Written answers

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Department of Transport

Local Authority Funding

9:00 pm

Photo of Deirdre CluneDeirdre Clune (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Question 216: To ask the Minister for Transport if extra funding will be allocated to local authorities to repair roads damaged during recent bad weather; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2426/10]

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. The carrying out of works on these roads is a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

When Exchequer grants for regional and local roads are allocated each year, my Department does not hold back a reserve allocation, at central level, to deal with weather contingencies. Holding back such an allocation would mean a reduction in the road grant allocations made to all local authorities at the beginning of each year.

The allocations made to local authorities are inclusive of a weather risk factor. Local authorities are expressly advised in the annual road grants circular letter that they should set aside contingency sums from their overall regional and local roads resources to finance necessary weather related works.

The amount of money provided in the 2010 Estimates for funding regional and local roads is €411.177 million and this year's allocation will be based on that amount.

I have, however, asked local authorities to provide details of exceptional road related costs associated with the November 2009 flooding and recent prolonged severe weather, which fall outside the normal financial provision for winter maintenance. I will have regard to this information when deciding on the allocations. I will announce the 2010 regional and local road grant allocations by mid February 2010 at the latest.

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