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Should the Dublin to Kerry PSO be replaced

  • 08-01-2020 6:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    Just a thought that has been bouncing around my ahead over the past few weeks.. On the Dublin to Kerry route, the government is funding 3 PSOs, one to operate the flights to Stobart Air, one to Irish rail to operate trains and one to Bus Eireann to run buses.. this is obviously an inefficient use of public money..

    Should the money from the PSO flights be redirected to the trains(maybe to find service improvements)or buses instead?

    To clarify, I am talking about Kerry only as the Donegal PSO flights don’t have similar duplication


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere


    Bus Eireann is not funded under PSO, no expressway services are PSO


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,027 ✭✭✭ Ben D Bus


    Dublin to Killarney by train takes 3h19m

    If redirecting the Kerry PSO flight subsidy to rail infrastructure could cut 20 minutes off the train trip, then yes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere


    And thats the EU ruling. Frequent rail service, sub 3 hours timing, you cannot PSO an air route in competition

    Its one of the reasons Galway, Waterford and Sligo no longer have flights


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    So potentially, once all the upgrades on the Dublin-Cork line are done, there's a possibility that we'll see sub-3hr Dublin-Kerry train services? And with that the end of the PSO?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    AngryLips wrote: »
    So potentially, once all the upgrades on the Dublin-Cork line are done, there's a possibility that we'll see sub-3hr Dublin-Kerry train services? And with that the end of the PSO?

    It'd be marginal - probably not going to be 19m shaved off except maybe Heuston-Cork non-stoppers which won't connect to Kerry trains. But there'll be a few minutes off the timetabled time in March for instance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,023 ✭✭✭ bikeman1


    And thats the EU ruling. Frequent rail service, sub 3 hours timing, you cannot PSO an air route in competition

    Its one of the reasons Galway, Waterford and Sligo no longer have flights

    I thought the PSO's that were scrapped were as a result of the very poor financial position the country was in and it made sense to get rid of them and to save money.

    I never heard of it being an EU ruling. But then again, maybe it is?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere


    bikeman1 wrote: »
    I thought the PSO's that were scrapped were as a result of the very poor financial position the country was in and it made sense to get rid of them and to save money.

    I never heard of it being an EU ruling. But then again, maybe it is?

    A railway company in Europe complained of unfair competition, the current guidelines for 1008/2008 say

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52017XC0617(01)&from=EN
    "3. The necessity and the adequacy of an envisaged public service obligation shall be assessed by the Member State(s)
    having regard to:
    (a) the proportionality between the envisaged obligation and the economic development needs of the region concerned;
    (b) the possibility of having recourse to other modes of transport and the ability of such modes to meet the transport
    needs under consideration, in particular when existing rail services serve the envisaged route with a travel time of
    less than three hours and with sufficient frequencies, connections and suitable timings;"


  • Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    Ben D Bus wrote: »
    Dublin to Killarney by train takes 3h19m

    If redirecting the Kerry PSO flight subsidy to rail infrastructure could cut 20 minutes off the train trip, then yes.

    So how could that be done using the redirected funds.. Not sure exactly how much the PSO is per year and aware that railway infrastructure tends to be pricey..

    Options as I see it:
    1) Give the Kerry line it own express train, maybe one down train in the morning and one up train in the evening
    2) Invest the money into infrastructure that could reduce running times between Mallow and Killarney.. A longer or dynamic loop at Rathmore or Banteer to reduce time lost to trains crossing


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    L1011 wrote: »
    It'd be marginal - probably not going to be 19m shaved off except maybe Heuston-Cork non-stoppers which won't connect to Kerry trains. But there'll be a few minutes off the timetabled time in March for instance.


    I was on a Dublin-Killarney service last month that was timetabled to take 3hr1m...


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    There is differently scope to reduce the direct services to 3h each way.

    The current 07.05 ex Tralee can have an immediate 5 minutes dropped and another 2-3 in Mallow and still have around 5 minutes in the schedule for TSRs etc and give a journey time of 2h58m so round to 3h.

    The current 17.05 ex Heuston should not be stopping at Ballybrophy and Templemore and Thurles. From a passenger prospective I suspect dropping Templemore makes the sense sense however traffic regulation might be why it stops but they can always move the departure time.

    I don't see the PSO going (you can always bend EU rules) anytime soon.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,273 ✭✭✭✭ Keira Famous Pool


    Flew Dublin Kerry last month. 5 people on flight. 3 of those were crew.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,071 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    A railway company in Europe complained of unfair competition, the current guidelines for 1008/2008 say

    Hmm.. I wonder if that could cause trouble for Irish Rail?

