Medical Card Appeals

Questions (257)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

257. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Health if he will review a refusal of a medical card to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18525/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

Taxi Regulations

Questions (258)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

258. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to set out the rules regarding the transfer of taxi plates in view of new changes introduced in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18280/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Taxi Regulation Act, 2013, was enacted on 23rd October 2013.  Section 14(1) of the Act prohibits the transfer of SPSV licences and was commenced with effect from the 6th April 2014. The Act makes provision for the continuity of SPSV businesses in the event of the death of a licence holder.

Road Improvement Schemes

Questions (259)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

259. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide details of any pending improvements planned for a regional road (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18284/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants.

The Department has allocated a total of €145 million to local authorities for the Restoration Improvement Grant Programme (RI) in 2014. Of this figure a total of €18.3 million has been allocated to Cork County Council. The selection and prioritisation of works to be undertaken, taking into account available grant funding, is a matter for the local authority. Local authorities have flexibility in relation to re-prioritising RI schemes as necessary.

It is, therefore, open to Cork County Council to re-prioritise its RI programme to include these schemes, fund works from its Discretionary Grant or progress such projects through its own resources.

Taxi Regulations

Questions (260)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

260. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on advertising on taxis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18298/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The regulation of the taxi industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act, 2013. I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if he does not receive a reply within 10 working days.

National Cycle Network

Questions (261)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

261. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to detail when the balance of the €6.5 million, announced when applications for the national cycle network were sought, will be allocated given that the actual projects recently announced only amount to €4.3 million in total; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18301/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Deputy may now be aware, subsequent to my announcement yesterday, that a further €2m has been awarded to Galway County Council for the development of a greenway from Galway City to Moycullen.  This is in addition to over €4.3 million already awarded to Kerry and Waterford County Councils under the National Cycle Network Funding Programme 2014 to 2016.

This latest announcement brings the process to a conclusion with a total allocation of more than €6.35 million being provided to greenway projects under this phase of the Programme. Details of the successful proposals are available at www.smartertravel.ie.

Public Sector Staff

Questions (262)

Finian McGrath

Question:

262. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to set out the position regarding the return to work of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18305/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Dublin Bus and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  If he does not receive a reply within ten working days, please advise my private office.

Marine Safety

Questions (263)

Martin Ferris

Question:

263. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department accepts a UK decommissioning certificate and an EU ITC 69 certificate, stating kilowatts and tonnage. [18318/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department is not familiar with the term “ decommissioning certificate" in the context of the functions of the Marine Survey Office. However, the term may be applicable to a situation whereby a fishing vessel is removed from a Flag State’s Fishing Register in the context of a grant scheme.  Where the UK undertakes a  certification process and then removes vessels from its register,  my  Department would accept such a certificate for the sole purpose of confirming that the  vessel referred to on the certificate has left the UK register.

In relation to the Deputy's reference to EU ITC 69, I should like to clarify that ITC  69 arises in an  International Maritime Organisation (IMO) context rather than an  EU context. ITCs or International Tonnage Certificates are issued by contracting states of the International Tonnage Convention 1969 to vessels of 24 metres length and over. An ITC includes details of the vessel’s dimensions and tonnages, but does not state the kilowatts (power) of the vessel.  My Department will accept such certificates issued by another contracting state, subject to checking  the tonnage computation.

EU Funding

Questions (264)

Derek Nolan

Question:

264. Deputy Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to explain the criteria for access to TEN-T European funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18321/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulations 2013 establish the EU funding mechanism for investment in the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T). A copy of the Regulations can be accessed on the European Commission website at the following link:http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/;jsessionid=nRpqTTMTyzYbcKyhLJ1dfvvJmbM4Wv4lG5Dmd4t9PTpyPpWFDLvT!-1410425869?uri=CELEX:32013R1316.

Article 7 of the Regulations sets out the eligibility criteria and conditions for financial assistance.

CEF funding will be provided by way of annual and multi-annual work programmes. The programmes will specify the priorities and the total amount of financial support for each of these priorities in a given year. The first programming year under the CEF is 2014 and calls for project proposals based on the priorities in the annual and multi-annual programmes will be launched by 1 September 2014. Full details of the Programmes are published by the European Commission on its website: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/ten-t-guidelines/project-funding/work-programmes_en.htm.

All Ten-T projects put forward under CEF will need to demonstrate, among other things, a positive Cost Benefits Analysis and that the project has co-financing in place. The funding rate available under CEF will vary between 10% - 40% depending on the nature of the proposed project where related to works, and up to 50% where related to studies.

Land Acquisition

Questions (265)

Michael McGrath

Question:

265. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 229 of 10 April 2014, if he will confirm the moneys actually paid over to date by his Department to Cork County Council in relation to the land acquisition costs associated with this road project. [18323/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As I outlined in my response to Question No. 229 of 10 April, 2014, my Department gave a commitment in 2010 to contribute a maximum of €3.7 million of the estimated land acquisition costs of €7.4 million or 50% of the cost, whichever is the lesser, and this is being honoured.  Between 2010-2013 €2,005,265 was paid to Cork County Council in respect of the Carrigaline Western Relief Road. A total of €91,000 has been allocated to this scheme in 2014.

During the period 2002 to the end of 2009, State road grants totalling €307,856 were paid to Cork County Council for the planning and design stage of this project.

Funding for regional and local roads has reduced substantially in recent years,  from over €600m in 2007 and 2008 to €331m in 2014. Due to the need to focus the limited funding available on the repair and strengthening of the road network, it has been necessary to curtail the Strategic Roads Grants Scheme for the moment. There is therefore no commitment in place to provide grant funding towards the cost of construction for this project.

It is important to reiterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement the resources of Councils. It is, therefore, open to Cork County Council to fund this project from its own resources.