Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Maintenance

Photo of Peadar TóibínPeadar Tóibín (Meath West, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures he will take to ensure the up keep of the State’s road network to maintain safety and quality conditions in view of cutbacks in Budget 2013. [57237/12]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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This Question concerns the maintenance and upkeep of the roads network.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport has responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Specifically, the improvement and maintenance of individual national roads is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under sections 17 and 19 of the Roads Acts 1993 (as amended) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

The maintenance and improvement 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 (as amended). 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. 

The NRA will be working within a very restricted budget for the next number of years. These funding constraints mean that it will not be possible to progress a range of worthwhile projects for now. Given these constraints the main priorities will be to maintain the existing road network and prioritise safety projects, followed by road improvements, and finally by new projects.  In this regard, the NRA have been provided with over €647 million in 2012 for maintenance and improvement works on national roads. This figure will reduce to €319.6 million in 2013 and these monies will be mainly focused on maintenance and repairs and safety works.

This year, local authorities have been provided with over €377 million in regional and local road grants while the proposed grant in 2013 will be €346.3 million (a reduction of 8%).  The priority is to maintain the road network with the main focus again being the Restoration Improvement and Maintenance programmes . Local authorities were also provided with flexibility to change their programmes if necessary to ensure resources are targeted at the areas which need it most.


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