Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Projects Status
404. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if adequate funding will be provided to a local authority in 2020 to ensure progress on the further planning and design of a road project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53771/19]
As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and securing capital funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in the context of delivering the Government's commitments arising out of Project Ireland 2040, the planning, design, and construction, including the distribution of funding for individual national roads, is a matter for TII, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
405. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be provided in 2020 towards the necessary upgrading of a road (details supplied) in view of the very heavy volume of traffic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53772/19]
409. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if specific funding for a road project (details supplied) will be provided to the local authority in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53802/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 405 and 409 together.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of Cavan County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council.
The extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant that grant funding for road improvement schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.
Project Ireland 2040 does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but it will take some time to reach the level required for the adequate maintenance and renewal of regional and local roads. For this reason the primary focus for capital investment is the maintenance and renewal of the network and implementation of the 12 regional and local road projects identified for development in the period to 2023, subject to necessary approvals, in Project Ireland 2040. For this reason there is limited funding available for specific improvement grant schemes.
All specific improvement projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework and it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind. I understand that Cavan County Council is working on a project appraisal for submission to the Department regarding the R178 Virginia to Bailieborough road.
The planning of a scheme to upgrade the Dunancory Bridge on the R194 did receive specific grant funding this year. Allocations for 2020 will be announced in the New Year.