Transportation Research Part D: Transport and the Environment”
Fiona O Shea
Fiona is a Transport Manager with a mission to enable Social, Economic and Healthcare improvement in Donegal through the provision of a first-class model of integrated transport. Quick to see gaps in provision sitting alongside duplication of some services, Fiona developed a vision for an integrated model of rural transport which led to a successful pilot with the HSE in 2009. Today as well as rural transport services throughout Donegal Fiona manages the HSE Community Health Day Services transport and all acute non-emergency Private Ambulances and dispatch transport for Letterkenny University Hospital including Renal Dialysis.
Shane is the Programme Executive for Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s Electric Vehicle Grant Programme. Shane has recently joined SEAI having previously worked as an automotive homologation engineer in the Automotive Certification Department of National Standards Authority of Ireland and he joined the SEAI from his role as Chief Technical Officer for EVM Ltd. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Management.
John O Donnell
John is private operator holding both Large and Small Public Service Vehicle licences operating in Co. Donegal. John is working with SITT/Locallink for over 7 years, this work includes transport for Renal Dialysis patients for their treatment 52 weeks per year.
John has a vast wealth of experience in Passenger Transport, the vehicle types, models and in their suitability for the work of transporting passengers.
Declan is Head of Department with responsibility for the Emerging Sectors in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Ireland’s national body for sustainable energy policy and programmes. SEAI’s mission is to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. It advises Government on sustainable energy policy, trends and impacts, and delivers a range of programmes to promote the adoption of new efficient and renewable technologies and behaviors. Declan has worked in SEAI since 2004 and previously worked in Management in Xerox (Europe) Ltd and the Irish Defense Forces. He holds Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering
Wendy is the Head of Taxi Regulation for the National Transport Authority (NTA), regulating over 46,000 driver and vehicle licence holders, together with relevant ancillary SPSV service providers. She leads a large team of dedicated licensing and compliance personnel nationwide, with close interfaces with Government Bodies, stakeholders and the public. Her function is to develop, operate and maintain a regulatory framework for the SPSV industry; but the day job is to make this service better, safer, more accessible and affordable for the travelling public whilst being fair to SPSV operators.
Wendy holds a pure law degree, is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health, a member of the Association of Compliance Officers, has served on the Policy Advisory Committee of the State Claims Agency and, most recently, completed an MSc in Business and Management, specialising in financial reporting, corporate governance and auditing.