Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Projects Expenditure
259. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has seen a copy of the engineers' report carried out by Kerry County Council on the structural condition of Listry Bridge on the R563; if not, if he will request a copy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47608/13]
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 initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
In July last year local authorities were invited to submit applications for consideration for funding in 2013 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme. Kerry County Council applied for funding for ten projects under this grant category but Listry Bridge was not among the Council’s applications.
The Specific Improvement Grants Scheme is scheduled to be discontinued from 2014 onward in order to maximise the funding available for repair and strengthening work. In lieu of the Specific Improvement Grant Programme, applications have been sought for minor bridge repair works (which is a subset of the current Specific Grant Programme) for 2014. This is in line with focusing monies on road and bridge maintenance and strengthening. Kerry County Council applied for funding for four projects under this grant category and again Listry Bridge was not among the Council's applications.
It is also important to re-iterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement Councils like Kerry County Council in their own resources spending in this area. It is open to the Council to fund this project from its own resources.