Dáil Éireann - Volume 546 - 13 December, 2001

Written Answers. - Park and Ride Facilities.

127. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether the tax relief scheme has failed in relation to park and ride facilities in Dublin; and the initiatives he plans to improve the availability of park and rides. [32272/01]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The Finance Act, 1999, introduced accelerated capital allowances of up to 100% for capital expenditure on the construction or refurbishment of park and ride developments in or near designated urban areas which provide parking facilities for commuters using public transport. Relief is also avail[1288] able for expenditure on the construction or refurbishment of related residential developments which are located at park and ride facilities. Guidelines on the operation of the scheme were issued by my colleague, the Minister for the Environment and Local Government in August 1999. The guidelines set out various criteria which a park and ride development and residential developments which are located at park and ride facilities must meet in order to qualify under the scheme. Certification of a development for the purposes of obtaining relief under the scheme is carried out by the relevant local authority.

The Finance Act, 1999, also provided for capital allowances for commercial developments located at these park and ride facilities. Guidelines in relation to the commercial development element of these park and ride facilities were issued in July 2001 after discussions with EU Commission officials on state aid rules. Furthermore, the Finance Act, 2001, provides that a qualifying commercial premises is one used for the supply of local goods and services.

I understand from the Dublin Transport Office that there is a park and ride project in the planning stages for the Malahide Road. The scheme was originally to operate for three years from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2002. However, in my recent budget I extended the qualifying period by a further two years to 30 June 2004 to allow for further projects to come on-stream.