    Aren't most IR Intercity routes subsidised by PSO?

    But the private intercity coach companies can do it in 3 hours or less without a subsidy, so they could make a similar claim.

    I suppose that fact that it isn't Cork/Galway - Dublin direct, makes them a slightly different service and thus they can argue they are different and thus a loophole. Though it would seem to preclude any future subsidised non stop intercity rail service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    bk wrote: »
    Hmm.. I wonder if that could cause trouble for Irish Rail?

    Aren't most IR Intercity routes subsidised by PSO?

    But the private intercity coach companies can do it in 3 hours or less without a subsidy, so they could make a similar claim.

    I suppose that fact that it isn't Cork/Galway - Dublin direct, makes them a slightly different service and thus they can argue they are different and thus a loophole. Though it would seem to preclude any future subsidised non stop intercity rail service.

    3 problems with that.

    Firstly you are ignoring the part where the 3 hours is specifically referenced as "Rail Services".

    Secondly it requires the alternative services meet the transport needs, in order for your pet Cork-Dublin coach route to replace the capacity provided by the subsidised rail service it would need to supply at least 10 coaches an hour in each direction.

    But primarily your suggestion falls down because EC 1008/2008 is fully titled "Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community"

    Find a similar regulation for rail services and a clause referencing suitable alternative bus services then you may have a golden ticket that can be fedexed to every Irish wannabe bus baron in order to get the nasty trains out of their profit centres, otherwise sorry no luck this time.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,071 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Vic_08 wrote: »
    Secondly it requires the alternative services meet the transport needs, in order for your pet Cork-Dublin coach route to replace the capacity provided by the subsidised rail service it would need to supply at least 10 coaches an hour in each direction.

    Well this wouldn't be a problem, I'm sure the private operators would be very happy to lay on extra coaches if the demand is there. They already do.
    Vic_08 wrote: »
    Firstly you are ignoring the part where the 3 hours is specifically referenced as "Rail Services".

    ......

    But primarily your suggestion falls down because EC 1008/2008 is fully titled "Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community"

    Find a similar regulation for rail services and a clause referencing suitable alternative bus services then you may have a golden ticket that can be fedexed to every Irish wannabe bus baron in order to get the nasty trains out of their profit centres, otherwise sorry no luck this time.

    The thing about the law is that when a precedent has been set, it can also end up being applied in similar cases. If a rail company can bring a case against an airline like this, there is no reason why a coach company couldn't bring the same case against a rail company.

    The point is moving people A to B, doesn't really matter if it is rail/coach/air, that is what a precedent like this sets.

    Having said that, I'd taking the existing stopping service would be ok as the coach services are direct and don't stop, so not uiet the same service. However it would certainly be an issue if IR tried to go no stop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,316 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Dublin-Kerry (more so from Dublin Airport) and Dublin-Mayo are awfully long trips for a coach.


    Meanwhile ...

    499612.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    bk wrote: »
    Well this wouldn't be a problem, I'm sure the private operators would be very happy to lay on extra coaches if the demand is there. They already do.



    The thing about the law is that when a precedent has been set, it can also end up being applied in similar cases. If a rail company can bring a case against an airline like this, there is no reason why a coach company couldn't bring the same case against a rail company.

    The point is moving people A to B, doesn't really matter if it is rail/coach/air, that is what a precedent like this sets.

    Having said that, I'd taking the existing stopping service would be ok as the coach services are direct and don't stop, so not uiet the same service. However it would certainly be an issue if IR tried to go no stop.

    Look at the bigger picture, railways are almost exclusively State owned and even more heavily subsidised than here in mainland Europe.

    Do you think the EU would get this regulation passed without causing an almighty row in Paris, Berlin and Madrid. It would be very divisive and political own goal for the block and national Governments and mean a more to the right. You can see the fallout here when the closure of lines stunt is put out from time to time.

    If there was a ruling by ECJ, they would delay it until they find a way to not make the changes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    Victor wrote: »
    Dublin-Kerry (more so from Dublin Airport) and Dublin-Mayo are awfully long trips for a coach.


    Meanwhile ...

    499612.png

    I didn’t know BA operate Dub-KIR, obviously at those prices it’s a premium service with full cabin service, maybe using the A319 like the Ba001 to Ny?

    If only!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,209 ✭✭✭ VG31


    I didn’t know BA operate Dub-KIR, obviously at those prices it’s a premium service with full cabin service, maybe using the A319 like the Ba001 to Ny?

    If only!

    They don't, it's a codeshare with Aer Lingus. It's nearly always very expensive to book BA codeshare flights on EI by themselves.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I didn’t know BA operate Dub-KIR, obviously at those prices it’s a premium service with full cabin service, maybe using the A319 like the Ba001 to Ny?

    If only!

    Its the same seats on the same ATR but you get BA Executive Club tier points. Woo!


  • Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    VG31 wrote: »
    They don't, it's a codeshare with Aer Lingus. It's nearly always very expensive to book BA codeshare flights on EI by themselves.

    That was a joke( a bad one I admit) hence the if only!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,502 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    Flew Dublin Kerry last month. 5 people on flight. 3 of those were crew.

    what are the total numbers for the service, and what's the subsidy per passenger. Better or worse than the western rail corridor?


  • Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    loyatemu wrote: »
    what are the total numbers for the service, and what's the subsidy per passenger. Better or worse than the western rail corridor?

    Hard to get exact figures, might even need an FOI request..

    But I have seen the figure of 7.6m a year quoted in a few articles for the cost..

    Based on the CSO stats available for 2019(only up to the end of Q3), about 60,000 journeys took place..

    So the subsidy is approx €126.67 per flight leg per passenger..

    Not sure how that compares to the WRC, north Tipp line or the Waterford to Rosslare but it is high when IE are already being paid to run a competing service


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭ theguzman


    It is a total disgrace to see a new cinema being built in Killarney on former state land which was the Torc Great Southern Hotel, there should have been space kept there to open a new double track Railway station with two platforms and thus eliminate the stupidity of reversing in an out of the current Killarney station. It could cut off at least 10-15mins on the Tralee Heuston run. The route should be Tralee>Farranfore>Killarney>Rathmore>Millstreet>Banteer>Mallow>Lmk Junction>Heuston. An early morning express Tralee>Killarney>Mallow>Heuston service with a 3 car ICR should be introduced along with a service from Mallow to Tralee to meet the 9pm Heuston-Cork


  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,298 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    theguzman wrote: »
    It is a total disgrace to see a new cinema being built in Killarney on former state land which was the Torc Great Southern Hotel, there should have been space kept there to open a new double track Railway station with two platforms and thus eliminate the stupidity of reversing in an out of the current Killarney station. It could cut off at least 10-15mins on the Tralee Heuston run. The route should be Tralee>Farranfore>Killarney>Rathmore>Millstreet>Banteer>Mallow>Lmk Junction>Heuston. An early morning express Tralee>Killarney>Mallow>Heuston service with a 3 car ICR should be introduced along with a service from Mallow to Tralee to meet the 9pm Heuston-Cork

    While a new Killarney station would be nice, I don't think it would be a sensible use of finite resources when there are many more deserving rail projects in need of funding.

    I wouldn't bother with a 9pm ex-Heuston service; instead the 5pm and 8pm services should be restored, with the direct evening service returning to 6:30pm.

    And whatever about getting Dublin-Killarney under three hours, the route is actually Dublin-Tralee!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,459 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    Kerry and Donegal are a bit like mini versions of the Highlands and Cornwall in relation to their relative isolation. I’ve no major issue with the PSO so long as they don’t cost massive sums?
    Would have thought even without a PSO the flights to Kerry would be reasonably viable on their own, given it’s such a tourist Mecca and direct internal flights from Dublin would have a natural large market right there?


  • Registered Users Posts: 373 ✭✭ andrewfaulk


    Meant to post this earlier but never got around to it.. I notice during the whole period Mar to Aug, the DUB-KIR seemed to keep operating.. I presume they were also claiming the PSO subsidy for these flights, even though the likely had at most 2-3 Pax.. Just seems like a huge waste of money at a time where the government finances are being hammered. Surely there is a provision in the contract for the flights to be suspended in extreme circumstances


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    808 passengers on 343 flights between April & June.

    I believe the Stobarts went down to one daily for a period so this likely includes passengers on a number of private jets which continued operating to Kerry from the UK, Germany and the US.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,770 ✭✭✭ GT89


    Barring off shore islands Ireland is simply too small for domestic flights


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,209 ✭✭✭ VG31


    marno21 wrote: »
    808 passengers on 343 flights between April & June.

    Loads appear to have increased recently (based on my own experience). I flew from Dublin to Donegal midweek. The outbound load was about 60% and the return was about 25%. I also saw the gate for the flight to Kerry and it looked busy enough as well.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,459 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    GT89 wrote: »
    Barring off shore islands Ireland is simply too small for domestic flights

    I disagree I think the likes of Donegal and Kerry warrant them. Neither have full motorway and/or railway links to the capital.


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